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Rapist Demands Rights; What Makes A Mother?
Aired October 2, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): First, a rape survivor is forced to fight her convicted attacker again. He made her pregnant and now, he demands parental rights for the child.
And later, a woman who carried a gay friend`s twins claims they had a verbal deal. They were supposed to be co-parents. But when the children were born, he allegedly snatched them out from right under her. Who are the parents to these children?
Then she was four hours old when her teenage mother threw her in a trash pile that was then set on fire. She was burned over 90 percent of her body -- 200 operations over two decades. It did not break her spirit or her desire to connect with the woman who threw her away.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: But first, did you know that there are rapists -- that`s right -- rapists who then sue to gain access to the children they fathered from the crimes.
Joining me, prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some", Wendy Murphy, and her client. Her client is in disguise to protect her identity. We`re going to call her Jane tonight.
She, Jane, gave birth to her attacker`s child when she was 15.
Jane, my understanding is he raped you and now he`s coming after you this time in court. What does he want?
"JANE", SEXUALLY ASSAULTED AT 14, BECAME PREGNANT: He wants visitation rights.
PINSKY: This is hard to get my head around, Jane. What does that mean? What happened?
JANE: I was raped at 14 and we went through a trial and he was -- he pleaded guilty and now he wants to see the child.
PINSKY: Wendy, help me here. This just seems so outrageous --
WENDY MURPHY, ATTORNEY: Yes.
PINSKY: -- that the guy who is the rapist now wants visitation and is he going to have to pay child support as well?
MURPHY: Well, let me go back and explain a little bit about what happened. Because it is as crazy as it sounds, what Jane just said is outrageous because it`s really that simple, Dr. Drew.
This man admitted his guilt, admitted to raping a 14-year-old middle schooler, causing a pregnancy. She was in religious school at the time, chose to have the child. You know, thankfully and is a wonderful loving mom with the help of her own mothers raising this beautiful girl who`s now 3 years old.
When the man admitted his guilt and was found guilty of rape in a criminal court, the judge said, I sentence you to 16 years probation and your conditions of probation include that you have to go to family court and deal with your rights over there in family court.
Now, that`s the problem if you ask me that put, you know, the ball rolling in the wrong direction.
This is not a family. This was a felony. But the judge in the criminal case was trying to treat this as some kind of romantic interlude, thinks that this guy should go off and have therapy in family court and become a daddy.
He is not a daddy. He`s a rapist. But when he went to family court and the judge there said, you know, you got to pay child support because the criminal judge said you`ve got to pay child support as part of the punishment of your crime. He said, if I`m going to pay child support, then I want visitation rights. Haven`t seen the kid, of course up to that point --
PINSKY: So he`s being an ass to try to get out of paying the child support.
PINSKY: Jane, I`ve got to ask you. This guy victimized you as a child, let`s face it. And now, he`s victimizing you again. What are you feeling?
JANE: I feel hurt. I feel like it`s happening all over again. And that the justice system isn`t helping me be protected.
PINSKY: Yes. You say that somewhat dispassionately. I would think you would be really angry.
JANE: I am. I`m hurt.
PINSKY: Go ahead, please.
JANE: I just -- I don`t understand how this could happen. Like, we`re supposed to live in a country that, like, helps protect us. And all they talk about is justice and I go to bed crying every night because I`m not getting that, because he can hurt me all over again and no one`s helping.
PINSKY: Wendy, I mean, this is the core of this thing is that this is a young lady who has been victimized and the system is victimizing her again, or allowing this guy to victimize her again.
Isn`t there more here than parental rights? Aren`t there some rights for the victim as well here? We`re getting into more parental rights across the show tonight. I understand he`s the biological father. And I`m not saying -- I don`t know -- It gets complicated on what his parental circumstance is.
But how about the victim? Doesn`t she get something here, too, from the system?
MURPHY: Let me say this. Please. Fatherhood is not about sperm. OK?
Just because you create a child through the biological mechanism doesn`t give you anything in my opinion, and particularly if you`ve then been convicted of rape. The problem here is that by sending this guy off to family court to pay child support and all that that comes with in terms of the rights to affect the child`s education, health care decisions, where the child lives. I could go on.
MURPHY: That judge in the criminal court sentenced my client to 16 years of an unwanted legal relationship with her rapist. And she`s supposed to tell her 3-year-old little girl -- go on a visit with the man who raped your mommy? Are you kidding me?
