IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR ALACHUA COUNTY, FLORIDA
IN RE: THE ADOPTION OF
MICHAEL EDWARD CHALEK
CASE NO: 6815-C
ORDER GRANTING PETITION FOR ANNULMENT OF ADOPTION
AND AMENDMENT OF CERTIFICATE OF LIVE BIRTH
THIS CAUSE came before the Court on December 13, 1999, upon the "Petition for Annulment of Adoption and Termination of Parental Rights and for Amendment of Certificate of Live Birth" filed by Michael Edward Chalek, adoptee, on June 7, 1999. The petitioner and his counsel were present. Josette P. Marquess also appeared in her capacity as representative of the Florida Department of Children and Families Adoption Registry. The Court, having reviewed the petition and evidence presented, and having heard testimony of the petitioner and Josette P. Marquess, and argument of counsel, finds that an annulment of the adoption of Michael Edward Chalek and the amendment of his birth certificate is necessary. However, since both adoptive parents are deceased, the issue of termination of parental rights is moot.
The Court does not make this finding carelessly. The public policy of this State is to protect and respect the privacy of those who so generously decide, for whatever reason, to give to a child the gift of the opportunity to achieve what life has to offer with adoptive parents, and give to the adoptive parents the gift of providing those opportunities to the child. Unfortunately, in the instant case, the adoptive parents abused this privilege and instead caused profound harm to the adoptee. Moreover, but for the adoptive parents' misrepresentation and fraud upon the Court, the Department of Children and Families and/or Judge John A. H. Murphree, who presided over the adoption, would have denied their petition for adoption.
Therefore, the petition for annulment is granted and the court must further provide petitioner with a lawful identity. Petitioner, born during a legitimate marriage, is a child of the marriage under Florida law. At his birth, his biological mother, under duress imposed upon her by the adoption broker, recorded the birth using a fictitious name. Petitioner requests that the certificate be amended to reflect the legal name of the petitioner's biological mother and lawful father at the time of his birth. The Court grants this request and directs that the petitioner's Certificate of Live Birth be amended to reflect the true identity of the biological mother, Winnie Faye Higginbotham Yarber and lawful father, Thomas Yarber, and further amended to record the child's name as Michael Edward Higginbotham Yarber. However, petitioner asks that his name, Michael Edward Chalek, remain as such since he is known professionally by that name. The Court grants the request and his name shall appear on the Certificate of Live Birth as Michael Edward Chalek. This Court reserves jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case.
ORDERED on this 22 day of December 1999.
MAURICE V. GIUNTA, CIRCUIT JUDGE
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing Order has been furnished this 22 day of December 1999, by U.S. Mail to:
Florida Department of Children and Families
Bureau of Adoptions
1317 Winewood Boulevard
Building 7, Room 206
Tallashassee , FL 32399
Florida Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
1217 Pearl Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Mallory E. Horne, Esq.
216 South Monroe Street, Suite 200
Tallahassee, FL 32301 Mary Jarvis, Judicial Assistant