Birdman’s Fradulent Adoption of Surrogate Twins Invalidated

Just one more example of how individuals intent on exploiting children are leveraging technology: maybe it was the bird in his pocket or his tattered clothes which were covered with avian feces, but when a 58 year old man arrived at an Indianapolis hospital to pick up his twin medically fragile girls, nurses were concerned that he did not seem to know how to care for the children and planned to drive them back to New Jersey by himself.

The girls, Karen and Kathy Melinger, were born in 2005 from a South Carolina surrogate using a sperm donor and delivered in an Indiana hospital at the direction of an attorney who brokered the arrangement over the Internet. There was no Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) because the so-called father, who had to adopt the girls, was temporarily living in Indiana waiting for the adoption to finalize before moving back to New Jersey.

Stephen Melinger, who moved to New Jersey from the Bronx in New York, is a single man and teacher’s aid at Roosevelt Elementary School in Union City. The adoption was approved in 2006 in a rural Indiana court where the surrogate’s attorney, Steven C. Litz (who $olicit$ client$ and $urrogate mother$ on the Internet) completed over 20 adoption$ before the $ame judge in the la$t $everal year$.

Now, four years later, Indiana’s highest court reversed a lower court ruling that let the New Jersey man adopt the twin girls. The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously said a county court shouldn’t have granted the adoption without input from New Jersey officials.

But it let Melinger retain custody of the girls, born in April 2005, until the matter is settled. The ruling means New Jersey child welfare authorities now must assess whether Melinger, who is in his 60s, can provide a safe and stable home for the girls.

The Indianapolis Star repeatedly fought for information about this case and kept up public pressure for years. Their coverage of this story is excellent.

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