Sunday, May 4, 2008

Why Agency License Regulations Need to Be Tightened

Two of the best examples I can identify that illustrate the necessity for tighter regulations for adoption agencies and adoption facilitators are Seymour Kurtz and Tedi Hedsrtom. Seymour Kurtz of Chicago has been around and under investigation since the 1960’s and continues to broker babies to this very day. Tedi Hedstrom is a more contemporary player, but once again, epitomizes how someone can have their license taken away by one state and simply set up shop in another.

According to Mirah Riben (2007, pg.77):

The Golden Link Foundation pays up to $10,000.00 to mothers who surrender their babies to one of its agencies (Adoption World, Birth Hope Adoption Agency, and
Easter House). None of these agencies has a physical address, just 800 numbers, and all are owned and operated, as is Golden Link Foundation, by Seymour Kurtz of Chicago.

In 1985, Easter House, one of Kurtz’s agencies, was charged with a dozen violations of state laws and regulations intended to protect children, mothers, and those who want to adopt. The licenses of Friends of Children and Birth Hope, two of his operations, were not renewed. Kurtz’s agencies have been denied licenses in Florida, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

And yet, “Despite all of the criticism and charges against him and his agencies. Kurtz continues to operate…”

Tedi Hedstrom was the Exectuive Director of Tedi Bear Adoptions in Florida and had her agency license revoked for several criminal and administrative code violations. However, she now owns and operates Adoption Blessings Worldwide in Macon, Georgia. Some of her violations were:

As of October 15. 2002. TBA'S website located on the Internet does not include the Respondent’s Florida License number of the agency, which is a violation of Section 6 3.212(1)(9), Florida Statutes and Rule 6 5C-15.002(9) Florida Administrative Code.

Ms. Hedstrom, Executive Director of TBA, falsified her employment application by indicating she has a BA/BS degree with a major in Social Work /Education:

However, her resume shows she has a BA with a major in Education from the University of North Florida 1987 and a minor in Social Work from Florida State University. When questioned about her application showing a major in Social
Work and her resume showing a minor in it, she admitted that she does not have a degree in social work and that though she attended classes, she did not graduate from Florida State University. The reviewer verified that Tedi
Hedstrom's Bachelors degree is in Education only. Knowingly providing false information constitutes violation of Section 6 3.212(2) (a11) which is a criminal and an administrative offense.
Yet, Tedi continues to mislead adoptive parents on her current website by stating:

“Tedi attended Florida State University where she majored in Social Work [emphasis added] and graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of North Florida with a B.A.E. She plans to complete her M.S.W. in the future.”

The Florida State Department of Children & Families also cited that Tedi had program directors residing in other states (in violation of Rule 65C-15.003(4), admitted to fabricating certificates of attendance to training and conferences, multiple missing employee records and background checks, falsifying her employment application, failing to conduct numerous post-placement reports, and violating AP’s confidentiality.

Complaints by adoptive parents included offering a child to multiple families, collecting monies that were not outlined in the fee schedule, using a website consisting of fabricated stories to solicit donations, non-disclosure of developmental delays or disabilities, notarizing documents in which the witness has a financial interest, and numerous other allegations.

Considering all of the above, it is appalling that this woman is still in operation! How can this be? It is due to the lax licensure standards and requirements and a faulty system that con artists can easily manipulate.


2Lyrical said...

I'd like to add TediBear and Adoption Blessings Worldwide were Amrex agencies.

I'd also like to point out she was involved with MaiLy LaTrace, a filthy, amoral child broker who worked in Vietnam.

I have a copy of a posts Ms. Stomach Staple made to a Vietnam list proclaiming her goodness to TBA clients. It eventually devolved into a flame war.

Her husband Donnie was in on it too. Quite the family operation.

I also have a copy of the Florida resolution if anybody would like to see it.

Both are in Word format.

Dawn & Joe DeLorenzo said...

Yes, there is plenty in the complaint about her hubby too. I find it hard to believe she was able to get an approved homestudy in light of what the investigation revealed. Perhaps she adopted all 19 of her children before the fiasco? Any documents are welcome!

Suz said...

For more on Kurtz, you might want to check out


Thanks for the post and the press. I have been hard at work at exposing those jokers.