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FARMERS BRANCH (CBS11 I-TEAM) – A Farmers Branch family is worried it will soon mourn the death of a child, and the parents are blaming an adoption agency.
“I am just scared to death of walking out one morning and finding her not alive,” said Amy Meeker.
Meeker is talking about 8-year-old, Carys. Carys is one of the Meekers’ five children.
Eight-year-old Molly is the oldest. She is their only biological child.
The Meekers adopted Timmy from Korea in May of 2011. He is 7-years-old and has complex heart defects.
“With Timmy, we knew that he would have to have three or four more open heart surgeries,” explains Robert Meeker.
The Meekers adopted Kelsey from China. She is 6-years-old and has cerebral palsy.
“With Kelsey, we knew what we were getting, ” said Robert Meeker.
Savannah is also 6-years-old. The Meekers adopted her from China in November of 2012. Savannah is small for her age and suffers from autism and congenital hypothyroidism.
“We knew Savannah was basically unloved sleeping on plywood in a steel crib,” said her dad.
The Meekers aren’t strangers to children with “specialties” as their son, Timmy, calls them. They’ve adopted four children with special needs, but the Meekers say they weren’t prepared for, or informed about, just how severe Carys’ disabilities were until they brought her home from China.
“It’s conflicting to say that’s not what I was prepared for, because that sounds like I don’t want her, but that’s not true, you know…” says Amy Meeker looking down at Carys as Carys twists and turns in her lap.
In fact, they say they were purposely “deceived,” according to a lawsuit they are now filing.
“I’m afraid she is going to die,” says Amy Meeker holding Carys with tears running down her face.
The Meekers say they were told Carys had spina bifida, but they did not know she had epilepsy, cerebral palsy, scoliosis, Hepatitis-C and… is blind and deaf. They say it took them a year of visiting doctors at home in the United States to learn about her other conditions.
“There was information that we could have known and the fact that we didn’t know it is very upsetting,” says Robert Meeker.
The Meekers are now suing Starfish, the Washington-based adoption agency, claiming the agency knew about Carys’ problems and lied about them “to prospective families.”
Internal agency emails, filed with the complaint, show managers telling employees to take “best in show photos” of Carys to show families.
Another email in the complaint appears to show the Board of Directors scorning one of Carys’ caretakers for “over communicating” her condition. The email said, “It is as if you want to erect a billboard on the highway with [Carys’] picture and the words ‘adoptive parents beware this child is really screwed and you better think twice before you take her back home.’ ”
“It shocks my conscious. This is not a case of negligence. This is intent. This is fraud, and they played not only with the Meekers but also with Carys,” says Attorney Dean Gresham, who represents the Meekers.
The Meekers say they do not want to reverse the adoption. They say they are filing the lawsuit to cover the unexpected and rising cost of medical expenses.
“God has it all in his hands, and as parents that is all we can do is, you know, is continue to love on them unconditionally,” says Robert Meeker looking down at Carys who he is holding.
The I-Team reached out to Starfish Foster Home. The President of the Board of Directors Michael Bosmann said he could not comment about the lawsuit, but he sent CBS11 the following the statement:
“Starfish believes the Meekers’ claims are factually and legally without merit. Starfish is vigorously defending this matter and is confident that it will prevail in the case.”
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