Monday, March 9, 2009

Illinois Confidential Intermediaries: Are They Big Business?

Everyone knows that I hate confidential intermediaries. I can't stand them. If I hear of a good one, I will put them on Indiana Open as a point of reference. Right now I only have three of them. I know of three of them but I am checking on one to see if she is worth with it. I try to inform both adoptees and natural mothers that they have a choice in confidential intermediaries in Indiana. I have met one too many people who have had heartache in dealing with Indiana confidential intermediaries.

After talking with a friend of mine on Saturday, she sent me sniffing in a direction that I had not really thought of. I have seen what people have gone through with the Illinois confidential intermediary system. This friend of mine sent me on a research spree. It is pretty nasty if you ask me. Right now there is a bill (HB 4623) that will give some adoptees access while still keeping the CI system intact.

There are two primary agencies that provide CI services in Illinois. One of which is Midwest Adoption Center who I will discuss in detail. The other one is Whiteoak Foundation.

Midwest Adoption Center:

Midwest Adoption Center is run by Nancy Golden and Gretchen Schulert.

According to their tax returns:

2007 2006 2005 2004
Gross Receipts $973,863 $895,294 $845,547 $860,290
Program Service Fees $973,737 $895,294 $845,459 $860,255
Public Donations $105

Board of Directors
Gretchen Schulert $101,571 $78,800 $104,171
Nancy Golden $101,571 $91,366 $125,443
Rebecca Nolan $55,884 $51,300

In 2007 Gretchen was the president of this organization but in years past it has been Nancy Golden. Gretchen owns both of the websites, Midwest Adoption Center and CI Illinois. Some other key information that also plays into the finances behind this organization. Mike Golden, Nancy's husband and attorney, was paid $2,100 on their last tax form for clerical expenses. West Monroe Partners, a company owned by Gretchen's husband, was paid $20,601 for computer database services, website stat sampling, report preparation, and interpretation to DCFS.

That is a lot of money that is made off the backs of adoptees and first mothers. It makes many of the adoption agencies paychecks seem small in comparison. It currently costs $495 to do just one search for one individual. It goes up another $400 for additional searches for other individuals. They are offering a special because of a special grant that they have received. It only lasts as long as there are funds with this grant.

As I was researching just this organization alone, I discovered some interesting things. According to their website, they were the ones that set up the confidential intermediary system in Indiana. They did the design and delivery of the confidential intermediary progrm through out the state of Illinois under a contract with IDCFS. Wow I wonder how much they got from the state of Illinois. It looks like a lot.

I researched a little on Nancy Golden. It is very interesting indeed. According to the website biography:

"Nancy Golden, Clinical Director at the Midwest Adoption Center, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in adoption and foster care services in an agency setting and in private practice. Before the formation of MAC, she was the Unit Director of the foster care, adoption and maternity program of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. The focus of Nancy's clinical work has been in promoting healthy growth and development for children and their birth, foster and adoptive families. In addition, she presents workshops and seminars at local as well as national conferences."

I googled her and found this. It is a lawsuit against Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and Nancy Golden. Nancy Golden went to the plaintiff's employer and advised them of the allegations of sexual abuse against the plaintiff. She did not tell the employer that those allegations had proved to be false. Because of her actions, he lost his job.

So can adoptee get a fair break in their usage of their services? Somehow I do not think so.

I checked out Whiteoak Foundation's Tax form as well. Melisha Mitchell is the executive director. David Ormsby is their deputy executive. Roland Calia is their adminstrator.

2007 2006 2005
Gross Receipts $131,259 $124,846 $166,387
Government Grants $131,174 $124,796 $163,162
Public Donations $85 $50 $3,225

Board of Directors
Melisha Mitchell $69,000 $65,000 $64,000
David Ormsby $35,000 $35,000
Roland Calia $18,000 $35,000

It is really interesting how our tax dollars are spent. Midwest has more of a financial investment in keeping things the way that they are. The bad thing is that Midwest also has the backing of LSSI behind them in keeping such. Their gross receipts average about $85,000,000 per year. Not bad for a church if you ask me.

No comments: