OK OK - Sharon Marshall, 20, multiple aliases, OKC, 1990 - ID'd as Suzanne Sevakis - #4

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justthinkin

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The link says prostitution was legalized in Germany in 2002. Plus as a US citizen in Germany on a military base, she would be under military rules, not German law correct?

Perhaps she was in trouble for a number of things including prostitution which caused her to be sent back to the states. Maybe her DH found out what she was doing and was divorcing her so she was sent back?

The link at Matt Birkbecks site ( wordpress link ) says JH had returned to Texas when the birth family inquired about Rhonda's where abouts.

I am just not following how the birth mother or her family knew or learned anything of the adoptive parents if this adoption went through proper channels. I have a niece that was adopted about 5 years prior to this alleged adoption. Her birth parents were given no details of the adoption, and that was to protect the adoptive parents rights once the adoption went through. It sounds more plausible to me that little Rhonda's adoption was far more casual, and not necessarily a "by the books" adoption. Is it possible Rhonda was simply sold to the other couple with little in the way of legal representation for either bio parents or the adoptive parents? Naturally if the adoptive parents and bio father are still living, and this story of Rhonda being Sharon turns out to be true, then some LEOs are going to come knocking on doors, and those people had better have the right answers and documentation to back up that this was indeed a legal adoption. On top of that, the adoptive parents are going to have to answer to having passed this child off to a 3rd. party--FDF, if true. I don't think it's legal to either give away or sell a child in this country.

Also, I can't understand military having any say so in an adoptive parent giving up a child that had been legally adopted, civil matter, unless the mother was court-marshalled, and the child removed from the home.

Edited to add that I now see that the adoptive mother was not in the military herself, and was only living on a base in Germany because her husband was stationed there. Have I got that right?
 

MacPlus512

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Something I think we're all forgetting is how often things went unreported/untracked 40 years ago. We're used to today's world, where information gets heard quickly and reported everywhere with the internet, e-mail, cell phones, Twitter, cable news, etc. Back in the early 1970s you were lucky to get a story in the daily newspaper or on the TV news, which wasn't a three hour broadcast like it is today and could only contain the top stories. Also, there weren't "instant supports" like there are today. If someone goes missing in 2010, they can talk about it on Websleuths and get the case listed on several internet sites, not to mention text alerts from the state police. A lot of things went unreported and a lot of people never really got the support only because it didn't yet exist.

There also was less of a sense of worry about kids being gone back then. I've noticed this even in the almost 24 years I've been alive. When I was growing up, nobody cared if I went down the street to the ballfield or went over to my neighbor's house to dig for bugs--and I even had a stay-at-home mother. You won't find that today--nor do you see as many kids playing sandlot baseball or digging for ants as you used to. The world has changed, and I think we should definitely remember the historical context here.

That being said, I think FDF is actually telling the truth when he said nobody would find Sharon on a milk carton. Nobody reported the case and sadly there were probably few people worried about her disappearing at the time. With today's technology, this case would have been solved quickly. Thankfully we do have these capabilities today and that is why we have the new possibility for Sharon that we have today--and why we have people concerned about this case and actively involved with it in the first place.
 

Cubby

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I can understand no media coverage or newspaper articles when Rhonda went missing? I'm not trying to persuade one way or another. I am simply curious about the facts so while we await answers on a DNA test, which could take upwards of a 6 months to a year we could possibly see if we can find Rhonda. There is more than one possibility about what happened to Rhonda, and if her birth family is looking for her and would like our help searching for her, then I would like to offer our sleuthing skills.

Shadow brought up a good point. The family member who originally started searching for Rhonda 'dropped the ball' so to speak. Who knows what was already ruled out, which avenues searched. If Rhonda is truly missing then she deserves to have her info listed at Doenetwork, Charley Project, NCMEC.... I'm thinking along the lines of the search we have done for Anna Waters. There have been adoptees ruled out, adoptees who are not Anna reunited with their family. IMO, the search for Rhonda should not stop at and be solely geared toward the DNA test to see if she is a match. If the family would be interested in our help. We did eventually have a seperate thread for Christina Carter once her info was listed in NCMEC and other missing persons data bases. I'd like to see that possibility explored for Rhonda....

Hopefully that explains the reasons for all my questions....... :D
 

Cubby

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I am just not following how the birth mother or her family knew or learned anything of the adoptive parents if this adoption went through proper channels. I have a niece that was adopted about 5 years prior to this alleged adoption. Her birth parents were given no details of the adoption, and that was to protect the adoptive parents rights once the adoption went through. It sounds more plausible to me that little Rhonda's adoption was far more casual, and not necessarily a "by the books" adoption. Is it possible Rhonda was simply sold to the other couple with little in the way of legal representation for either bio parents or the adoptive parents? Naturally if the adoptive parents and bio father are still living, and this story of Rhonda being Sharon turns out to be true, then some LEOs are going to come knocking on doors, and those people had better have the right answers and documentation to back up that this was indeed a legal adoption. On top of that, the adoptive parents are going to have to answer to having passed this child off to a 3rd. party--FDF, if true. I don't think it's legal to either give away or sell a child in this country.