PINSKY: Right. When I hear you say that, I realize not only are her rights as a victim but rights as a mom. The mother`s rights are being diminished here relatively to the rapist.
Now, we called the lawyer for the man who had raped Jane in order to get his response. He did not return our calls.
Let us go to our callers quick -- if you guys don`t mind.
This is Maria in California. Maria, go ahead.
MARIA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. I am completely appalled as a victim myself. I was raped as a child by my own father. Due to a lack of understanding from a judge, another ignorant judge, rape victims are actually sentenced to life. You live with this every day of our lives on a daily basis. It never goes away.
Now, if he had actually pleaded guilty, aren`t sex offenders prohibited from having any contact from children? Is the judge not afraid that this child would be the next victim? When does this end?
PINSKY: Maria, great question.
Wendy, let`s answer that quickly. I`ve got to go to break. Go ahead.
MURPHY: Yes. I mean, the very quick answer is in most rape cases, that`s exactly what the judge would say, especially when you rape a child, a 14-year-old is a child. This judge didn`t see either the child born of the rape or my client as victims. He sees them as a family. It`s perverse. It makes no sense. That`s why we`ve appealed to the supreme judicial court in Massachusetts.
PINSKY: Jane, are you OK with this conversation, Jane? I see you sitting there somewhat blankly. Are you all right?
JANE: Yes, I`m fine.
PINSKY: It`s hard, isn`t it? Please don`t let us make this seem worse for you, OK?
JANE: I`m fine. Thank you.
Next up, we`re going to talk to a rape survivor-turned-women`s advocate.
And later, another woman who herself was thrown in trash when she was born and lit on fire. She wanted then to meet the woman who did it.
Stay with us.
PINSKY: I`m back with Wendy Murphy and her client whom we`re calling Jane. She`s in disguise to protect her identity.
Joining us now, Shauna Prewitt. Shauna was raped, became pregnant and is now an attorney fighting on behalf of women.
Shauna, what is your reaction to Jane`s story?
SHAUNA PREWITT, BECAME PREGNANT AFTER BEING RAPED: You know, Dr. Drew, it really -- it takes me back. I went through this same thing about six years ago. And I remember at the time thinking that not only did I have no idea of how possibility I could co-parent with my attacker, but I also really worried about how this would affect my relationship with my daughter, because for me, it was very important to be able to view my daughter as not a product of my rape.
You know, this is just my beautiful girl who came out of my body. She`s not in any way related to the rape. And it concerned me that if she came home smelling like him or adopting facial expressions of his, or in any way acting like him. That would then trigger memories of my rape.
And I just thought how could I be a good mother to her when my child could potentially trigger reminders of my rape? So this really takes me back. It`s very upsetting.
PINSKY: I can imagine. I want to interrupt you and try to stay on -- we`re trying to really look at what -- how the law looks at parents and how crazy some of this stuff gets. Now, one of the things I noticed about the law is they tend to draw the line in biology. If it`s your DNA in that child, it`s your child.
What laws need to be changed -- yes. And that`s creating situations like Jane`s. I think. I think that seems to be. Aside from the fact that this was referred to the wrong kind of court, a lot of craziness here. What laws need to be changed in your opinion?
PREWITT: Well, I think that a number of states -- right now, we only have 19 states that have really addressed this issue. And what needs to happen is that the other states need to get on board with what`s been done in those 19. And that is to adopt laws that state that if you raped a woman and a child was conceived through that crime, then you lose custody and visitation privileges.
PINSKY: All right. Fair enough.
PREWITT: You lose the right to be --
PINSKY: Which seems rational.
Before I get to calls, Shauna, what mom to mom, and also mom who`s shared a unique experience in becoming a mom, what is your advice to Jane? What would you tell her?
PREWITT: You know, I just think that it`s such a difficult situation. And to the extent that you can draw strength from your child, you know, there`s something very powerful about acting and protecting your child. And I found such joy in my daughter. And I know that during the times when I was going through this difficulty, just really focusing on being a good mom to her and finding joy and laughter through her was absolutely critical to my healing process, as well as getting through the darkest moments when I was going through the custody battle.
PINSKY: Jane, I see you kind of smiling at that advice.
JANE: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) is my strength to everything.
PINSKY: What happens to Jane and Shauna both, I ask Jane first, if -- when she`s older, she starts asking about that, or wants to meet dad or see dad? What do we do with those sort of child rights?
Nobody? Go ahead, Shauna.
