Affidavit of Promise Doe




IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
NASHVILLE DIVISION

PROMISE DOE, KIMBERLY C. and RUSS C., and SMALL WORLD MINISTRIES, INC. )
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No. 3:96-0599
JUDGE NIXON
DONALD SUNDQUIST, Governor of the State of Tennessee, in his official capacity; CHARLES
BURSON, Attorney General of the State of Tennessee, in his official capacity; and LINDA RUDOLPH, in her official capacity as the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services for the State of Tennessee,
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AFFIDAVIT

COMES NOW, PROMISE DOE, and being first duly sworn, does hereby deposed and state as follows:

1. That I am a twenty-four year old female resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky I and do make this affidavit based on my own personal knowledge.

2. In July of 1990, when I was eighteen years of age, I discovered as a result of a visit to my family physician, that I was pregnant. I was also at that time enrolled as a student in college, and knew that having a child would necessarily interrupt my ability to continue with my education.

3. As soon as I became aware of my pregnancy, I made an appointment and visited an abortion clinic for the purpose of terminating my pregnancy. After paying the necessary medical fees for this procedure, I learned through an ultrasound that my child was some seven. and a half months in gestational age. As a result, I decided, based on my own sincerely hold religious and conscientious beliefs that it would be, wrong for me to go through with aborting my unborn child.

4. In the weeks following, I anguished over what was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to face in my life. I was unmarried at the time, and had long since ended my relationship with the natural father of my as yet unborn child. In fact, he had since become involved with someone else, and had gotten her pregnant as well. To this day the birth father of my child does not know of my pregnancy or later delivery of his child. In addition, I was economically and financially unable to support a child at that time in my life, and was faced with having to go on welfare assistance if I carried the baby to term.

5. Through my parents I learned of Small World Ministries, Inc.., a private adoption agency in Tennessee which was willing to offer assistance to me if I elected to surrender my child for adoption.

6. During the course of my adoption screening with Small World, I was required to furnish information relating to my personal background dating back to my early childhood. In addition, I was required to divulge information about the circumstances leading to my pregnancy, and the birth father of the child. provided detailed information about my medical and family history.

7. In addition, I prepared a letter which was placed in my adoption file explaining in my own words the reasons for my decision to surrender my child for adoption. At the time I was advised that this would help me in my healing process and in putting this painful chapter of my life behind me, I never dreamed at the time I wrote this letter that it could someday be disclosed to my child or to his birth father, or to the adopting parents without my prior consent.

8. At the time I disclosed all of this private information, I was assured that it would remain confidential and sealed under the laws of the State of Tennessee.

9. It is my sincere desire that the records contained in any file relating to my surrender and placement of my child for adoption remain sealed. I understand that under the provisions of the new Tennessee law that on July 1, 1996, these records must be made available upon proper request to my child's parents (meaning his natural father), as well as any sibling, or legal representative of my child. The possibility of this information getting into the hands of such individuals is greatly disturbing to me, and would surely cause me severe mental anguish, embarrassment and humiliation. I also consider this to be a significant invasion of my privacy, and an interference with my decision to surrender my child in the first place.

10. I am an adopted child, as are my mother and sister. Therefore, I believe that I can appreciate this issue from both perspectives. I understand that had I decided to go through with an abortion, and terminate the life of my unborn child, all records relating to that decision and the procedure itself would be protected from disclosure to anyone without my consent. For the State of Tennessee to now retroactively its promise to keep the records of the surrender of my child for adoption confidential is, I believe, a form of discrimination.

12. For the reasons stated herein, as well as those contained in the Memorandum of Law filed herein by my attorneys, I respectfully urge, this Court to Prevent this amendment in the Tennessee adoption law from taking effect on July 1, 1996.

Further affiant saith naught.
Promise Doe






1996 American Adoption Congress