What is Defamation?

Some of us have been accused of defamation by Tim Rowe and/or Heather Elyse. And some of us have been the actual victims of defamation by Heather Elyse and staff of Voice of the Orphan.

This is a short primer on the issue of defamation:

(Taken from: http://ceaseanddesistletterdefamation.com/)

Defamation can generally be split into two separate categories: slander and libel. 

Slander is defamation that occurs verbally, such as a spoken statement. 

For example: if anyone working on your adoption has told you things that are untrue about other adoptive families (or vice versa) particularly in order to hurt their credibility or cost you or them money, that is slander. 
This is particularly destructive when information taken from a family's personal homestudy, personal emails, or background check is spread among other families by an adoption facilitator...

Libel is defamation that is written. 

For example: if anyone working on your adoption has emailed your friends, acquaintances, caseworkers, coworkers or lawyers with statements that are untrue about you, designed to hurt your reputation, hurt your adoption or cost you money, that is libel.

In general there are four main elements that must be proven in order for defamation to occur in the United States.

1. The statement must be heard, seen or read by someone else.
2. The statement must be FALSE. If the statement made is either an opinion or is correct, defamation cannot be claimed, regardless of the resulting personal impact of the statement.
3. The statement must directly cause some form of damage, such as damage to a person's reputation.
4. Finally, the statement must be said or published in an arena that does not have protections of speech in place (such as with courtrooms or chambers of legislature.)"

If you are aware that slander or libel has been committed against you by VOTO staff and/or Heather Elyse during your adoption process, you have options.

This website can provide more information: http://ceaseanddesistletterdefamation.com/index.php

Additionally you can contact us and we will work to connect you with legal counsel.

The members of this group will not tolerate defamation in either form. We stand by every word we have posted and have thoroughly checked the background of the information provided here. As Christians and as law abiding citizens we believe every statement made on this site to be the truth.

We also believe that an adoption agency (particularly one which claims to be operating under Christian principles) and its staff should be held to a very high level of accountability for defamation, in either form, against its contracted adoptive families.