PREWITT: I can answer that.
PINSKY: OK, go ahead, Shauna.
PREWITT: Sure. My daughter`s almost eight. And certainly has asked questions about kind of why she doesn`t have a father in her life as other people do. And my response has always been to at this point because she is still young is to focus on the idea that family`s come in all different shapes. Ours just happens to be a mommy and a little girl. And for her to understand that her mother absolutely adores her, that I wouldn`t trade her for anything in the world and that she gives me such joy, just establishing a home of love. And then the difficult questions will come later.
PINSKY: Let`s talk to a caller quickly. Natalia it is in New York -- Natalia.
NATALIA, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: Good evening, Dr. Drew.
NATALIA: Let me make this clear. This affects me greatly.
Let me ask you -- when a person commits a crime against a child, prohibited from getting contact with another minor again. So what judge in their right mind will put a child in a room with this guy?
PINSKY: Yes, that Natalia was we addressed to Wendy earlier. Wendy`s asking the same questions.
I mean, those are -- go ahead, Wendy. Answer it and then we`ll go to break.
MURPHY: Well, I want to say a couple quick things. One is that it was problematic that the criminal judge was treating this like a family court problem, because that really did mix things up that are hard to extract from each other, because we asked the judge instead of ordering child support, your honor, in the criminal case where you`re supposed to give punishment only, how about ordering him to pay restitution -- restitution for your crime. If you steal somebody`s car and you wreck it, you have to pay restitution when you`re convicted. Restitution means you pay back the value of the car.
Here, I don`t mind if the guy pays for the upkeep of this child, but let`s call it a criminal punishment -- let`s call it restitution, a sanction, whatever -- and order him in the criminal case to have the punishment of no contact with any child. Then if he tries to go to family court and assert his fatherhood rights, the judge there is going to say I got nothing to give you. You`re already paying child support and you`re not allowed to have any contact with this child. Get out of my court.
That could have happened in this case. That should happen in every case like this across the country.
But, Shauna, makes a good point. Most judges never, ever answer the question directly. And we have victims suffering in silence because just like what happened with Jane, she was sent to family court.
She didn`t have a lawyer. She didn`t have anything. She went to family court because she was commanded by a judge in a criminal case to go to family court. She didn`t know that she had the right to say, "Oh, no, I won`t." And thankfully she found resources and now we`re challenging it.
But a lot of victims in this country suffer because they don`t even know they have a right to say, "I won`t go there."
PINSKY: Wendy, that`s the point. I want to zero in on Jane for a second, because she represents something to a lot of people. She is not suffering in silence. She is asserting her rights. She`s got you sitting there.
But I want Jane to give a message to people out there who have been victimized, whose rights aren`t being served.
Jane, you can do more for others. What`s your message to them?
JANE: Just that we all have strength and we can come through it. And we have great people like Wendy who will help us. We`re not alone. There`s plenty of us out there and we can help each other.
PINSKY: Certainly not alone these days.
OK, we touched upon this, but I want to know more when we come back. Shauna talked about how her child might exhibit some traits of he criminal father. Question: how would a mom deal with that if they do that? More after the break.
PINSKY: We are talking about sensitive and difficult topics tonight - - a rape victim whose rapist wants privileges as a father.
Let`s go to the caller. Laurie in Texas, you have a comment?
LAURIE, CALLER FROM TEXAS: Dr. Drew, yes, I was raped. I did not have a child.
I did not have to go through this, but this is horrible. It is bad enough. You do have a life sentence when you are raped.
And most rapists get off scot-free because of the judicial system and the law enforcement. And it`s my feeling that these male species that do this are completely and totally evil. They should be taken off the earth or out of society, castrated and --
PINSKY: And, Wendy, this guy`s behavior was pretty outlandish. This was a calculated repeated attack on a minor, wasn`t it?
MURPHY: Yes. I mean, yes. I`m very concerned about this man`s behavior in the future, because it was predatory. What he did was quite predatory. And, you know, not all sex offenders are the same.
But I agree with the caller that sometimes we think rape is sex. Believe me -- it has nothing to do with sex, nothing at all. It has everything to do with domination and violence and power and hate. And, you know, it is a life sentence for the victim.
And it doesn`t mean all victims are destroyed for life. Many do very well. But it`s always in them forever.
PINSKY: Jane, I want to ask you something I brought up before the break which was if your child starts reminding you of the rapist, is that going to affect you? I mean, how do you deal with that? Have you thought about that?
