What You Need to Know About NCFA Member Agencies

The time has come to expose the foibles of member agencies of National Council For Adoption, the organization that makes the following claim on its website (since removed):

"For 30 years, NCFA has been the authoritative voice for adoption. Our research and education programs have led the way to promoting sound, ethical adoption policies and practices that have enabled children to find nurturing, permanent families through adoption."

Spotlighting a large number of NCFA member agencies on this blog does not imply that all NCFA members conduct themselves in ways that call to question their "sound, ethical adoption policies and practices." However, a whole is always equal to the sum of its parts – all of its parts.

The issues dealt with on this blog stretch far beyond ethical adoption policies and practices. They involve public trust, credibility, authenticity of purpose, and common human decency.

As you read the accounts of NCFA member agencies here, ask yourself how they reflect the "sound, ethical adoption policies and practices" touted by the trade organization that represents them before legislatures throughout the country.

Before we begin, however, I invite you to explore the origins of this organization. We need to begin with how adoption policies and practices relative to adoptee rights morphed from being deemed "sacred" to being deep-sixed to shield private adoption agencies from accountability and liability. In the process, what was "best for the child" became severely tainted by the business of adoption. And a business it is! A multi-billion dollar annual business!

NCFA was formed to protect, enhance and perpetuate that business.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Joel D. Tenenbaum – Protector of Women's Virtues

In the NCFA description of the Uniform Adoption Act that I posted yesterday:
Although there are many articles and publications in print and on the Internet describing the contents of the UAA, most are extremely biased. One of the best brief objective summaries is by Joel D. Tenenbaum, who served as the ABA liaison to the NCCUSL UAA committee.

So who was Joel D. Tenenbaum? And what was his connection with NCFA?

To begin with, he had some very impressive credentials, many of which involved pregnancy and adoption matters (in bold). The website of Feibleman Case Attorneys at Law described him thus:
Joel was a recipient of the American Bar Association Presidential Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement in Adoptions, 1996. He was a U.S. Magistrate, District of Delaware, 1973-1974. Assistant District Attorney, King's County, New York, 1967-1968. Counsel, New York State Constitutional Convention, 1967. Assistant Public Defender, Delaware, 1972-1973. Executive Director, Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. Delaware, 1971-1972. Member, Governor's Task Force on Teen Pregnancy, 1989—. He is a fellow of the AAML, the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the American College of Family Trial Lawyers. Joel's membership includes Brooklyn, Delaware State, New York State and American (Chair, Family Law Section Adoption Committee, 2002-2003; Step Families Rights and Adoption Committee, 1993—; Liaison, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1989—; Uniform Adoption Act; Member, U.S. Department of State Study Group on Intercountry Adoption) Bar Associations; American Academy of Adoption Attorneys; International Bar Association.
His connection to NCFA is that his family-owned four-state agency, Adoption House, was a NCFA member in good standing. Tomorrow's blog will address issues related to the agency itself, but for now I want to focus on the Adoption House attorney Joel D. Tenenbaum.

(Click to enlarge)

Ok, so that's the 'shiny' side of Joel D. Tenenbaum. The man whose family agency joined NCFA, a trade organization formed expressly to keep adoptees from learning the truth of their origins and protect the virtues of women who surrendered babies to adoption in the past. It must be an extremely important matter for him, since he also contributed his 2 cents (and probably a good deal more) to the Uniform Adoption Act in an attempt to seal adoption records for 99 years. Surely no mother would live long enough to have her reputation stained after all that time. What a gentleman! What a hero to the 'Women of the Scarlet A' club.

Now for a reality check on the character of this knight in shining armor.

Delaware court records show a history that includes:

In 1984, the Respondent was privately admonished for dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, because he testified as a witness in support of his claim for fees and knowingly misrepresented that records indicating the amount of time and services rendered to the client were destroyed as a result of a fire in the building in which his offices were located.

In 1995, the Respondent was privately admonished for knowingly failing to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure was necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client and for engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice when in a Family Court matter he failed to disclose to the Court that his client had encumbered certain property with notes secured by mortgages.

But that's just the mild stuff. Hold your hat!

