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Methodist Mission Home of Texas v. N__ A__ B__

Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
451 S.W.2d 539 (1970)


Facts

N__ A__ B__ (NAB) (plaintiff) went to reside at the Methodist Mission Home of Texas (Methodist Mission) (defendant), which provides services and counseling to unwed expectant mothers. As a policy and practice, Methodist Mission encourages its residents to give up their children for adoption. During NAB’s pregnancy, Methodist Mission believed that she would give the baby up for adoption and did not suggest that she consider any alternative. After her son’s birth, NAB told Methodist Mission that she intended to keep the baby. Over a five-day period during which NAB was physically and emotionally exhausted, her individual counselor, Jo Ann Burns, subjected NAB to continual harassment over her decision to keep the child: (1) reciting all of the associated negatives, without any positives, (2) criticizing NAB as a bad and selfish person, (3) telling her she had no right to keep the baby, and (4) inducing her to believe that her parents’ offer of support if she kept the baby was a sham. After being subjected to days of Burns’s pressure, NAB agreed to give up her son. She later filed suit to revoke that decision, alleging that it had been procured through undue influence. A jury agreed. Methodist Mission appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Cadena, J.)

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