JANE: I don`t think it`ll affect me for her. I love her so much. She`s the miracle that came out of something so bad.
She didn`t do anything wrong. She just was conceived by someone who did the wrong thing. It wasn`t her.
PINSKY: Right. Christina in Massachusetts. Christina, you have a comment?
CHRISTINA, CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS: I have a couple. Hi, Dr. Drew.
Wendy, Jane, a couple things. One, in the judicial system the criminal becomes the victim the minute the victim tries to press charges. It`s insane.
It`s like you`re supposed to understand they have a problem. Rapists -- especially pedophiles and child molesters, they claim it`s a disease or a disorder. No. They are molesters. They destroyed the child.
PINSKY: Christina, let me say something, too. What I always say it`s like an addict or alcoholic. They`re not responsible for their disease. They`re responsible for their recovery.
Same is true for child molesters. They need to get help before they hurt somebody. Once they hurt somebody it is too late. It is now the legal system. And we see here, even that though, ill served some of these victims.
Wendy, go ahead.
MURPHY: I just want to say one thing, because I am so sick of this saying he can`t help himself, it`s a disease, it`s in the mental disorder book. Listen, if you can stop yourself and every rapist does, from dropping your pants in the middle of Main Street when you have to go to the bathroom. If you can restrain yourself, because that`s a pretty strong urge, then you can restrain yourself from rape. That`s as simple as it gets, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Thank you, Wendy. Thank you, Jane, for sharing the story. Shauna, thank you as well for giving thoughts.
Next up, we`ve got a woman who gives birth to a friend`s twins. Then the babies are taken away from her by him. What rights does she have now? You`re not going to believe this story.
Stay with us, we come back.
PINSKY: Tonight, we`re looking at what makes a parent in some extraordinary parenting circumstances. We just heard about a rapist claiming parental rights.
Cindy Close and her friend decided to have a child together. They were both in their 40s, not married, but something went terribly wrong after she had the twins. The whole mess (ph) is in the court in Houston that may determine once and for all another -- some other dimension of what another mother is.
Joining me, attorney Lisa Bloom, author of "Swagger", "New York Times" bestseller, and the woman who gave birth to the twins, Cindy Close.
All right. Cindy, this story, it`s complicated. Let me just start with this. You went out with your friend to have a baby. And this was sort of a verbal agreement you had, right?
CINDY CLOSE, AGREED TO HAVE BABY WITH FRIEND: Right.
PINSKY: Tell me the story.
CLOSE: Well, we basically were friends and we discovered that we were both unmarried and wanted to have children. And so, we decided that we would do that together because we trusted each other.
PINSKY: OK, hold on.
The customary way, Lisa, you`ll bear with me on this. The customary way to do that is have a relationship, they have sex, they have a child.
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: But not everybody, right?
PINSKY: Not everybody.
BLOOM: There are alternative kinds of relationships.
PINSKY: Of course. So what made this alternative, Cindy? Why wasn`t it a customary action?
CLOSE: We weren`t really involved that way. We were just friends. Also, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome. It makes conceiving more difficult.
PINSKY: OK. So you went ahead -- as I understand the story, then you had trouble as a couple having babies. Tell me about that part.
CLOSE: I`m sorry, I don`t understand what you mean by that.
PINSKY: What came next?
CLOSE: Well, we decided, you know, that as friends, we would be co- parents. And, we went into a fertility clinic to find out what the options were. And, basically, the two options were artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. We tried artificial insemination a few years ago, and because of medical reasons, it -- we didn`t actually make it to that point.
And it was basically a failure. We, you know, basically thought about giving up on it for awhile. But, last year, we started talking about it again. And we decided to try IVF which had a higher success rate than artificial insemination
PINSKY: IVF with your eggs?
CLOSE: That`s what we had talked about. But when we went to the doctor, he suggested because of my age -- I was 46 at the time -- and, he said that because of my age, he recommended that we use donor eggs to lower the risk of birth defects.
PINSKY: All right. So, you succeeded having the twins. My understanding, you were actually -- she was actually breast-feeding the twins, Lisa. And tell me what happened next.
CLOSE: I had just started learning to breastfeed my daughter when the -- their father`s partner called in to the hospital while I was doing that and found out I was doing that. And he pretty much blew up. And they rushed over to the hospital where the temporary restraining order they had gotten which did not even serve to me yet.
PINSKY: So, you`re saying his partner, was this somebody you`d been dealing with all along?