Also, I can't understand military having any say so in an adoptive parent giving up a child that had been legally adopted, civil matter, unless the mother was court-marshalled, and the child removed from the home.

Edited to add that I now see that the adoptive mother was not in the military herself, and was only living on a base in Germany because her husband was stationed there. Have I got that right?

I'm curious about this too. The above scenario you presented is possible. Maybe the adoption wasn't "by the books". If the allegations against JH are true, it is hard to understand how she and her DH would be approved to adopt. There a lot of possibilities and it would be a mental excersize to ponder them all. Hopefully the family can answer some of our questions and we can move forward with searching for Rhonda, or just wait for DNA results. Personally, I would like to help reunite Rhonda with her family, even if she is not Sharon.
 

Boyz_Mum

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I'm not trying to confuse or go off topic but wondered if black market adoption took place in the US in the 1970's? A thread here at WS about black market adoptions, seems to point at the possibility.

Black Market Adoptions Of Babies - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

Because paperwork wasn't stored and backed up as it is today, I can see the possibility of "Sharon" having been passed off to FDF, as easily as he claimed he became her guardian. I personally don't believe that there was any system in place that could keep track of everyone. I am not sure how strict the adoption guidelines were either?

Praying for answers for Rhonda's family and for Sharon's family.
 

justthinkin

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Boyzmom,

Adoptions were very strict. I know this because my sister's husband was older, and they were not allowed to adopt a newborn as a result. Some agencies even turned them away altogether because of her husband's age. He was a junior partner in a large CPA firm, so stability and income were not the problem. We were from a large city where they were able to find an adoption agency to work with them, and ended up with a little girl who was 13 mos. old at the time.
 

Boyz_Mum

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Thanks justthinkin.

Many years ago I knew a kid from a small midwest farm town and the circumstances of his adoption seemed a little 'off' (IMO). Since then, I've always been a little suspicious of the checks and balances involved in adoption 'back in the 70's'. JMO.

In regards to FDF's story about Sharon's bio mom, he claimed she was a prostitute who overdosed, am I recalling correctly?
 

Cubby

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One thing that points to this not being a "by the books" adoption is the logic behind the adopted father not getting custody if he was divorcing his wife because of her legal troubles. Thinking about it this way. If a man lost his wife he would not have his kids taken away from him. If the adoption was legal, why wasn't Rhonda/Melissa allowed to stay with her adoptive father?

I'm just perplexed by the story Rhonda's family was given by JH.

And I am perplexed on how Mr and Mrs H would have gotten Rhonda out of the country to Germany.... I mean how would one bring a kid they didn't have at least a birth certificate for, or not have filed/applied for a BC for Melissa when they left for Germany?

and I am perplexed why Mr JH didn't wonder what happened to Melissa if his former wife had so many problems. OR did she just tell him she returned Melissa to the authorities and he had no reason to doubt her......

I'm so confused! ;) so many questions.....
 

momtolil

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I don't really post often. I mostly just lurk.
Just a question.... If the adoptive parents names are known, isn't there any way to track them down? Not so much to notify and contact them, but just to see what kind of lives they have led and where they are now? Maybe some backround on their lives could fill in some gaps.

I'm sure with all of the collective talent on this site it wouldn't be that hard to do.
 

Cubby

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Yes momtolil, we can do that but we have to be respectful of their privacy as well as providing information regarding what is rumor versus what has been verified....

Hence my having the curiosity of a little kid and hoping to find the balance to do just that. :)

I used to joke and say I was 12 sometimes when people would ask how old I was... Now I think I should adjust that to say the most amazing years of my life have been the last three as a parent of a now 7 yr old. I have never lost that inquistivity.... if that is the right word.

the only stupid questions are the ones never asked...... in most cases. :)
 

Boyz_Mum

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Cubby, I would think they would have had to have a passport to take Rhonda/Melissa to Germany.

My folks got a "Family Passport" to take us to Europe and Mexico, and that was back in the 70's. I don't think they do "Family Passports" anymore, but the one we had was a typical passport but it had a 'family photo' on it with the names of all 4 of us younger kids and our parents names. (The older kids had their own passports.)

As far as birth certificates are concerned, I would think Rhonda/Melissa's birth certificate would have been given to the adoptive parents, perhaps a revised edition? I wonder if Rhonda's original birth certificate is on file at the county clerk's office where she was born? Does anyone know if when a person is missing if their 'next of kin' can obtain a copy of the birth record?

Sorry for rambling. Sharon's case caught me from the moment I read about her. Now Rhonda/Melissa's case is catching me the same way. Thanks all of you for your patience and I promise not to ramble much more. :crossfingers:
 

shadowangel

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<snipped> I am just not following how the birth mother or her family knew or learned anything of the adoptive parents if this adoption went through proper channels.

