Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Adoption agency accuses couple of failing to obtain home study in botched adoption suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 29, 2016

An adoption agency argues that a Jersey County couple failed to seek out an agency to provide a home study and consent to their adoption in a suit alleging a conflict of interest.

Plaintiffs Greg and Janet Warren claim they entered into a contractual relationship with attorney Deborah Crouse-Cobb of Crouse-Cobb & Bays in Collinsville on Nov. 22, 2013, to provide legal services related to the adoption of Jude Warren, a child.

However, they claim Crouse-Cobb failed to disclose her relationship with defendant Family Choices.

The Warrens allege Crouse-Cobb prepared a surrender document for the signature of the natural parents, but the document improperly designated Family Choices as the recipient of the child.

Crouse-Cobb also allegedly told the plaintiffs that it was necessary to appoint an agency to investigate the adoption of the child, but state statute has no such requirement if the child is related to the adopters, the Warrens claim in their August 2015 suit.

The Warrens further argue that the case was delayed for more than 12 months, which rendered the parental surrenders irreversible and caused the child to be placed with Family Choices. The adoption petition was ultimately dismissed.

Family Choices filed its affirmative defenses against the plaintiffs on Nov. 9 through attorney Raylene DeWitte Grischow of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Springfield, Ill.

The defendant argues that the Warrens failed to exercise reasonable care in mitigating their damages. They also allegedly failed to seek out an agency that would issue an approving home study and consent to the Warrens adopting Jude Warren after the Nov. 22, 2013, court hearing.

Crouse-Cobb is represented by Gary Meadows of HeplerBroom in Edwardsville.

The plaintiffs are represented by John J. Hopkins & Associates in Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1518

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Organizations in this Story

Crouse, Cobb, and Bays HeplerBroom Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP John J. Hopkins and Associates

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