STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND REHABILITATIVE SERVOCES
1317 Winewood Blvd.
Tallahassee FL 23299-0700
December 10, 1998
The Honorable Robert P. Cates, Circuit Judge
Eighth Judicial Circuit
Alachua County Courthouse
201 East University Avenue, Room 408
Gainesville, Florida 32601
RE: Adoption of Michael Edward Chalek,
Case Number 6815-C
Dear Judge Cates:
I am writing to you in response to a Court Order received in this office on November 23, 1998. Thos concerns the adoption of Mr. Michael Edward Chalek. Mr. Chalek's adoption by Alex and Adela Chalek was finalized in the Alachua County Circuit Court on May 5, 1953.
By this letter I am advising you that the Florida Department of Children and families, Post Adoption Services Unit, does have Mr. Chalek's closed adoption record here in our office on microfilm. The record does contain both the names of his birth mother and the name of the man who signed his consent for the adoption as his legal father.
The purpose of this letter is to advise you that we have carefully reviewed the closed adoption record and we would like to offer the court the following recommendation.
After reviewing the record, we find that we are in support of Mr. Chalek's Petition and it is our recommendation that the adoption record of Mr. Chalek be unsealed and the identifying information about his birth family be made available to him. From the information in the closed record it states that the birth mother did not want to place her child for adoption, but at the time of his birth was separated from her husband and was not making enough money to support both herself and a new infant. She stated to the Department's Case Worker that she was releasing her child for adoption because she did not see how she could financially provide for him. Additionally, the birth mother also felt that she could not return to her family with a child that had been conceived out of wedlock. According to the information in the record, the birth mother did question the Worker closely about what steps she would have to go through to have the baby returned to her care. In the end, the birth mother stated that she could not afford legal assistance and she decided that adoption placement was the best plan for her child.
The birth mother was also very anxious to clear up the discrepancy in her name with the Case Worker and did provide the Worker with what we believe to be her correct name during the course of contacts with her.
According to the information in the closed record that this office holds, we were able to discern the following information. The record states that Mr. Chalek's birth mother entered the hospital using an assumed name at the instruction of the woman who helped her to make plans for the adoption placement. To further complicate matters, the birth mother used the same assumed name when she signed her Consent for the adoption, and the original birth certificate files with the Florida Office of Vital Statistics also contains the assumed name. From the information contained in the closed record it seems that no steps were ever taken by the parties involved to ever clear up this deception. Therefore, even if the Court should order the original birth certificate in this adoption unsealed and released to him, the original birth certificate will show the assumed name rather than the birth mother's correct name at the time of the adoption placement.
I therefore recommend to the Court that the adoption record that we hold in this office concerning the adoption of Mr. Michael Edward Chalek, be released to him. To the best of my knowledge this is the only record that contains the true identity of both Mr. Chalek's birth mother and his legal father.
Enclosed with this letter is a Draft Order for your consideration. The order has been reviewed by Department Counsel, and if you sign it, we will comply without delay. If you are willing to sign the order, please have it sent directly back to me as I will need a true copy for my files in this matter.
I hope that this letter is satisfactory and meets the need of the court. If you feel that I may be of further assistance to you, please fell free to call me at (850) 488-8000, extension 103.
Josette P. Marquess, MSW
Coordinator, Florida Adoption Reunion Registry
Florida Department of Children and Families