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Associated Press Releases National Story on January 4, 2000 Covering Final Court Decision Held on December 13, 1999. 

Associated Press Releases National Story on June 9, 1999 Detailing the Annulment of a Fraudulent Adoption. 







Exclusive Channel 7 News Interview in Denver CO


In addition we have filed a Motion to Unseal the Court File

Judge Cates granted disclosure of all adoption information in the Department of Children and Family Services, but not the actual court file where all of the fictitious names reside.

Sometime ago the Appellate Court in Florida held “there is no statute of limitations on fraud to set aside an adoption”. The cases we are relying on to set aside the adoption are: Kupec v. Cooper, 593 So. 2d 1176, (Fla 5th DCA 1992) “Florida courts need to adhere to or enforce the adoptive status or the rights flowing therefrom when the adoption is repugnant to the laws or policies of Florida.”, Tsilidis v. Pedakis, 132 So.2d 9 (Fla 1st DCA 1961), Kupec v. Cooper, above. Adoption Hot Line, Inc. v. HRS, 385 So. 2d 682 (Fla 3rd DCA 1980); Trushin v. State of Florida., 475 S.2d 1290 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1985).

We filed a petition on June 7th to annul my adoption and to have my original birth certificate corrected to reflect my true birth identity.

Since then, the court assigned us another case number in this matter and we had to file another petition on June 18th to correct that.

On June 22, 1999 we filed a notice of a telephonic hearing on Petitioner’s Motion to Transfer and Close before the Honorable Maurice V. Guinta by telephone conference call on July 29, 1999. On August 31th 1999 an Order On Motion To Transfer was signed by Honorable Maurice V. Guinta.

On June 28, 1999, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics, responded to us by saying that they had no objection to our petition.
On July 29, 1999 the Honorable Maurice Guinta granted our motion to continue Transfer with our case. We are now in the process to procure a court date sometime this autumn for the final hearing.

We have had reports from several newspaper editors, that the clerk office of the Gainesville Court, would not release any of the public documents (motion to anull and grant a new birth certificate), and we believe this to be a violation of our constitutional rights.

The purpose of this web site is to display a fully documented fraudulent adoption case that took place in Gainesville Florida during the year of 1952. We believe, based on the extent of our documentation, that this case may be the only one of its kind in the hands of any adoptee. We are only interested in adoptees who have been involved in any fraudulent adoption process. This site will be evolving as time goes on. The first launch date of this site is June 7, 1999.

I have conducted a search for my birth family for the last 20 years that has culminated in what I believe to be full closure to my life. With the help of Josette P. Marquess, MSW Coordinator of the Florida Adoption Reunion Registry (Department of Children and Family Services), I was able to obtain enough detailed information to eventually have my sealed adoption records released to me by a court order out of Gainesville Florida. Ms. Marquess was very instrumental in writing me a five page letter detailing as much non-identifying information relating to my birth family as she could. The date of that letter was August 15, 1995. I am ashamed to say that our court system is as foul as one might imagine. Many years ago (1940′s – 1950′s) Florida was ripe with black market adoptions.


I didn’t realize that I had enough ammunition to get my sealed adoption records open until I read an article last October 1998 in the Sun-Sentinel in Palm Beach County Florida. The article referred to a prominent private investigator by the name of Virginia Snyder who lived in Delray Beach Florida. Mrs. Snyder was featured on several talk shows including David Letterman and was written up in People’s magazine on October 12, 1998. The series “Murder She Wrote” are based on the chronicles of Virginia Snyder’s private investigations. Apparently a lawsuit was filed against her for allegedly stealing adoption records out the Gainesville County Courthouse. A birth mother filed a lawsuit claiming that she suffered all kinds of stresses because her birth daughter located her. After personally meeting with Mrs. Snyder, I found this to be untrue. In fact I asked her to obtain my records in the same manner as she allegedly obtained the other ones because my adoption also took place in Gainesville Florida. Mrs Snyder quickly read my letter (non-identifying information of birth family) from Mrs. Marquess. Mrs. Snyder told me that the letter was laced with enough evidence pointing to a fraudulent adoption. My original birth certificate was constructed under an assumed name. The parties involved, were the attorney for the adoptive parents (William D. Hopkins who was Tallahassee’s State Attorney in 1952), Judge John A. H. Murphree of the Circuit Court of the Eighth Judicial Circuit in and for Alachua County, and an Adoption Broker out of Jacksonville Florida by the name of Leanora F. Fielding. Interestingly, both Hopkins and Murphree are still alive. Hopkins lives in Tallahassee and Murphree lives in Gainesville. They are still listed in the phone book and both men should be confronted publically with the crimes that they have committed. In fact the law library of the Gainesville Courthouse is named after Judge Murphree. Mrs Fielding is now deceased, but her husband, Charles Melvin Fielding, at the time of her placing babies privately, was a Police Captain of the Jacksonville Police Department. Capt. Fielding had over 40 years with the Police Department by the time he retired around 1966. Mrs. Fielding ran her black market baby operation from 1944-1952 out of her home on 143 Talullah Ave. She worked closely with a doctor by the the name of F.H. Schnauss who was an optomologist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Jacksonville Florida. Dr. Schnauss was the attending physician at the time of my birth. I have obtained a copy of a lawsuit filed against Mrs. Fielding by another birth mother. It is good reading. Boy, how convenient could all of these parties have it? It took me 20 years to find and locate all of the parties involved.


