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I think it's absolutely disgusting that a child should be wrenched from a loving hime, and parents who had legally adopted her.

Once the papers are signed, they are signed. There is no going back. For the sake of the child she MUST be left with the adoptive parents. I could not believe the court returned Jessica to her birth parents.

I've heard of other cases that have played out like Jessica's.

It makes me ill.


Yet another thing in common, Lisa. I, too, was adopted (as was my sister). That is one thing I really respect about you and your husband---that you adopted your daughter. She is such a lucky little girl. I feel that way about myself and my wonderful parents who "chose" me to be their son. They will always be my 'real' mom and dad!

Beth Miller

Maybe it's because I was raised by the people who are my biological parents but this is the way I feel about it.

To begin with two people get together share a moment of passion and OOOPS a life is created. Then they make a wonderful decision to allow two loving humans the opportunity to adopt this little life. Now comes the tricky part---the biological parents are just that DNA and nothing more. A temporary house,then a quick exit and boom the baby is handed over to its REAL parents. It takes DNA to create life but it takes LOVE to be a parent. You need to go through all the rough times--sick at night, hurt by your first boyfriend/girlfriend. Go through all the joys--that first love your child experiences, sex education from the parent, teaching your child to drive and then worrying about them when they get in that car---thats what a MOM & DAD is--NOT JUST DNA.

I was sickened by the way this case was handled. Too darn bad that Dan wanted Jessica. I want a million dollars but the courts won't give me that!
Great post Lisa!!!!!!!!


I could never bring myself to read this book. I knew Schmidt's lawyer, Marian Faupel and worked in a law firm across the street from her office during the time all of this was transpiring. The day the verdict was handed down, Marian's secretary came into our office to use our copy machine and was ecstatic. "We won!" she exclaimed. We were all VERY quiet...shocked, and very disappointed. Funny how professional courtesy went out the window when Marian took that case. Most other attorneys in Ann Arbor wouldn't speak to her. It was a pretty personal issue to everyone....and they all seemed to hold the same opinion that Jessica should have stayed with the DeBoers. There should never have been any question.


It's 13 years ago tomorrow (Aug 2) that Jessi was taken. I so wish I could reach out and hug Robby and Jan who undoubtedly think of her still. Thank you for writing a blog entry that really looks at the HEART of the issue....that little girl's heart.



This case just breaks my heart. In my opinion, dna and blood have nothing to do with being a parent. Biology doesn't have anything to do with parenting. Maybe it's that mine never took care of me and I wished I would be adopted, but I don't understand how they could give this child back to her birth parents. She was in her real home, with her REAL parents, and they just threw her into the home of strangers. I hope one day Anna will understand that these people loved her and would've given her everything they had, if they had just been given the chance. That was a sad day for this family, and for adoption in general.


I havejust finished reading this book. I myself gave up a child 7 1/2 yrs ago. I could never have imagined doing this to the loving parents that adopted her. She is a human being and so are they. As I read this book in horror of the events, I rallied for the DeBoers that somehow the courts would hear the real issue. God Bless them for their devotion to this little girl they called Pooh. She seemed to be a very happy little girl who was very loved and loved who she was around. I pray that God has blessed these two wonderful people in the midst of the heartache and allowed them to get on with their lives. I also pray that little Jessi has had a decent life with little recourse of what happened. As of now, Jessi is about to turn 17. I hope that the DeBoers have been able to keep in touch with Jessi or have been able to see her at this point. If someone could let me know how they are and some way of getting ahold of them, I would really appreciate it.


I can't imagine what the DeBoers went through. I too remember that awful day Jessica was taken from her parents. Yet Mrs. Faupel has another case like this even as I speak. I know because I am the child's Grandma caught in the middle. It's a nightmare. Having met Ms. Faupel I don't think she cares about anything other than winning.


I am an adoptee. As I recall in the Jessica case, the birth mother petitioned to rescind the adoption when 'Jessica' was a few weeks old. It was the DeBoers who selfishly fought that. It was a media circus, with the blue collar Schmidt family being demonized, and the well educated DeBoers being canonized.

Both sets of parents ended up divorcing. The now Anna Schmidt is well adjusted according to reports.

Lyal Fox

Talk about being pathetic!! You must hide deep scars of not having your natural parents raise you. If you're going to tell a story, tell it correctly. The DeBoers did NOT adopt Anna....they attempted to adopt her. They were told almost immediately...by the courts in Iowa AND Michigan....to return Anna. Instead, they decided not to. They held her and let the case drag out for 2 yrs (Anna was 2 1/2 yrs old when returned to her natural parents...)...when FINALLY, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Schmidts. The DeBoers had indeed kidnapped Anna....as they ignored the courts orders and kept Anna to themselves. Anna is a junior in high school, leads a normal life, does very well in school, is involved in extracurricular activities, has many friends, and loves her REAL mother dearly. Anna has not needed any "therapy"....but i feel that maybe you do....for obvious reasons!! And just to set the record straight, Anna NEVER lived exclusively with her father (Dan), but now lives exclusively with her mother (and myself).....as does her sister, Chloe.