The above document is actually a record of Tenenbaum's three-year suspension for violating Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct as follows:

In an opinion and order issued on August 5, 2005, the Delaware Supreme Court suspended Joel D. Tenenbaum for three years, retroactive to January 5, 2005, the date on which Tenenbaum ceased the practice of law. The Court approved a report from the Board on Professional Responsibility (“Board”), finding that Tenenbaum had violated the Delaware Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct (“Rules”). In imposing the maximum three-year period of suspension, the Court found as follows:
The evidence establishes that, during the past 5 - 10 years, Tenenbaum has sexually harassed female clients and employees, both verbally and physically........ Tenenbaum engaged in a pattern of illegal activities that harmed clients and employees. He has substantial experience as a Delaware lawyer, having been admitted to practice in 1972, and he has a prior, though unrelated, disciplinary record. Although the Court recognizes that Tenenbaum has experienced emotional problems and that he has a record of public service, the severity of his misconduct mandates a three-year suspension.
The Court found that Tenenbaum’s conduct violated the following Rules:

Former Rule 1.7(b): When representing a female client, Tenenbaum had a conflict of interest because his representation was materially limited by his personal interest in having sexual relations with the client;

Rule 1.8(j) (which became effective July 1, 2003): Tenenbaum had sexual relations with a female client when he was prohibited from doing so because a consensual sexual relationship did not exist between them when the client-lawyer relationship began;

Rule 8.4(a): Tenenbaum’s conduct with respect to a female client was an attempt to violate the Rule which prohibits sexual relations between a lawyer and a client unless a consensual sexual relationship did not exist between them when the client-lawyer relationship began; and

Rule 8.4(b): Tenenbaum engaged in criminal conduct which reflected adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in that he sexually harassed and offensively touched a client and members of his law firm’s staff.

Oh, but that's not the end of it. Before he had even completed his three years of suspension, a woman client he had sexually assaulted in his office back in 1983 finally grew strong enough to report the attack to police. This time he was disbarred. And since his agency also had an office in Pennsylvania, the PA bar reciprocally disbarred him, as well.

The Delaware order included the following (with bold emphasis added):

When Tenenbaum was suspended for three years, “the evidence establishe [d] that, during the past 5-10 years, Tenenbaum [had] sexually harassed female clients and employees, both verbally and physically.”21 In this case, the clear and convincing evidence establishes that Tenenbaum engaged in felonious conduct that would subject him to possible imprisonment, except that a criminal prosecution is barred by the applicable statutes of limitations. This evidence and the evidence from the prior suspension proceeding demonstrate that, for more than two decades, Tenenbaum has committed egregious abuses of his female clients' trust, by engaging in a repeated and systematic pattern of sexual misconduct that was not only unethical but also unlawful. Accordingly, we are in complete agreement with the analysis and recommendation in the Board's Discipline Report. We conclude that any sanction other than disbarment would not provide the necessary protection for the public, serve as a deterrent to the legal profession, or preserve the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of the Delaware lawyers' disciplinary process.
It is ordered that Joel D. Tenenbaum be disbarred from membership in the Delaware Bar. His name shall be immediately stricken from the Roll of Attorneys entitled to practice law before the courts of this State.

Do you like juicy details?

This account isn't for the prudish, so decide now. If you proceed, you can even see a picture of his bare-naked-lady birthday cake.

Now you know how this pervert really feels about women! And all the while he was pretending to be concerned about women whose birth-and-relinquishment secrets would surely "devastate them" (NCFA's claim), he was committing the foulest of acts against women.

My next post will deal with Adoption House and its other attorney - Joel's son Harlan.


  1. So - whatcha think? Does this guy have a few bastards out there?

  2. That would account for it, wouldn't it? If so, I sure hope they don't ever find him!!!

  3. He just could be on the way to being appointed to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws if he isn't on it already.

  4. That could actually be a good thing. It would give us cause to raise the biggest media stink ever. It would give us a chance to educate and activate our legislators at the federal level, rather than just at the state level.

  5. Hi Joanne, great blog! Marley sent me here.

    What a scumbag. Typical of right wing hypocrites.


  6. Nice man but not alone!Of course this is not all the truth is it?There must be a great deal more to this story, wonder if it will come out eventually?
    Good to see you blogging!

  7. The young boys ended up absolutely stimulated to read through them and now have unquestionably been having fun with these things.

    Where I can buy Perfectmoney