CLOSE: No. No.
PINSKY: Did you know there was a partner?
CLOSE: Not until the day the babies were born.
PINSKY: And it`s a girlfriend or a boyfriend?
PINSKY: OK. Hang on. Lisa --
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: OK. So, this is a longtime friend, though, and yet, she didn`t know he was gay. There`s a lot of things about this story I don`t really understand. Why anybody would be upset that someone`s breastfeeding which is the healthiest thing you can do --
PINSKY: Their kids. Their kids. Right.
BLOOM: But Cindy, I also have to ask you. I mean, at the point where you realized it wasn`t going to be your egg, it will be a donor egg, then you had to know this is not going to be biologically your child. I mean, that`s a big departure from the previous agreement, isn`t it?
CLOSE: Not my way of thinking.
CLOSE: Parenting is parenting.
BLOOM: Yes. And so --
CLOSE: You know, I --
BLOOM: So, here`s what`s going on here, and this is really the theme of your whole show tonight. What makes a parent?
PINSKY: What makes a parent?
BLOOM: Is it biology. And I have to say, in the law, I think we`re starting to experience a big shift. It used to be all biology.
PINSKY: Well, it`s a lot of that --
BLOOM: If it was your sperm, if it was your egg, you`re the parent. If it`s not, you`re not. And I think, in Texas where Cindy is --
BLOOM: She`s going to have a hard time, because she`s not biologically connected to these kids. In the eyes of the law, she`s a surrogate mom. And if you don`t have a written agreement that you`re the surrogate and you`re going to have some rights, you`re probably out of luck in court. And I assume --
CLOSE: You`re wrong. You`re wrong. I`m sorry, you`re wrong.
BLOOM: OK. Correct me.
CLOSE: In Texas law, in my understanding, of having learned a bunch of this since it started happening --
PINSKY: I could imagine. Yes.
CLOSE: In Texas law, you`re the mom if you give birth, biology notwithstanding. It doesn`t matter.
CLOSE: If you give birth, you`re the mom.
BLOOM: OK. So, but that hasn`t been decided yet. And he`s in court and he`s the biological dad. And right now, he has custody, right?
PINSKY: She has part-time -- co-parenting.
CLOSE: Custody has not been awarded by any of the decrees as I understand it. He has possession of them and --
PINSKY: In the meantime, you have visitation. You`re still seeing the children, is that right?
PINSKY: Are they with you -- they`re with you even now, I understand, is that correct?
CLOSE: No. I`m not visiting them at the moment, no.
PINSKY: OK. I thought that was the case.
BLOOM: So -- and of course, the takeaway for anybody watching is if you have any kind of unusual parenting situation --
PINSKY: Write it down.
BLOOM: You have to go to an attorney and you have to --
PINSKY: What if you can`t afford that? Can you go to legal aid society?
BLOOM: You think she can afford the attorneys that she has to have right now? And it`s much cheaper to get an attorney at the outset.
PINSKY: You can`t afford not to have an attorney.
BLOOM: Yes. It`s preventive, right? It`s like insurance. I mean, you have to.
PINSKY: Let me ask this in all seriousness. Could you go to legal aid society and would they be able to handle it --
BLOOM: Probably. Would they be able to? Yes. Would they? Probably not, because there are a lot more cases that, you know --
PINSKY: They`re too busy.
BLOOM: -- to help people --
PINSKY: All right. Speaking of attorneys, we asked the attorneys for the twin`s biological father for a statement. We did not hear back from them. Let`s take a quick call. This is Beth. Beth, what do you got from us here in New York.
BETH, NEW YORK: Hey. I have a hard time believing she was, you know, hood winked just because -- I mean, this is a big thing to enter into. I feel that torn on the issue, because I empathize with the fact that, you know, she got pregnant. You know, she probably had a relationship with these children while she was you know, having the pregnancy and whatnot.
But I can`t ignore the fact that she kind of entered into this agreement so naively, you know, without any consideration to her own rights.
PINSKY: Well, let`s ask her about that. Don`t you wish you hadn`t been so naive? Don`t you wish you`d written everything down? Don`t you wish you`d seen an attorney, Cindy?
CLOSE: Well, certainly, I do wish that I had been more proactive and self-defense on this. But the bottom line is, I trusted him. He was my friend. I trusted him in the same way that you trust someone that you`re going to get into a more serious relationship with. You know, you trust your husband, you trust your boyfriend. I trusted him in that manner.
