Moriarty, Karen 1946-
MORIARTY, Karen 1946-
PERSONAL: Born September 1, 1946, in Evanston, IL; daughter of Rudy and Irene (maiden name, Perhats; later surname, March-Davison) Meier; married Robert V. Moriarty (a clinical psychologist), October 18, 1975. Education: Mundelein College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1968; Northern Illinois University, M.S., 1971, C.A.S., 1974, Ed.D., 1975.
CAREER: High school teacher and counselor in Dundee, IL, 1970–72; high school counselor in Hoffman Estates, IL, 1972–75, and Glenview, IL, 1975–76; Lake County Area Vocational Center, Grayslake, IL, coordinator, 1976–80; Consolidated High School District 230, Orland Park, IL, director of pupil personnel services, 1980–83, assistant superintendent, 1983–95; Dr. Newsome and Associates, Palos Heights, IL, psychologist, 1992–93; Moriarty Associates, Orland Park, president and psychologist, 1993–98; Open Door Publishing, Inc., Palm Coast, FL, president. William Rainey Harper College, instructor in psychology; also worked as junior high school English teacher.
Baby Richard: A Four Year Old Comes Home, Open Door Publishing (Palm Coast, FL), 2003.
Contributor to Collective Bargaining in the Public Schools, edited by William L. Sharp, Brown & Benchmark Publishers (Madison, WI), 1993. Contributor to periodicals, including NASSP Bulletin, Wages and Benefits, Inside Negotiations, and IASPA Reporter.
SIDELIGHTS: Karen Moriarty told CA: "I became the author of Baby Richard: A Four Year Old Comes Home in 2003 in order to reveal an often surprising, untold, behind-the-scenes true story. Millions across the country were captivated by the heart-wrenching events that took place in Chicago in the mid-nineties. An innocent boy, known to the world only as 'Baby Richard,' became the object of the most controversial custody battle and failed adoption in history. The media furor—spanning four years—prompted the passage of new laws and spread to other countries as far away as Australia. Powerful and prominent persons jumped into the dispute. My book reveals the myths spawned by this notorious case, the unreported events since then, and the unique challenges of living through it all for Baby Richard. I include an exclusive interview with the child, who discusses his dramatic past, his life today, and his future. No one had heard about Baby Richard since 1997 until the publication of this work, documented and illustrated by photographs of the boy and his birth family.
"A reality book, this is the intimate, inside story about Danny (the real child) as opposed to Baby Richard, the icon, the tragic figure created by the media, and the symbol of adoption gone awry. It is about real people's passions, struggles, failings, and victories, and it discloses the motivations and conflicts that gave rise to this epic saga. As Danny's therapist, and with the permission of my clients and approval by now-twelve-year-old Danny, I provide, as the only continuous eyewitness to the events, an exclusive update on the child and all of the players. This narrative reveals how Danny survived the frenzied media, lies, public hysteria, and death threats directed at his family. The book is intended to bring balance and closure to a story that had neither. I wrote the book as a labor of love and dedicated it to the child, Danny.
"While Danny and his family were spending their vacation in Florida with me in 2002, I decided that I must write the untold story of the real child and his beleaguered parents. While they shared a blanket on the beach, watching fireworks erupt over the ocean waves on the Fourth of July, I realized that the story—both 'then and now'—should be disclosed.
"Having taught creative writing at the high-school level, I always dreamed of someday writing a book about a meaningful topic. With a lifelong preference for nonfiction, I have always admired well-crafted writings about real people, especially those that delved into the more private, inner worlds of their subjects. As a psychologist I consider myself a student of human nature; as a therapist, a facilitator of individuals' healing and growth. Always referring to my 'clients,' instead of 'patients,' I was committed to approaching people of all ages in a collaborative manner, as opposed to adopting a position of superiority when working with them as their therapist.
"My writing process included in-person interviews with the major participants in the Baby Richard conflict, as well as research on the court decisions and behind-the-scenes aspects of the case. I had the benefit of hundreds of pages of notes from my work as the psychologist hired—on a pro bono basis—to assist the child and his birth parents in their bonding process. Hundreds of newspaper articles, dozens of videotaped television shows and news programs, and a pile of court documents were researched and utilized in my presentation of the legal, social, and psychological aspects of the case. I weave the public view with the private side of the events and juxtapose the real story with the media-created fabrications and distortions. Judge James Heiple of the Illinois Supreme Court referred to the coverage by one columnist as 'journalistic terrorism.' An exclusive interview with this judge, the author of the court order that granted custody of the child to his biological father, is included in the book.
"My primary motivation for writing this book is for the vindication of the birth parents who fought so hard and long for their son and of the child himself. Branded as 'emotionally scarred for life' and 'catapulted into mental illness' by spotlight-seeking, self-serving mental health 'experts' and media, none of whom even met the child, the little boy was turned into a pathetic victim and a tragic figure. My book provides the day-by-day account of four-year-old Danny and his birth parents becoming a family. It demonstrates the resilience of children and the power of parents' love and devotion."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
BabyRichard.com, http://www.babyrichard.com/ (July 25, 2004), "Karen Moriarty."