Ellie Gertz, Adopted Then Relinquished, Tore Families Apart


The school was shut down for the summer, but later was absolved of any wrongdoing. The Washington family who was poised to adopt the child decided they could not handle her.

Ellie was sent back to her parents, who were able to stabilize her with a five-day hospitalization to change her medications and by adding homeopathic treatment. Slowly, she seemed to improve.

With open doors of communication both Gertz and Ellie's Washington family were able to work out a new agreement to co-parent.

"I do believe Ellie is a loving little person when she is not off the deep end -- she is adorable," said Gertz. "But she has this condition that makes her act without understanding the consequences."

Gertz worries about the challenges ahead, knowing that most adults with FASD end up in jail.

"I hope she survives her need to self-destruct and not kill herself by running into traffic or hurt anyone else," she said.

Gertz said the country needs a plan for a sustainable residential community for these children, once they reach adulthood.

"You hope for your child that they have more than you did, or have a successful, happy and even a simple life -- the ability to pay one's way and have a home and live apart on their own," she said. "I can't tell you what her functionality will be. What will happen when these children grow up?"

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