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The Baby Business

Online readers respond to "Ooh, Baby, Baby," by Craig Malisow, June 7.

Sound of applause: Thank you so very much for revealing all on this most Sybil-like person, now known as Jennalee Ryan. The author of this article deserves a great round of applause for excellent journalistic investigative legwork. My hat is off to you for exposing this fraud of a woman, who is in the baby-selling business.

Comment by No Burfmuggle Am I
June 7, 2007

Excellent research! This woman is crazy, and she's playing with children's lives. Un-adopt? Uh-uh. Thank you for exposing this crazy lady.

Comment by C
June 7, 2007

Here comes the son: First of all, no one knows this amazing woman. She's been helping save lives and giving women a chance to be happy and have a child of their own. As far as our personal life, anyone can dig deep enough and see what they want to see. As far as her aliases, they were all legal names, and she has never attempted to deceive anyone with regard to her identity. As far as the services she provides, I don't think anyone has any complaints. There are several thousand people who have utilized her services, and not one of them gave any input with regard to this article. She gives people a chance to have a family and a life of their own. As far as "un-adoption" is concerned, the best interests of every child are taken into consideration. As far as "Sandra" is concerned, her biological mother put her up for adoption out of shame; after extensive conversations and multiple visits, her bio mother decided her daughter was more important than her pride. As far as "little gay Max," it is very cruel to call a child a flamer, especially in a widely publicized document. He was placed with an upper-class family that had no other children and was more qualified to focus on his specific needs. There is no way to prove someone isn't "crazy," so I will not even dignify that accusation with a response. As far as the "great journalism" is concerned, I'm sorry for anyone who thinks this is a well-written article.

She is an amazing woman and even better mother. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

Comment by sean acero
June 8, 2007

Craig's comment: Hi, this is the guy who wrote the story. I just wanted to point out that Sean Acero, the gentleman above, is Jennalee's/Jennifer's son. He is the "Sean" referred to in one section of the story. I just thought this fact needed to be disclosed. Thanks.

Comment by Craig Malisow
June 8, 2007

"Un-adopt" them all: Thanks for clearing up that the poster "sean" is really Jennifer's/Jennalee's son. I was reading it thinking it was her and laughing at how ridiculous and horrific the whole thing was, but now that I know the comment is by Sean, I'll take it seriously.

I mean, c'mon, if I don't, he may chain me to a tree by my neck and beat me.

I'm an adoption worker, and I cannot believe the audacity and insanity of this woman. I was wondering how anyone ever could have approved her to be an adoptive parent, but reading the article, I'm fairly certain she must have done it through her own agency. Sounds ethical. Adoptions do dissolve or disrupt, sad to say, but really I can't fault her for "un-adopting" (as you refer to it) her two children. If only she would "un-adopt" the rest of them, they might have a chance to be somewhat normal and well-adjusted.

Thanks for doing a good job of making this extremely complicated story "understandable." Well-written.

Comment by jessie-mae
June 8, 2007

She's an angel: I am a birth mother who placed a child through Jennalee, and I was extremely happy with the services she offered me. Who cares what her personal life is? All that matters is that she is offering women like me the chance to offer our children a better life and home than we can. I have kept in contact with her throughout the years, and she has always had the best interests of the children at heart. She is a wonderful, caring person, and I have never seen anything vindictive out of her. As far as "crazy," I don't understand how you can say she is crazy. She is doing everything she can to help women and their children. It just sounds like this article was written by someone who is jealous that they are not doing this. I can't believe how people are so fast to judge others. Are you the one we answer to on Judgment Day? I didn't think so! If I ever needed to place a child for adoption, I would go back and use Jennalee and no other agency. Thank you, Jennalee, for your help and your loving support through the years. Jennalee, keep doing what you're doing. I truly believe you are an angel sent from God to help protect His children.

Comment by Birthmother
June 8, 2007

Joy to Jennalee: I agree with Sean. I've known this woman almost my entire life, and to write such a suggestive and flat-out rude article is wrong. She does so much to help children in situations that if made public would make her look like a saint. I'm sure if we dug deep into your past, it wouldn't look too peachy keen, would it? I believe that she is doing a great service to all women who want their child to have a better life and seek adoption. As Sean stated, I guess no good deed goes unpunished. In the almost 17 years that I've known Jenna, she has treated me with nothing but kindness and has even offered me a place to stay if need be. I cannot even imagine why the author of this article would even believe to know anything about her. I've watched this woman work her a** off helping people who truly need her. In my opinion, she deserves nothing but the same joy that she puts forth into the world day after day!

Comment by Cristina Rykalski
June 8, 2007

Interesting article:That lady sounds mad as a hatter to me. Not surprising her kids would defend her — look how they were raised.

I'd bet a lot of money that those last comments came from the same IP address.

Pathetic.

Comment by JayR
June 13, 2007
Water Break

School's out for summer, and the absence of pencils, books and teachers' dirty looks means the arrival of the sweltering Houston heat. We're big fans of keeping cool, so the theme for this month's high school photo contest is water. Fresh water, salt water, bath water, fish water — anything that's wet, really. Send all entries to studentphotos@houstonpress.com. Visit blogs.houstonpress.com for more details and to vote on last month's entries

Lone Star Awards Houston Press staffers do well in statewide contest

Houston Press staffers received two first-place trophies and 11 other awards in the statewide 2007 Lone Star Awards sponsored by the Houston Press Club.

Staff writer Craig Malisow took first place in the Investigative Reporting category for his story "The Plane Truth." The judges had this to say about his entry:

"Malisow's probing and pugnacious investigative work exposing a globetrotting, self-proclaimed minister to dictators is simply outstanding. This gallant reportage strips away the façade of an immoral manic who claimed to help poor orphans and other needy people worldwide. Thanks to Malisow's brightly burning ink, we know the minister to be a fraud. Superb nose for news and follow-through."

Malisow also finished second in Politics/Government for "Penal Violations," second in Business Story for "Wize Guys" and second in Internet-Based News — Original for "Feel My Pain."

Editor Margaret Downing placed first in General Commentary/Criticism for "Diary of a Madman." The judges wrote:

"This kind of commentary shows media at its finest — looking out for the rights of the mentally disturbed in this case. Downing's account of mentally ill folks being essentially tortured by Section 8-11 housing management in Baytown is so moving that it brings tears to the eyes of readers. Masterful."

Downing also finished third in the Politics/Government category for "Opt In, Opt Out."

Press photographer Daniel Kramer took home an award for writing as well as two in photography. He took second in writing in the Sports Story category for "Tough Guys." He also took two thirds, one in Feature Photo for "Day of the Dead at MECA," the other in Sports Photo for "Boxer Eduardo Escobedo."

Staff writer Todd Spivak received a second in Feature Story for "Hog Wild" and a third in Public Service for "Run Over by Metro."

Former staff writer Josh Harkinson placed third in Feature Story for "Gator Aid."

And Press intern Ruth Samuelson placed second in the Student Division in the News, Sports or Feature Story category for "Gods and Lovers."

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