[Update below] Who's responsible if the newborn baby you adopted turns out to have severe medical problems? If you are one Long Island couple, it is the fault of those rascally lawyers, of course. Meet Lynell and Victor Jeffrey, two parents currently engaged in a lawsuit against adoption attorneys Aaron Britvan and Alyssa Seiden. Ellington, the baby boy the Jeffreys adopted from an Indiana woman in August 2006, turns out to have severe neurological deficits which they weren't told about before they got him.
"Ellington is a wonderful little boy, but this has been hard," Lynell Jeffrey told the Post. And so they're suing heir lawyers in Queens courts for $5 million for future medical expenses. But if Ellington was their biological child, would the Jeffreys still be suing the doctors who delivered him? To their credit, at least they aren't putting him on a plane back to Indiana.
Update: This isn't the first time the Jeffrey's have tried to sue the lawyers Britvan and Seiden, their adoption lawyers in New York but not in Indiana (where they eventually adopted Ellington). An earlier lawsuit against them in Indiana was thrown out because the adoption lawyers did not have jurisdiction in the state and had been dismissed by the couple before the adoption so as to use a local firm.
New York law requires that medical records for children up for adoption be provided and while Britvan and Seiden were the Jeffreys lawyers they did in fact request that information. Indiana has no such requirements and though the NY lawyers did forward their files on to the Jeffreys new attorneys, it is unclear if those files would have made evident Ellington's medical issues. "According to the Jeffreys, there had been several abnormal test results while the baby was still in utero, but the Jeffreys did not receive those results until April 2007," an Indiana judge wrote in his decision last year (which is totally an interesting read [PDF]). The adoption of Ellington was finalized in August 2006.
The couple now is suing in New York, but it looks like it could shape into an ugly fight. As one of the lawyers representing Seiden told the Daily Mail, "I hate to say it, but it almost seems like they have Buyers’ Remorse."