(CN) – A teen-ager who became pregnant claims her high school guidance counselor told an English teacher about it, and the teacher pressured her into giving her the baby. The student also sued Catholic Charities, claiming the teacher “made contact with” the organization, from which she had sought counseling.
Amber Angelis, 19, says she immediately regretted signing away her rights to her baby so that a teacher at Normandy High School in Parma, Ohio, could adopt the child.
In her complaint in Cuyahoga County Court, Cleveland, Angelis claims the teacher, Erin Greene, pursued and badgered her for months to give up the baby.
She claims the teacher learned about her situation from her high school guidance counselor, co-defendant Barbara Devans.
And she claims that Greene “made contact with Catholic Charities” and the social worker it assigned to her, co-defendant Ellen Specht.
Angelis says she sought counseling from Catholic Charities Services outlet, co-defendant Parmadale Family Services, after being referred there from Planned Parenthood, which is not a party to the case.
Angelis says that when a second teacher and the guidance counselor found out she was pregnant, they told Greene, who then pressured her to give her the baby.
Angelis says she complained to school officials, but Greene kept up the pressure, approaching her several times at school and locking her in a room during one conversation.
Angelis claims that while she was in labor in late December 2008, and her regular social worker was on vacation, Greene showed up at the hospital, though Angelis had told her not to.
Angelis claims that after she delivered a baby girl, she signed papers giving permanent custody to Catholic Charities “because of [Greene’s] constant badgering,” thinking that she could reverse the decision later.
Angelis says she regretted her decision within 12 hours, but social workers at Parmadale told her it was irreversible.
Soon afterward, Greene brought the baby to school and showed if off as her own, Angelis says. Angeles says she told Greene and Catholic Charities that she wanted to contest the adoption but was never given the opportunity to do so.
Greene’s adoption became final in September 2009, according to the complaint.
Greene’s “highly inappropriate behavior” included “pressuring [Angelis] to surrender her baby for adoption; calling and text-messaging plaintiff repeatedly regarding her baby and the adoption; removing plaintiff from class during school hours to discuss the baby and adoption; showing up at the hospital when plaintiff was delivering the baby; sending pictures of the baby and letters to plaintiff; and bringing the baby to school, knowing that the plaintiff would be present,” according to the complaint.
Angelis says that the social workers at Parmadale should have protected her from Greene, failed to help her understand the paperwork, and didn’t properly investigate Greene and her husband before giving them custody of the baby.
Angelis sued the Greenes, Catholic Charities, three social workers, the Parma City School District, Normandy High School and several teachers and administrators. She seeks more than $300,000 in damages for negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and other charges.
She is represented by Kimberly Yoder of Rocky River, Ohio.