Karen Zadrovec

I remember Jessica being taken away from the Deboers like it was yesterday. One thing I could never understand was the Schmidts had said they would never take Jessica's name from her but yet once they took custody of her her name was changed to Anna( this is almost like a person getting a new pet and changing the name the previous owner had for it)
Time will still tell for Jessica( I mean Anna)
Hard to believe she is 17 now. When people say Anna doesn't remember that part of her life I feel it's because it was so traumatic for her that as any child who has no control of their situation she dealt with it as best a 2 1/2 could. Anna learned to survive and in doing so buried any memories she had with the Deboers.
The Schmidts are her parents. Jessi/Anna has been with them 14.5 years now. Someday when she's away from the Schmidts Anna may want to find out the truth about those first 2.5 yrs of her life not what the Schmidts have told her. Next yr she'll be an adult and will be able to make her own decisions. Hopefully seeing the Deboers will be one decision.


Yes, it was a horrible scene to watch in 1993. However, it was not the Schmidts who were responsible, it was the De Boers. The De Boers, the prospective adoptive parents (not legal adoptive parents) knew they were going to lose Anna from the time she was four weeks old!!! Instead of doing the right thing (no matter how disappointed they were) and returning her to her legal parents, they held onto her for their own selfish reasons, carefully directed a media circus around the situation in order to sway favor to their stake. They alone are responsible for whatever trauma Anna did or will suffer from the ordeal.
Frankly, I'm sick of the prejudice that is directed at first parents, in general, and particularly that which is leveled at those who are poor or blue collar like the Schmidts. Birthparent suffering is largely ignored or deemed selfish while potential adoptive parents are deified. It is gross, elitist behavior. I'm sick of the pressure parasitic agencies put on men and women in crisis pregnancy to surrender their children. Hear ye, hear ye...adoptive parents are not gods. They divorce, go bankrupt, mismanage raising children just as people in crisis pregnancy do. If Cara Clausen had received any kind of support to raise her child, none of this would have happened.


In response to Lyal Fox posted on March 25, 2008..The term REAL mother is not the same as biological mother. Anna (Jessica) may live with her biological mother who in FACT GAVE HER UP AND LIED ABOUT HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER, her real mother was the one who cared for her and agonized over her and mourned her when she was taken away. Her fanily situation is in shambles. She would have been in a stable home enviorment withy loving parents. It is these dead mothers that make me sick and cause a bad name for adoptions. Grow up and at least admit that the BIRTH MOTHER was and is a lousy personand mother. Her birth father is in the same catagory. I feel sorry for what Jessica has lost.


I also remember this case. At that time the media didn't even try to introduce any kind of objectivily into their coverage. Yes, the biological mother first lied about the father and second placed her child before considering if this was what she was really commited to. That's a lot to answer for and God knows she was raked over the coals for years. But, as Maya Angelo says of her own Mom "When she knew better, she did better". That took about five weeks the last two of which she had been with the Deboers. Nobody can blame the Deboers for their initial reaction. It's certainly understandable. But to get up every morning for the next two and a half years when the child is getting older, look in the mirror and say "yes, I'm going to keep appealing this until she's so old that I can argue that she can't be removed". That's just selfish. It's certainly not what adoption is supposed to be about. Anna will be eighteen though in February 2009. Maybe at that point she'll make some kind of public comment. My guess: She'll thank the judge who made it possible for her to finally return home.


The real story never was told, the story was distorted by the press, Anna doent even remeber the DeBoers and she loves her parents, the Schmidts.


here, adopt my baby....... no you cant. here, he's the father........no he's not. LIES, LIES, LIES! One parent a liar, the other... 2 children he dosnt give a toss about, has never paid a penny for and most importantly never wanted to see. as for you lyal fox, well of course you see it differetly, your living wit the egg donor. JESSICA, as her rightful name is, will be old enough now to make contact if she can. i hope and pray to God she does. she should never have been ripped away from her loving parents 'the DeBoer's'


Emma, your comments reflect the fact that you believe every distorted detail that was printed in the press. Anna (Jessica) herself was interviewed - a television interview - where she spoke of not remembering the DeBoers at all, and not being happy with the way the DeBoers depicted her biological parents in thier book, "Loosing Jessica." Anna was doing well, sang in her church choir, and thought that the young starlets of today ought to wear more clothing (her words). When Anna was asked if she had any words for the DeBoer's, she simply said that her message to them was "...It's over." She spoke of being bonded with both of her biological parents, and that she (at that point) had no desire to meet the DeBoers-although she had no ill feelings for them. She simply doesnt remember them.

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