From the website of the Independent Adoption Center (http://www.adoptionhelp.org/index.html):

Q. What is open adoption?
A. By definition, adoption is the legal act of permanently placing a child with someone other than the child's biological parents. "Open adoption includes the birthparents and adoptive parents meeting one another, sharing full identifying information, and having direct access to ongoing contact over the years."

This is opposed to a closed adoption, where no information is exchanged.
 

shadowangel

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Some information on military dependent travel....

A passport is needed for all familiy members travelling overseas. The US gov't will assist in other matters of travel and household materials shipment. Depending on the duty station and length of tour, a military member can have their family accompany them at gov't expense. A normal tour of duty in Germany for an unaccompanied military member is 2 years; for a military member accompanied by dependents, the tour is 3 years.

A base commander can order an EROD, or Early Return of Dependent, in a case where "the continued presence of the family member is embarrassing to the US Gov't". However, in the case of Germany, the base commander cannot force the family member to leave the country. However, later travel by the family member will not be paid by the US gov't, and the family member can be barred from entering a US military base. The military will not grant an EROD for a family member seeking to evade host government legal action.

Hope this helps a little.
 

justthinkin

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ShadowAngel, I'm aware of what open adoption is. It's just that wasn't popular back in 1968 or 1970. Closed adoption was still the norm. Source: Wikipedia article on open adoption. Regardless of whether or not the adoption was open or closed, and whether it was handled by an agency or private placement, there would've been binding legal agreements pursuant to the State of Oklahoma's adoption laws.

"...even in a private adoption you will most likely need to contact an adoption agency since most states require an evaluation of you and your home (called a Home Study). This Home Study needs to be completed before you take custody of a child."
Link: http://www.adoptionservices.org/domestic_adoption_types/adoption_agency_private.htm
 

runr

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I can only state that for my cousins, who were adopted as infants in Georgia in 1973 and 1975, many, many OBGYNs facilitated private adoptions, legally, by connecting unwed expecting women with the attorneys of families wanting to adopt. Neither of my cousins came from an agency. They were both adopted via this, perfectly legal at the time, method.

MTA: These were private adoptions with "sealed" records. One of my cousins went to great legal lengths to get her records unsealed, and the other could care less. A lot of times, the records were destroyed to maintain privacy of both families.
***
New topic:
We traveled a lot overseas as children, and we did not have passports or birth certificates. Only our parents needed passports. Minors under age 12 were not required to have them. They were available, but you didn't HAVE to have them. We flew to Europe each year without them.
 

jerriwyatt

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I am just not following how the birth mother or her family knew or learned anything of the adoptive parents if this adoption went through proper channels. I have a niece that was adopted about 5 years prior to this alleged adoption. Her birth parents were given no details of the adoption, and that was to protect the adoptive parents rights once the adoption went through. It sounds more plausible to me that little Rhonda's adoption was far more casual, and not necessarily a "by the books" adoption. Is it possible Rhonda was simply sold to the other couple with little in the way of legal representation for either bio parents or the adoptive parents? Naturally if the adoptive parents and bio father are still living, and this story of Rhonda being Sharon turns out to be true, then some LEOs are going to come knocking on doors, and those people had better have the right answers and documentation to back up that this was indeed a legal adoption. On top of that, the adoptive parents are going to have to answer to having passed this child off to a 3rd. party--FDF, if true. I don't think it's legal to either give away or sell a child in this country.





The adoption was legal, a judge opened it up for her family (the papers).

Also, I can't understand military having any say so in an adoptive parent giving up a child that had been legally adopted, civil matter, unless the mother was court-marshalled, and the child removed from the home.

Edited to add that I now see that the adoptive mother was not in the military herself, and was only living on a base in Germany because her husband was stationed there. Have I got that right?



The adoption was legal, a judge opened it up for her family (the papers).
 

shadowangel

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Jerri--
Thanks for posting. If you could give some background on what occured/is occuring, it could clear up a lot of the speculation and give us a better idea of how Sharon's history matches up to Rhonda/Melissa's.
As you've probably read, some of us have several years invested in identifying Sharon.
 

jerriwyatt

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I feel I need to wait until the DNA is done before I rehash the things about her mother. I'm not trying to hide anything, I just think on the off chance it might not be Rhonda I would rather not bring it up. When the results come back, I will elaborate. Thank you.
 

Cubby

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I feel I need to wait until the DNA is done before I rehash the things about her mother. I'm not trying to hide anything, I just think on the off chance it might not be Rhonda I would rather not bring it up. When the results come back, I will elaborate. Thank you.


I can understand and respect this. If it turns out that Sharon is not Rhonda it might be difficult for all involved if you do eventually find Rhonda. She may not want to read or see this information she was compared as a possible match for Sharon.
 

Cubby

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Thinking outloud. If it has been verified Rhonda/Melissa was not raised to adulthood by the H's and was to be returned or they lost custody for some reason... and if Rhonda Melissa was not then later adopted by another family, why is there no missing persons listing for her? This possible match for Sharon first came to light in 2004, that was 6 years ago or so. Why no missing persons listing for Rhonda?

Technically if this has all been verified we should expect to see a missing persons listing for Rhonda in the near future, no?
 
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