PINSKY: And Cindy, I can see -- on Skype here, I can see -- it makes you sad to think about that. It really does.
CLOSE: It does.
CLOSE: It makes me terribly sad, because the trust has been broken, obviously. And, I don`t know -- I don`t think that can ever be gotten back. But, you know, it`s -- you know, in retrospect, I should have protected myself. But who thinks of that when your dream is hanging out there in front of you?
BLOOM: You know, and it`s so sad. I don`t want everybody to be a lawyer and think worst case scenario.
PINSKY: No, but everyone is going to have a lawyer.
BLOOM: But if you`re doing something as momentous as bringing children into the world in an untraditional way, you do have to. And I`m very sorry about what happened to you. Were you paid for being pregnant?
PINSKY: Cindy, hold your thought.
CLOSE: No, I wasn`t paid. I was never a surrogate in any stretch of the imagination. I never agreed to do that. I always intended to be the mother from the time we started discussing this.
PINSKY: Which I think is what that issue and so much of this. We got to hear from you guys on this issue. It`s 855-DrDrew5. Remember, we are live. And later, we`re going to talk to Cindy after the break. But after then, we`re going to talk to a woman who was thrown away by her own mother when she was four hours old. Meet the woman who triumphed over this. Be right back.
PINSKY: All right. Cindy says she`s had to deal with a friend who were going to have a child together and co-parent. After she gave birth, the father took the twins away. Cindy, it just seems like a very, very painful story for you.
I guess, the question I have to start with is, what was your plan at the beginning? In other words, didn`t you guys discuss how you were going to co-parent or how you`re going to raise these children or a child?
CLOSE: Well, in reality, we didn`t discuss a lot of details, but we did -- my understanding of what we talked about was that, you know, I would have the children living with me and that he would visit, you know, whenever he shows as work permitted, that sort of thing. I understood that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom.
PINSKY: So you`d be sort of a kept mother and child for him? It sounds so peculiar, Cindy. It does.
BLOOM: He was going to finance that part of it, right?
CLOSE: He was going to finance, certainly, you know? We hadn`t really gotten into details about down the future. I kind of assumed that after the children were in school, that I would go back to work. But, you know?
PINSKY: And you didn`t think it was little peculiar that he asked to have a child with you and didn`t sort of propose --
BLOOM: Doing it the fun way.
PINSKY: Doing it the fun way.
CLOSE: Well, yes. Yes. That was something I didn`t really understand. But, you know, a lot of people have a low sex drive. And, I just -- you know, it -- we weren`t sexually involved at that time, you know? And I just -- after I thought about that, I really didn`t think too far past that.
PINSKY: I think everybody, you know, ask questions, trust your instincts.
Melissa in Indiana -- Melissa.
MELISSA, INDIANA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Melissa, go ahead.
MELISSA: Hi. I just think she went into this so closed minded. She should got more details before she had a child for somebody.
PINSKY: Well, I think she would agree with you. I think Cindy would agree you wholeheartedly. Now, what does she do, though, is the question.
MELISSA: Well, I`m the mother of three kids. I couldn`t just give my kids away. So, I think she should have gotten agreement on paper and gotten more details before she did anything.
PINSKY: Well, I think everyone seeing this program right now is in agreement.
BLOOM: You know, the heartbreaking thing is you do so bond with children when you`re pregnant and when you give birth and when you`re nursing -- whether it`s your biological child or not. And it is such a heartbreaking story for that reason, because I`m sure they are your children in every sense of the word.
You love them, you gave birth to them, you had them in your body for nine months. You know, it is hard to imagine who else would be their mother other than you. And you want to be there. You know, I`d like the law to be, as it`s been proposed here in California, Dr. Drew, where there can be three or more parents.
You know, the more adults who are going to be responsible, who are going to step up and be there for a kid, whether it`s stepparents or adoptive parents or surrogate parents, if they`re going to be there and they`re good parents, bring them on down --
PINSKY: I am --
BLOOM: -- more adults in their life.
PINSKY: I am all for that from the standpoint of resources and protection and whatnot, but in terms of attachment which is what you and Cindy are really zeroing in on, kids need sustained attachment typically with mom. And Cindy, it`s interesting. I see you kind -- I think I`m seeing tears well up when we have this conversation, because it is so profound that connection you feel with the kids.
