CAMDEN, N.J. (CN) – After a shocking surprise visit from a woman who claimed to be her daughter, an Atlantic City woman who gave a child up for adoption after being raped more than 30 years ago is suing the New Jersey Department of Children and Families for revealing her name and personal information.
The plaintiff says she received a letter from the department in August 2008 about a request for personal information from an adult adoptee searching for her natural parents. The plaintiff, RB, ignored the request because of “the traumatic circumstances surrounding the adoption and her utter surprise at being contacted,” according to her federal complaint.
R.B. says she believed that New Jersey adoption laws prohibited the state from revealing personal information about her relationship with the child. But she says that about 4 months after she refused to respond to the request, a woman showed up at her home saying that she might be her daughter.
R.B. says she complained to the Department of Children and Families, which told her that because she had failed to respond to the written request, the department “more or less did what they had to do.”
To make matters worse, R.B. says, the department told her that it had been in contact with her other daughter, whom she had never told about the rape and the child that had resulted from it.
“At no time did (R.B.) give authority to (the defendants) to release information regarding (her) address or family,” the complaint states. R.B. adds that to do so violates the policies stated on the department’s adoption registry Web site.
R.B. seeks at least $1 million in damages from the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and five of its employees, for civil rights violations, defamation, invasion of privacy and negligence. She is represented by Matthew Weisberg with Prochniak Weisberg.