Rachel and Heidi McFarland of Des Moines, Iowa had adopted a baby from 16-year-old Markeya Atkins. In 2013, they were at the birth of Gabriel and even cut the little boy’s umbilical cord. They were devastated when the birth mother changed her mind several months later and took the baby back. She claims she got angry at the couple. When the 17-year-old biological father Drew Weehler-Smith took the innocent baby’s life, they were heartbroken.
After their loss, they filed a lawsuit against their adoption attorney for negligence. Their suit was decided this week and the couple has been awarded $3.25 million.
The McFarland’s report that they repeatedly asked the biological mother if she was sure about the adoption and were always told yes. However, their lawyer Jason Rieper has been accused of not completing the adoption paperwork. This allowed Atkins to take the baby back and the end result was the little boy being killed. Weehler-Smith has since been sentenced to 50 years in jail for the murder.
Roxanne Conlin, the couple’s lawyer wrote a statement stating “If the lawyer had done what he was supposed to do, the birth mother would have signed a document called a release of custody and 4 days after she signed it, it would have been almost impossible for her or the baby’s father to take Gabriel away from them. The lawyer just didn’t get around to it. The birth mom got mad at the McFarlands and ripped this baby away from the only parents and the only home he had known.”
Rieper’s lawyer has announced that they have plans to challenge the ruling. Their defense is that Atkins was emotional and Rieper felt it was not ethical to “force” her to sign the paperwork.
Source: Daily Mail