CLOSE: It is a painful subject, you know? I always intended to be their mother throughout the whole pregnancy, throughout all the preparation before the pregnancy. And, I love them. You know, like any mom would love their child. I carried them until they were born. I worried because they were so early, but I was blessed that they were as healthy as they are.
And it does bring me to tears. It`s just very difficult because I don`t get to spend, you know, the time with them that a new mom would.
PINSKY: Lisa -- I get you, my dear. We`re kind of in your camp on this. But you heard it -- we had the first conversation about the rapist wanting rights as a father.
PINSKY: Now, we have a woman whose body was a part of these children, but whose DNA is not.
PINSKY: And where is the law going wrong here? Is it just too literal? Is it just -- you know what I mean? Parents have become too literal a definition.
BLOOM: Look, Cindy is obviously very capable loving adult. There`s no reason why she shouldn`t be a mother to these children along with the father and the father`s partner, right? Like the TV show "The New Normal."
BLOOM: You know, I mean, bring them all down. I mean, is there any reason, Cindy, that you`ve been given why you can`t be a mother along with the two gay gentlemen?
CLOSE: No. They haven`t given me any reason why that. They haven`t given me any reason why they did this in the first place.
BLOOM: Would you be willing to co-parent with the two of them?
CLOSE: You know, the trust has gone so wrong here. I don`t know. I can`t --
PINSKY: If I were her, I wouldn`t be speak without my attorney`s presence --
BLOOM: -- and it`s really become a battle. I mean, that`s the problem.
PINSKY: Well, who knows? Mercedes in Missouri. Mercedes, what do you got?
MERCEDES, MISSOURI: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Mercedes, hang on a second. I`d just be afraid to talk if I were her.
PINSKY: You know, her talking has gotten her into this situation. (INAUDIBLE) attorney present. I think she`s learned that lesion. Go ahead, Mercedes. Go ahead.
BLOOM: OK. But everybody wants the best interest of the children.
PINSKY: Yes, of course.
MERCEDES: I was just confused on the whole thing like -- because I`m a mom. And if someone took away my baby, I mean, how could you do that. You carried the baby for ten months. And without no reason, no right, no - -
PINSKY: Mercedes, how old are you? how old are you?
MERCEDES: I`m almost 20. I`ll be 20 next week.
PINSKY: Oh, you sound so young. You have one child?
MERCEDES: Yes. She`s six months.
PINSKY: Yes. So, you can understand Cindy`s dismay.
MERCEDES: Yes, because I mean, a baby belongs with their mother for a long time, because they have to make that connection, and especially breastfeeding.
MERCEDES: I did that. The baby has to be constantly by you.
PINSKY: That is what people are missing these days is attachment, sustained attachment over long periods of time. Lisa, thank you. Cindy, thank you for sharing the story.
Next, would you want to meet the mother -- again, this is another "parent" in quotation, the mother who threw you in the trash just after you were born. Our next guest did exactly that. She`s here after the break.
PINSKY: I want to go right to my next guest. Amy, it`s great to see you looking so well. After I heard your story, I was just -- I didn`t know what to expect. Now, let me sort of frame your story this way. We have lots of people who come on this program who search for their biological parent.
You did the same thing and you came upon something exceptional. Tell us about that story and what you uncovered.
AMY WOODARD-DAVIS, WAS THROWN IN TRASH AS NEWBORN, BURNED: I uncovered the truth about how I really got burned. I was born on March 26th, 1971, and that was the day I was actually burned. Someone in the home wrapped me up in some newspaper and set me on fire with gasoline in a barrel.
PINSKY: How were you saved?
WOODARD-DAVIS: From the articles that I recovered, through the library in the state I was born in, my grandfather actually was the one that found me.
PINSKY: What did he think? Did he hear you? What was going through his mind? How did he --
WOODARD-DAVIS: What happened was around -- from what I gathered, around four -- between 4:30 and 4:45, I was born. And they didn`t really know what to do with me. You know, it was like, OK if you keep the child, you have to leave. But if you decide to get rid of the child, then you can stay.
So, around 6:30, my grandfather went to go burn trash. And he said nothing was in the barrel or anything. And he said around eight o`clock when he got ready to add more trash, he heard something that sounded like a kitten and he ran inside and got a flash light and looked down in there and he found a baby. No one (INAUDIBLE)
PINSKY: And were you -- you said you went to find your biological parents. You went to the library looking at newspaper articles. Did you know you were going to read stories like this? And what did you think when you came upon it?
