Allison Avrett, the biological mother of Haleigh Poutre is suing the DSS to regain visitation rights - and to secure $12.5 million for "damages."
I am very dubious of this. First of all, if she wanted to regain visitation rights, then sue for visitation rights. Why the money? If it is just a ploy to attract attention, then it should be ignored. Secondly, the invocation of "damages" is absolutely absurd, when it is Haleigh who was so terribly damaged while under Avrett's roof. Let's remember Avrett's background:
Based on her own admissions, Avrett, who now lives with her husband and two younger children in Westfield, has had a history with DSS. She was 16 when she gave birth to Haleigh. She was accused of neglecting the girl while coping with a substance abuse problem. She gave up custody of Haleigh in 2001 after her former boyfriend was accused by the DSS of sexually abusing the girl.
Before any consideration can be made of Avrett's claim that she was coerced to sign Haleigh's adoption papers, there needs to be a complete and careful airing of all allegations of abuse. If there is any evidence of mistreatment or neglect, Avrett should not be recognized as a "parent," because the result of her own neglect - giving Haleigh up for adoption - is what opened the way to the horrific violence that was visited upon the little girl. In other words, Avrett bears a certain responsibility for what happened to Haleigh. If she had found a way to be a better care-giver earlier on, and protect her from the early sexual abuse, things may have turned out much differently.
If she wants to get back into Haleigh's life, she should be offering a care plan, not looking for money.