Mrs. Snyder convinced me to go up to Gainesville in November 1998. On November 2, 1998 I filed a petition to open my birth records based on the fraudulent activities conducted by both the court and the attorney. I approached the office of the Chief Judge (Robert P. Cates) with the petition. He wanted the Department of Children and Family Services to put together more detailed information relating to my petition. Mrs. Marquess wrote to Judge Cates a very detailed letter explaining why the records should be opened. In response to the letter, Judge Cates entered an order directing the Department of Children and Family Services to show good cause why the petition for adoption information should not be granted. That order was signed on November 19, 1998. Mrs. Marquess then responded on December 10, 1998 with firmer allegations made by the fraudulent parties. In that letter was an Order Directing the Florida Department of Children and Families to Release the Adoption Record. Judge Cates finally signed the order on December 14th 1998 releasing my closed adoption records. The Department of Children and Family Services mailed me about 85 pages concerning my adoption process. “I was shocked to say the least.” I also found out that I was bought for only $200. The adoptive parents were also very fraudulent by misrepresenting themselves to the HRS case workers. I have always known them to be very manipulative throughout my life and not having many friends. There is too much information in that document to put on this web site, but I do plan on writing a book that promises to be very entertaining. The cost of that book should only be around $25.00.


On December 20th 1998 I made a trip to Tallahassee to meet with one of my natural brothers and our mother, Winnie Faye Higginbotham. I won’t get into all of the emotions as I will leave the good stuff for the book. However, my brother, Robert Norrman, had an interesting connection with one of his fellow Masons. His connection was to an attorney, Mallory E. Horne, who was a past President of the Senate and Former Florida Speaker of the House. I took my case to Mallory Horne in February of 1999. This was filed on June 7th, 1999 in Gainesville Florida.

While in Gainesville, I went to the Public Records department and tried to find some sort of documentation relating to my adoption. I found in the basement a Chancery book #46 that had a copy of my petition to adopt Baby Boy Barnwell. I asked the clerk to make me a copy of that page. She came back and told me that I had to talk to the manager of the records department.

Karen D. Kenniston
Manager of Official Records
Alachua County Courthouse
201 East University Avenue
Post Office Box 600
Gainesville FL 32602

Karen said that anything relating to an adoption could not be released to the public. I told her that my constitutional rights were being violated and that I had every right to access a public document. She said that she would make a copy only if she could “white out” all of the names involved on that “public document”. She also told me to contact Anita Shepperd, legal counsel for the Clerk of Court of Alachua County, if I had any other questions.


I plan to do more work on this web site, but I need constructive feedback to accomplish such a task. If you are an individual who doesn’t believe in searching for birth families, please do not contact me in any way. I would like some one to help me collect such fraudulent stories and document them on this site. The name “adoption-fraud” is very catchy and means what it says. If you have any feelings of guilt about wanting to know who your birth family is then read this.


Special Warning

We have had bad experiences using some private investigators. We found them on the internet and like most investigators they are out to take your money. Please do your homework first.



Florida has the dubious honor of being one of the leading states for black market adoptions. Over the last 60 years, countless babies were delivered into the hands of eager adoptive parents by unscrupulous doctors, attorneys and “humanitarians”. Some of those who have been involved in Florida black market adoptions are:

  • Dr. Bernard Abel, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fielding, Jacksonville
  • Dr. Weathers, Jacksonville
  • Helen Tanos Hope, attorney – Miami area
  • Mr. & Mrs. Richardson, Mt. Dora, Dr. Tyre, Harry Gaylord, attorney (private unwed mothers home)
  • Waterman Hospital, Eustice
  • Katherine M. Cole, Ephrain Suarez, Ruby Sutera, Suarez Clinic and Cole’s clinc, Miami (“Cole Babies”)
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