Friday, August 18, 2006
Westport Lawyer Barred from Handling Adoptions
A Superior Court judge has ruled that a Westport lawyer who helped place thousands of foreign orphans with American families be barred from handling future adoptions amid accusations that she was unprofessional and failed to return money to clients, the Hartford Courant reported today.
The newspaper said Judge Robert L. Holzberg in Middletown ordered on Wednesday that Maria Tomasky’s law license be suspended for 120 days beginning Oct. 1.
Tomasky, who agreed at an April disciplinary hearing to give up her adoption law career, must also give full refunds to any current adoption clients and transfer her files to them, the report said.
In nine separate grievances filed with the Statewide Grievance Committee since March 2004, Tomasky was cited for “lack of attention” to and “lack of communication” with clients and for not paying back the tens of thousands of dollars the families spent on what they said was an emotionally exhausting and painful process of becoming parents, the Courant said.
When she resumes her work as a lawyer following the 120-day suspension, Tomasky, 57, of Fairfield, must meet for two years with an experienced member of the state bar who will serve as her mentor, according to Holzberg’s reprimand.
On Thursday, Tomasky’s attorney, David P. Atkins of Bridgeport, said his client “accepts the court’s disciplinary order,” the newspaper reported.
Allegations against Tomasky, who has offices at 246 Post Road East, surfaced almost two years ago and prompted an investigation by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
Comments: Comment Policy
We too pursued adoption through Maria Tomasky. Our story begins very much like those listed in the complaint. We thought the adoption would be completed in six to nine months. It took over two years. We held onto pictures, and yes, even named babies that never materialized, and mourned their loss. But, our hearts told us to keep faith in Maria and not to investigate and even risk our money. Thus, the end of our story is a very different one, and I present it to you:
Maria Tomasky facilitated the adoption of our beautiful daughter, Kristina. The process was long and emotionally wrenching. There were times during the two year saga that we doubted Maria’s ability to actually complete the adoption.
When we finally traveled to Lithuania to bring our precious baby home we finally understood the reason for all the confusions and the long arduous process.
First of all we were amazed with the well coordinated staff Maria had in place overseas. In this “new” country with an ever changing legal system it was an uphill battle for Maria to bring home all of the healthy, beautiful children she did.
We learned from her staff that Maria was in fact very effectively working on our behalf in those months when we doubted her. We were told that on two occasions Maria sent her associates to orphanages to evaluate a baby for us, once accompanied by a physician, but the babies had subtle problems and were determined “high risk” and Maria had promised us a healthy baby. These were in fact the babies whose pictures we had held onto.
In retrospect we understood that Maria could have offered us one of these babies and completed the adoption and moved on, but she maintained her standards with the long term welfare of her clients in mind.
When we went to court to complete the adoption we witnessed further evidence to the task Maria had completed. We were questioned extensively about our intentions and the life we would offer our daughter. It was clear that getting a child out of Lithuania was no easy task.
The decision in Maria’s case distresses me less for Maria but more for the orphans of Lithuania. The image of the rows of cribs with babies reaching there arms to us is one I will forever hold. Older children who saw us arrive with Maria’s associates would hopefully try to engage with us because they saw children leave with these people, and understood that this was their only way out.
Maria Tomasky a very high percentage of all US/Lithuania adoptions in the late 1990’s when we adopted Kristina. We wonder what will now happen to the children in the crowded orphanages. We are so happy that we maintained our faith in Maria for over two years and brought our little “angel” home.
Maria told me that each time she completed an adoption she would say a prayer of thanks and whisper “One More Out”. It seems there will be no more children who will have Maria as there guardian angel to a better life. They may never get out.
We welcome further communication on this issue on behalf of our daughter who is now nearly nine `years old. In her adoption bedtime story, she has been heard since she was an infant about the little baby girl in the orphanage crib with big blue eyes who left on the shiny airplane… Maria is truly her Guardian Angel. We have been unable to contact Maria during this saga, so she knows nothing of our efforts on her behalf.
Whatta shame ... we used Maria and her brother Roman to adopt our son from Kaunas, Lithuania, more than 14 years ago, and everything was transparent and error free.
Now, our son is a freshman at Fairfield Prep, 6 feet tall, excelling in academics and athletics, too. A wonderful American kid who knows where he is from and is proud of it!
All’s we can say is “say it ain’t so”, but alas ....
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport