Case Conclusion Date: 04.25.2013
Practice Area: Appeals
Outcome: Resolved Prior to Trial
Description: The case arose after prospective adoptive parents were forced to make the impossible decision whether to permit their selfish desire to keep the infant who they had spent several days holding and loving or to allow the child to be placed with a family who could more properly provide for the child's potential special needs. The crux of the matter stemmed from the adoption agency having been informed of the birthmother's potential drug use without having relayed that information to the prospective parents. In the trial court, the judge dismissed the complaint in its entirety without findings of fact or conclusions of law. That means the decision just said, "Dismissed." We filed an appeal which forced the Court of Appeals to determine: (1) whether the adoption agency had a duty to inform the prospective parents of the drug abuse; (2) whether an exculpatory clause in the adoption agreement releasing the adoption agency from liability for "unknowns" applied to bar this case; and (3) whether the allegations provided a sufficiently outrageous scenario as to allow for a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The unanimous Indiana Court of Appeals found for the Urbinas on all three issues – meaning they will have their day in court.