Monday, April 9, 2012


An adoptive mother charged with abandonment for returning her adopted child to Delaware Family Services:
One day in August 2007, Cleo Klepzig picked up her 10-year-old adopted son from the home of a respite care provider near Helena, Mont., and drove him to the airport, where they both boarded a flight to the East Coast.

She told the boy’s caregivers that she was taking him to visit his biological sisters in Delaware, the state from which he’d been adopted several years before.

But that’s not what she did.

Instead, she took him to the Delaware Family Services Division office in Wilmington. She found a state employee, gave her a stack of papers documenting the boy’s situation and said, “I’m leaving him with you.”

Then she walked away. She got on another plane, flew back to Montana, and went on with her life.

* * *

Klepzig has a new home in Oregon and a new job as the head of a public agency in Albany.

And the state of Delaware has a warrant out for her arrest on a child abandonment charge.

Klepzig, interviewed last week by the Gazette-Times after the warrant came to light, claims the boy was abusing a younger sibling and that she returned him to Delaware authorities only after exhausting all possible avenues to get help.

“This isn’t about just what I did,” she told the newspaper. “This is about a really broken system.”

But law enforcement authorities in Delaware and Montana say there’s simply no excuse for abandoning a child.
Remember the international version, when Torry Hansen put Artyom on a plane to Russia with a note, saying she no longer wished to parent him?  I posted about the failings in Tennessee law that prevented criminal charges for abandonment.  Seems Delaware law doesn't share those failings. . . .


B.A. said...

It's so fortunate that your kids are well adjusted, and you don't have to watch one of your kids like a hawk every minute that she is awake to make sure she isn't hurting your other child. And then lock her in a room at night to make sure she doesn't decide to get up at night and hurt her while you sleep. If you know of an effective solution for this I would love to know. Medication and therapists don't seem to help.

Nikki said...

Wow :(

Nikki - get your blog designed and support global education!

maybe said...

I seem to have read recently that she has been ordered to pay support to the Russian caretakers...? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

Truly Blessed said...

to B.A.,

My heart hurts after reading your comment. I'm so sorry that your family is going through such hard things and hope that you can find something...someone who can help your daughter.

The pain our adopted children come to us with is heartwrenching. I'm glad she has a strong mom to help her deal with it.