Adoption, Law & Ethics

Two years (2017-2019)

“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.” Dorothy Allison

by Michelle Riess

This week it has been two full years since I made the very unexpected discovery that I was adopted as a newborn after getting an Ancestry DNA match to one of my three full biological sisters. I was forty years old at the time and had never been told that I was adopted. This was obviously a very shocking thing to discover about yourself as an adult, especially when you grew up believing you were an only child. (you can read that story here)

I can’t believe it’s been two years already! It feels like it was a lifetime ago and just yesterday all in the same breath. I feel like I’ve known my family forever even though it’s only been two years since we met for the first time. I still can’t believe all of this has happened–I don’t think I will ever be able to fully process it all because it’s just so extraordinary. The number of times we’ve been told that our experience is like watching a movie or reading a novel is well into the hundreds at this point, so I know I’m not alone in my utter disbelief. Lol! Continue reading

Adoption, Law & Ethics, News & Media

Newspaper articles about Michelle’s 1976 adoption

If you would like to read some of the newspaper articles regarding the case against the attorney that illegally arranged the adoption, you can view them HERE. In some of the articles, Michelle is the adopted child referred to simply as the December 4, 1976 “incident.”

Many of these articles include statements taken from Kent’s court testimony that contradict Hollie’s experiences, including his heavy involvement after Michelle’s birth. They also contradict information given to Michelle in 2017 by her adoptive father. We will make a separate post about these inconsistencies at a later date.

So far, our research has produced about 12 articles from a variety of newspapers including the Courier-Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times. We will add a few new articles to this page at a later date. Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

‘Adoption lawyer’s’ term suspended (1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: October 17, 1981

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

By RENEE WINKLER
Of the Courier-Post

CAMDEN – A Willingboro attorney, convicted in July of illegally acting as an intermediary in three adoptions, yesterday was given a suspended jail term and placed on probation for one year.

Continue reading

Law & Ethics

State v. Kent | NJ Super. App. Div. (1980)

173 N.J. Super. 215 (1980)

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. EDWARD KENT, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.
Argued March 10, 1980.
Decided July 1, 1980. [1]
*218 Before Judges SEIDMAN, MICHELS and DEVINE.
William C. Levine, Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for appellant (John B. Mariano, Camden County Prosecutor, attorney). Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Appeal of lawyer is rejected (Nov. 1978)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: November 18, 1978

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

By RENEE WINKLER
Courier-Post Staff

A Superior Court judge in Camden has denied an appeal by a Burlington County attorney who had been turned down for Camden County’s pre-trial intervention program. Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Divorce lawyer convicted for adoption assistance (June 1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: June 25, 1981

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

CAMDEN – Edward Kent, a Willingboro attorney who specializes in divorce cases, was convicted yesterday of illegally acting as an intermediary in the adoption of three newborn children.

Kent, 55, who lives in Edgewater Park, was acquitted of three accompanying charges of obstructing justice.

The state, through Deputy Attorney General Nancy Singer, had charged him with encouraging the natural mothers to lie during interviews with state and county agencies about his involvement in the placements.
Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer indicted on adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: The New York Times
Original Publication Date: April 15, 1978

CAMDEN, N.J., April 14 (UPI) – A lawyer with offices in Marlton, N.J., and Willingboro, N.J., has been indicted for allegedly arranging the illegal adoption of babies. The indictment of the lawyer, Edward Kent, 52 years old, was announced today by Prosecutor Thomas Shusted of Camden County. The eight count indictment accuses Mr. Kent of acting as a middleman between the natural mothers and the adoptive parents, which is against state law.

Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer accused in 3 adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Original Publication Date: April 15, 1978

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

By Francis M. Lordan
Inquirer Staff Writer

A Burlington County lawyer has been indicted on charges that in 1977 he illegally assisted in the adoption of three children in Camden County, Thomas J. Shusted, Camden County prosecutor, said yesterday.

Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Memory fails witness in adoption case (June 1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: June 5, 1981

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. This article is particularly disturbing because this biological mother was clearly being influenced in some way to lie or to withhold information about Kent’s involvement in her child’s adoption (read this article about Kent offering to pay her to lie to investigators.) We will be writing about these issues and inconsistencies at a later date.

CAMDEN — A woman who was to have been the state’s chief witness against a Willingboro lawyer charged with acting as an illegal intermediary in a series of adoptions was able to recall only sketchy information about the case yesterday.

When first called by Deputy Attorney General Nancy Singer, the woman said she couldn’t remember anything about her pregnancy in 1977, her meeting with attorney Edward Kent or the couple who adopted her baby.

Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer indicted as a middleman for adoptions (April 1978)j

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: April 14, 1978

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

By RENEE WINKLER
Courier-Post Staff

A Burlington County lawyer who specializes in matrimonial matters was indicted Thursday by a Camden County grand jury for illegally acting as an intermediary in the adoption of three children.

Edward Kent, 52, who has a law office in Willingboro, also was charged with obstruction of justice in the eight-count indictment. None of the children or the couples who wanted to adopt them is named in the indictment, although it specifies that their identities are known to the grand jury. Continue reading

Law & Ethics

High Tribunal Raps Attorney for Conduct (1963)

Original publication: Courier-Post
Original publication date: January 22, 1963

“His conduct is dishonorable and brings the profession into disrepute.” -a NJ Supreme Court Justice referring to attorney Edward Kent

TRENTON (UPI) – The State Supreme Court Monday reprimanded lawyer Edward Kent of Levittown* for bypassing a Pennsylvania lawyer and dealing directly with his client.

The Pennsylvania lawyer, James P. Geoghegan, complained to the Burlington County Ethics Committee that Kent had sought to arrange settlement of an auto accident through direct dealings with Geoghegan’s client.

He said this violated the professional ethics.  Continue reading