Help towards Legal Fees

$5,930 of $90,000 goal

Raised by 66 people in 1 month
Please help me. This is my story. I was 19 years old and in my first year of college when I found out I was pregnant and carrying a little baby inside of me. The father of my baby was less than thrilled when I told him we were having a baby and said that he wanted nothing to do with me or the baby. I was scared and didn’t know what to do so I did not share the news of my pregnancy with my family at that time.
In April of 2017, while I was more than seven (7) months pregnant with my son, my family and I were evicted from our only home. This forced me and my mother to separate as we each went to go live with other family members. Although my older sister was kind enough to let me sleep in the attic of her children’s small playroom—our finances were tight and there was no room for me and my baby. 
Because of my recent eviction and because I was making minimum wage, I believed that I would be unable to give my baby a good life and started to look into placing my baby up for adoption. An adoption agency contacted me and introduced me to the perspective adoptive parents. This is when things for me and my baby went completely wrong. Although the law required the adoption agency to provide counseling that explored alternatives to adoption and plans for me to parent my child, the adoption agency told me that “foster care wasn’t an option” and that I was “not eligible to receive public assistance.” By discussing the “positives of adoption” and sharing their experiences in the adoption of their own children, the adoption agency made me believe that adoption was the best and only choice for me and my baby.
In July of 2017, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Although I was able to hold and see the baby a couple times after his birth, the adoption agency asked me to come to their office and sign some documents to surrender my paternal rights to the adoptive parents a couple days after his birth. No one really reviewed the documents with me and I felt rushed into signing the surrender documents. I have not seen my baby in person since that time and every day became harder and harder for me, it was really a struggle because I missed him so much. I finally broke down and told my family everything that happened. Giving him up was the worst decision of my life, but I was misinformed. I would not have placed him for adoption if I knew foster care was an option or if I thought I could get public assistance from the government to raise him on my own. Unfortunately, the adoption agency mislead me and took advantage of the fact that I was a young mother who was placing her baby for adoption without the knowledge or support of her family.
Although I attempted to reach out to the adoption agency and the adoptive parents in August to ask for his return, I was told that it was too late and that there was nothing I can do about it.  Afterwards, my family and I began to search for lawyers that would help me get my baby back if possible. I was able to find a good lawyer to represent me and file a lawsuit against the adoption agency and the adoptive parents to stop the adoption from being finalized and have the baby returned to me.
After several months of preparing for this case, almost a 2-week trial, and a month of waiting for the Court to issue its decision, the Court found in my favor!! The Judge found that the adoption agency obtained the surrender documents from me in violation of the law because of all the things they said and did with me. For example, not only did they tell me that “foster care was not an option” and that I was not “eligible for public assistance,” the adoption agency also destroyed some important documents in my file when they found out that my lawyers were going to file a lawsuit against them. As a result, the Judge ordered the adoptive parents to return my son to me. That was the best news ever! I was so happy that I was going to get my son back after waiting for so long and fighting so hard. But my happiness was short-lived as the adoptive parents immediately filed an Appeal of the Court Order in my favor.  Although the adoption was never finalized, the adoptive parents are fighting to keep me away from my baby by filing motions to keep the baby with them pending the outcome of the appeal, which could take years.
I am happy that the Judge ruled in my favor against the adoption agency, and I am prepared to fight the adoptive parents and do whatever it will take to get my baby back from them. The problem is finances. I grew up as the youngest sibling to a single mother who did what she could to make ends meet. Although my mother and I were able to buy our own home since the eviction with the help of other family members, our finances are still limited. My lawyers did a great job at winning the case but my legal bills at this point are more than $80,000.00, and my lawyer believes that it will probably cost us another $50,000.00 to defend against the appeal filed by the adoptive parents. I have taken the semester off from college so that I can work as much as I can to pay my legal fees and my mother and sister have tried to take out as many loans as they can, we are hardly putting a dent into the legal fees I owe.  We may not be as rich as the adoptive parents, but my family and I can give my baby a good happy and healthy home. The Court decided that the adoption agency acted wrongfully with me, and I should not be kept from him because I could not afford to fight the appeal against the adoptive parents.
I am still his mother—naturally and legally because the surrender was deemed invalid and the adoption was never finalized. I carried him for 9 months, felt him kick while he was still inside me, and felt his heart beat while I held him in my hand and looked into his eyes after he was born. I can never forget that, and I must fight for his return. Although I feel sympathetic towards to the adoptive parents, they should not make it a case against me because it was the adoption agency who messed things up.
Please help me get my baby back by donating what you can to help me pay my legal bills to continue this fight forward. My lawyers have been by side since the beginning and they want to continue helping me fight through this Appeal, but I need to pay them to continue on this fight. My legal fees are only going to increase but any type of donation helps more than you can imagine. I want my son back in my arms again and my lawyers are doing everything they can think of to help me. I will be beyond grateful for any type of donation given to help us.
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$5,930 of $90,000 goal

Raised by 66 people in 1 month
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