WOODARD-DAVIS: Well, I knew I had made the paper because I was sent here from the state that I was burned in. So, I knew I had made the paper. So, I called the library in that state, and they did not have it in the circular, seal.
PINSKY: But you got it. You`ve figured it out. You`re reading these stories about yourself as an infant. What did you think?
WOODARD-DAVIS: When I read -- like, Dr. Drew like -- so this is the day when I actually go back and feel like reading those stories, those articles, it`s like I`m not reading about myself, but I know it`s me.
PINSKY: It`s like you disassociate --
WOODARD-DAVIS: It`s like a shock.
PINSKY: Yes. Shock.
WOODARD-DAVIS: Aha. It`s a shock.
PINSKY: And then, my understanding is you ultimately went back to meet the woman who did this. Let me -- before you go there, she`s like a very young teenager or something when this happened?
WOODARD-DAVIS: She was 16 when she had me.
PINSKY: And you went back to meet her?
WOODARD-DAVIS: I went back to meet her when I was 35.
PINSKY: OK. Here`s what I want to do, Amy. I want to take a break. Hopefully, have some time for calls, too, but I want to know what that was like. You decided to go back and meet the biological parent. You had great adoptive parents.
You got to find out the biological parent. You find out she`s the woman who threw you in the trash and trying to burn you to death. What was that experience like? What did you feel? What did they say? Who were they? We`re going to find out after the break.
PINSKY: We are talking with Amy who was thrown in the trash to be burned to death when she was four hours old by her mother and father. They eventually got married. Amy had over 200 operations, was adopted by great people from the burn ward, as I understand where she was cared for most of her childhood.
After all that, she found what had happened to her by going to the library and then actually sought out -- there she is as a younger child -- sought out these biological parents. And my question is, who are these people? Who were they? What was that like?
WOODARD-DAVIS: It was kind of strange, Dr. Drew, because it`s like the unknown and you`re meeting strangers for the first time, but you know they`re your parents, because when you meet them, you had a connection. You like you feel --
WOODARD-DAVIS: like, these are my parents.
PINSKY: Wow! And who were they? They got married and they lived normal lives. Did they have their children? Was it --
WOODARD-DAVIS: Well, what happened was when I first found them, my father didn`t know really what happened. He was never around. He had moved out of the state. So, my mom and her family was basically the ones who had a lot to do with the situation.
PINSKY: And your mom now, is she like an average citizen? Is she an arsonist? I mean, you know what I mean? Who is she? It`s hard to understand that.
WOODARD-DAVIS: She`s an average citizen. No one -- it was like how you say it the perfect crime because nobody was prosecuted for it.
PINSKY: Wow! Let`s take a call. Kacie in Virginia. Kacie, what do you got for us?
KACIE, VIRGINIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
KACIE: Hi. I have three kids. And when I was growing up in my household, my father, he beat me and almost killed me and everything like that. And I still have a lot of hatred for him. I don`t want my kids to grow up like that. And I want to know from her experience, how did she get over that knowing that, you know, what her mom done?
How did she, like, I guess, grow up to be a good person? Because for me, I feel like I`m not a good person because I have so much hatred.
PINSKY: It`s a great question. Amy, how do you do that?
WOODARD-DAVIS: Well, I was always raised that, you know -- and it`s biblical. And it says honor thy mother and thy father, that days on this earth will be short. And I can`t judge her for what happened, and I can`t take it from her. She`s my mom. And I respect her as my mom. Just like I respect my adoptive parents as my parents.
PINSKY: But might it be less Pollyanna to say that your adoptive parents did a great job. And thank God --
PINSKY: -- yes. That Thank God your biological mom didn`t end up being the same person that was able to throw a child in a burning trash bin. I mean --
WOODARD-DAVIS: Oh, yes.
WOODARD-DAVIS: It`s good to say, I ended up with a good family. I really did.
PINSKY: Yes. I think, Kacie that`s more -- is having good people around you and learning to let go of resentment. Do we have any time for another call out there, anybody? We don`t have time.
OK, Amy. One last thing, my understanding is they took you around this house. I`ve got just a few seconds left. You got to see where they lived. Must have been weird.
WOODARD-DAVIS: When I went for my first visit, it was back in 2006, and my family actually still stays in the home. And it was kind of a strange for me, because I was seeing her picture for the first time. I hadn`t met her until later that night, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Amy, I got to break. Thank you for that. Thank you all for watching. Reminder, "Nancy Grace" begins right now.