Court Cases By State - D.C.

Court Cases by Washington, D.C.

Sherman v. Adoption Center of Washington, Inc.
741 A. 2d 1031 (D.C.App. 1999)

Plaintiff adoptive parent sued the adoption agency which had helped her to adopt a Russian baby girl. Twenty months after the lawsuit began, the plaintiff sought to amend her complaint to allege that the child had FAS/FAE. The trial court denied the motion, and the appellate court affirmed.

The denial of the motion was based among other things on three considerations: (1) the 20 month delay in seeking to amend the complaint, (2) the fact that the prospective adoptive mother had been warned at the time of the need to investigate possible FAS, and (3) "[t]here is no explanation why the possibility of FAS/FAE was never previously discovered during the nearly five years of close medical supervision of the child after her arrival in this country." 741 A. 2d at 1038.

This third argument reflects a certain unawareness of the extent to which physicians do not recognize, often for years, that a child's symptoms are the result of FAS/FAE.

Appeal of U.S.W.
541 A. 2d 625 (D.C.Ct.App. 1998)

Appellate court affirms the termination of father's parental rights. The court holds that the father would be unable to meet the special needs of the child caused by FAS and "fetal hydantoin syndrome." 541 A. 2d at 626-27.

The opinion notes that the child's foster parents appear better able to meet the child's needs.

Expert testimony asserted that the child's disabilities will make it harder to find adoptive parents. 541 A. 2d at 626.