Couple sues Starfish Children's Services

Texas Couple Sues Adoption Agency After Discovering Chinese Daughter Had Series Of Undisclosed Medical Issues

A Texas couple is suing an adoption agency after they allege the agency knowingly withheld information about their daughter’s medical condition during the adoption process. Their 8-year-old daughter from China was adopted via Starfish Children’s Services after the couple was told the child suffered from spina bifida. The couple, Robert and Amy Meeker, have adopted special needs Chinese children in the past and agreed to adopt their little girl, Carys, despite her condition. However, when Carys arrived in America, the family says they quickly learned that spina bifida was one of many medical conditions the child suffered from daily. In fact, the Meeker family says that in addition to spina bifida, the girl was also blind, deaf, has hepatitis C, severe epilepsy, scoliosis, and has also suffered from periods of self harm.

According to the Daily Mail, Texas couple Robert and Amy Meeker are filing a lawsuit against adoption agency Starfish Children’s Services after they say the agency intentionally withheld medical information about their adoptive daughter Carys. The family says that when they first inquired about adopting Carys, who went by the name Kaitlyn at the time, they were informed the child suffered from spina bifida. This condition would qualify Carys as a special needs placement, but the Meeker family says that the spina bifida was only the tip of the iceberg regarding the child’s medical issues. In fact, the Meekers say they were highly unprepared when they brought Carys home and discovered she was suffering from a variety of ailments not disclosed, including the fact the girl was blind, deaf, had hepatitis C, scoliosis, and has severe epilepsy that results in the daughter having seizures every two hours around the clock.

The family says that the adoption, which they are not attempting to reverse, has placed unnecessary financial hardship on their family as the child’s medical expenses are expected to cost “several millions” over the course of her life. In addition to the undisclosed medical conditions, the Meeker family says it was unfair for the agency to give them a daughter that should have been adopted under “end of life terms,” as the child has just a short term to live.

“Carys should have been placed with an ‘end of life’ family, which in the adoption world means a family that were willing to care and bury a dying infant.”

The Meekers say “end of life” family care is not what they signed up for when they agreed to adopt their daughter, and say that they are left emotionally and financially devastating due to the adoption agency’s dishonestly. The family’s lawsuit outlines the charges against Starfish Children’s Services noting that the organization’s ” ‘senior staff’ engaged in extreme and outrageous behavior and intentionally or recklessly caused emotional distress, mental trauma and bodily harm’ to the Meekers and Carys.”

The family is seeking financial restitution for the medical expenses associated with Carys’ care. The family says they are not trying to reverse the adoption, but rather have the adoption agency help pay for the care of Carys, as they knew about the medical conditions but kept it from the family in a bid to ensure the adoption went through without issue.

“Despite all the difficulties with Carys, the Meekers say they are not seeking to reverse the adoption, since Carys is now in their care and they love her.”

Do you think the adoption agency should be held liable for the medical expenses associated with Carys’ care since they intentionally kept the medical information from the parents before the adoption?

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