California Bar Journal
spacer.gif (810 bytes)


spacer.gif (810 bytes)

Unlawful adoption scheme leads to interim suspension

spacer.gif (810 bytes)

An Orange County attorney who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the illegal immigration of pregnant Hungarian women and their children for unlawful adoptions was placed on interim suspension by the State Bar. JANICE JUNE DOEZIE [#132246], 50, of Orange was convicted in March of conspiracy and causing an illegal alien to be brought to the U.S. for the purpose of financial gain. Her license to practice law was lifted Aug. 21 and she was ordered to comply with rule 955.

As part of a plea agreement, Doezie “admitted that Hungarian birth mothers and parents were recruited to come to the United States to give up their children in exchange for money,” according to a statement issued by federal prosecutors at the time of her plea. When the Hungarians did not receive visas, the statement said, Doezie helped arrange for birth mothers and children to be smuggled into the U.S. through Canada.

Doezie was arrested in September 1999 and named in a nine-count indictment in which she was accused of helping to orches-trate two Orange County adoptions in the mid-1990s.

According to the indictment, her associates recruited women from Hungary who were either pregnant or had small children by writing bogus letters of invitation to help the women obtain U.S. visas. If they were unable to obtain visas, Doezie and her associates arranged for the women and children to travel to Canada and then smuggled them into the United States.

The women allegedly were offered money in exchange for their children.

The goal was to provide children to adoptive parents, who paid fees to both the biological parents and to Doezie. One couple allegedly paid Doezie about $13,000.

Doezie’s attorney said at the time of her arrest that she was paid very little — about $1,500 — for her role in one of the adoptions. She had reportedly been cooperating with authorities investigating illegal adoptions and had ended her involvement with the scheme after realizing it was illegal, her lawyer said.

Federal and foreign agencies, including the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Hungarian authorities, investigated Doezie and her associates.

According to published reports, the adoption of foreign babies, called “parachute kids,” is widespread, fueled in part by foreign women who are looking for financial gain. American couples typically have been charged between $12,000 and $20,000 for blond, blue-eyed babies, although one couple apparently paid as much as $80,000 to a cash-for-babies ring.

Doezie originally was charged with conspiracy, illegally bringing a foreigner into the United States for commercial advantage, transporting illegal immigrants for commercial advantage, witness tampering and lying to federal investigators. The charges could have brought a maximum of 70 years.

After her plea in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, she faced a maximum of 15 years in federal prison.

A Vancouver attorney also has been charged with conspiracy in the case.