By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Webb did not return calls, and Allred wasn't much help. When asked why an ad for something called A Heart of Gold Adoptions directs people to Adoption Center of Choice, Allred said she had no comment. She also had no comment when asked if Webb was in any way affiliated with her agency.
Back to Jennalee Ryan: While she explicitly stated she was strictly an advertiser for Abraham Center of Life, she would not name the person she said actually runs the company.
The only thing she said was, "This particular person also happens to own a licensed adoption agency." She would not name the agency, but she was quick to say it wasn't called the Abraham Center of Life. "He went and registered a whole new company name...He's actually put together a surrogacy, egg donor and embryo donation [service]."
Ryan reiterates: "I advertise. I get names and phone numbers and I hand them to him and I get paid a monthly fee for my advertising."
So, just to make this absolutely clear: Ryan, who advertises for something called the Abraham Center of Life, is paid to refer birth mothers and adoptive parents to a licensed adoption agency that is definitely not the same Abraham Center of Life in California that shares an address with the former A Heart of Gold Adoptions and the current Adoption Center of Choice, which battled adoption consent laws in Utah and reportedly paid a mother $1,300 in cash for her baby.
After speaking to the Houston Press, Ryan tweaked the Abraham Center's Web site, removing among other things a discussion of how much Abagails Silver Spoon charges for adoption. When the Press spoke with Ryan, the site stated that "Abagails Silver Spoon Adoptions, Inc., charges a flat fee of $8,300. This is for a two-year advertising contract. In addition, you will be required to pay a home study fee [of] $1,500-$2,500..."
She also removed a section dealing with the cost to purchase eggs, which began with a $4,800 base fee to help "advertising, expense account management [and] travel coordination," among other things.
But those changes weren't as radical as the ones Ryan originally intended when she proposed the Press drop the story on her and instead have a reporter write a minibiography on the Abraham Center's site and then co-write a book about her life and the trouble with American adoption services in general.
Writing the definitive biography on Ryan would be quite an undertaking. If the book began with the way Ryan usually likes her story told, the challenge would begin from the very beginning.
"First, let me introduce myself," it would start. "My name is..."
And then what?