13 May 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.

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CCI Records, Released by DCF June 15, 2010

Here’s another batch of emails, burned onto a CD and snail-mailed to me by the Florida Department of Children and Families on June 15, 2010.

There are also documents related to two more investigations undertaken by Florida DCF into Celebrate Children International. Investigation #3 began after a complaint was phoned into DCF on November 7, 2008 from a CCI client worried about her adoption of a Chinese child. Investigation #4 began on October 14, 2009 when a CCI client adopting three children from Ethiopia grew concerned about the veracity of the children’s histories. This investigation is broken into three sections, parts A, B, and C.

 

DOWNLOADABLE DOCUMENTS: REDACTED EMAILS

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set One (109 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Two (86 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Three (58 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Four (47 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Five (24 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Six (64 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Seven (47 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Eight (36 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Nine (55 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Ten (66 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Eleven (70 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Twelve (85 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Thirteen (36 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Fourteen (32 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Fifteen (58 pages)

Redacted Emails, Celebrate Children International, Set Sixteen (40 pages)

 

Along with the hard documents, the Department of Children and Families also sent me the following summaries of Investigations #3 and #4:

“INVESTIGATION 3: December 2008 - This investigation was prompted after a complaint was received pertaining to concerns that a CCI client had provided $11,000 to the agency for the purpose of adopting a child from China. Complainant indicated that they had not received any communication from CCI and that their paperwork had expired and had to pay $600 to have it renewed. Complainant further stated that they had been calling their caseworker, Martha Murray, who did not return calls. Complainant indicated that soon thereafter they received a letter from CCI indicating that additional money was due and that the paperwork had expired. Complainant later called Sue Hedberg, Executive Director of CCI, to find out that the caseworker was no longer employed by CCI and that the agency was no longer working with China on adoptions.”

“INVESTIGATION 4: October 2009-May 2010 – This investigation was prompted when a complaint was received surrounding concerns over a pending adoption of several children from Ethiopia.  According to the complainants, Sue Hedberg, Executive Director of CCI, provided them with videos of the children they were going to adopt along with their biological mothers (the videos were filmed by Mrs. Hedberg during her trips to Ethiopia).  After watching the videos, the complainants were concerned that the biological mothers were not aware of the adoption process.  The complainants believe the children were taken from their mothers under false pretenses. Complainant stated that once they questioned CCI about the validity of the biological mothers signing surrenders, their access to CCI’s Yahoo Chat Group was denied.  Due to the fact that the complainants were highly uncomfortable with the situation, they requested a refund from the board.  After several requests, CCI offered a partial refund and to fly the complainants to Ethiopia to meet the biological mothers. The complainants believe CCI’s interaction with biological parents prior to relinquishment is illegal and they further believe CCI is soliciting biological parents for the purpose of adoption under false pretenses.  By May 2010, it was determined that the allegations were not supported.”

 

DOWNLOADABLE DOCUMENTS: INVESTIGATION FILES

Documents from Investigation #3, Celebrate Children International (106 pages)

Documents from Investigation #4A, Celebrate Children International (96 pages)

Documents from Investigation #4B, Celebrate Children International (130 pages)

Documents from Investigation #4C, Celebrate Children International (94 pages)

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