Christopher Ambrose, a Madison resident and suspended attorney, has been embroiled in a contentious legal battle concerning the custody of his three adopted teenage children. Despite their expressed desire to live with their adoptive mother, Karen Riordan, Ambrose has full custody. The situation has escalated recently, with Ambrose seeking not only to prevent Riordan from seeing the children but also her incarceration.
Ambrose’s Latest Move: From Custody to Incarceration
In 2022, Judge Gerard Adleman awarded Ambrose permanent custody, criticizing Riordan’s parental behavior. However, this decision has been controversial, as Adleman never met the children, and never required Ambrose to file financial affidavits to show what he did with the marital assets, and never heard Riordan’s side, making his decision based entirely on Ambrose’s allegations. The case is now before Judge Erika Tindill. Ambrose accuses Riordan of contempt and requests restrictive measures against her, including barring her from filing motions without permission.
Ambrose has admitted to being affected by articles in the Frank Report, to which his children contributed in efforts to escape his control. He now seeks to have the judge force Riordan to seek the removal of information about the teenagers from the publication before locking her up.
Tracked and Trapped: The Ambrose Teens’ Desperate Escape
Additionally, Ambrose has successfully obtained restraining orders against Riordan on behalf of the children and has gone to great lengths to keep the children under his control. This includes using legal maneuvers to force them out of Riordan’s home, tracking them across states, and threatening to place them in juvenile homes. The children have sought refuge with various family members and friends to escape Ambrose’s house, now equipped with surveillance systems.
Ambrose’s recent motion also includes efforts to prevent the birth mother of his youngest child, Sawyer, from gaining visitation rights.
Ambrose claimed the adoption was closed, with no contact since birth with the birth mother, Tara Southern.
Ambrose wrote in his motion to Judge Tindill, “That the Court dismiss the Third-Party Motion to Intervene for lack of standing. The party is the birth mother of the youngest child, who was adopted at birth in a closed adoption. There has been no contact with her since he was born.”
Ambrose vs. Birth Mother: The Battle for Sawyer’s Future
Contrary to Ambrose’s claim, the birth mother, Tara Southern, had been in communication with the adoptive mother, Karen Riordan, since Sawyer was an infant. This continued until he was nine.
This period coincides with a significant change in family dynamics. When Ambrose, a TV screenwriter in Los Angeles, faced a plagiarism scandal in 2018, he returned home. He took control of the marital assets and flipped custody in family court. This effectively barred Riordan from contacting her children. Ambrose cited parental alienation while trying to alienate the children from their mother.
Tara Southern, the birth mother of Sawyer Ambrose
Tara Southern told FR:
Chris is lying about there being no contact between us since the birth of Sawyer. And also about the adoption not being open.
There are books Karen made for me from when Sawyer was born until Chris told her not to do it anymore.
This photo [below] shows Sawyer sleeping with the teddy bear I gave to Karen and Chris to give to Sawyer.
I wanted him to have the teddy bear because Sawyer’s birth father, Roberto Garcia, gave it to me on Valentine’s Day, and I named the bear Garcie because of Roberto’s last name.
Believing it would be special for Sawyer to have something his real father gave to his real mother, I gave them the bear at the hospital the day after I gave birth,
Chris and Karen brought me a big wrapped gift. I opened it, and it was a teddy bear from the “Build-a-Bear” workshop. Her name was Gracie (Get it?? Garcie and Gracie?). I still have Gracie, and Sawyer still has Garcie!!
These photos are of Sawyer with Garcie then and now.
You should hear how everything fell into place about me meeting Karen and Chris and how it became an open adoption. At first, I did not want to know them. Everyone I’ve ever told the story to has cried. I swear!! And I cry every time I tell it.
Ambrose’s Adoption Deception Unraveled
I circled both places where it says it was an open adoption in red.
I left that hospital knowing that my son was going to be fine, or at least that’s what I thought. He had a great childhood until he turned nine. That’s when I stopped hearing from them. I called the adoption agency several times to ask what had happened. They tried contacting them because they were supposed to send me pictures.
It took a while for them to talk to someone finally. That someone was Chris. He said he did not want anything else sent to me except the required picture. Even the adoption agency didn’t understand it because Karen had been so generous with photos before.
Chris cut me off and got me out of the picture, just like he’s trying to do Karen now. They even let me help pick his name, Sawyer Elias.
I will ask the adoption agency if they could write the court a letter saying it was an open adoption.
Chris Ambrose is lying about no contact whatsoever between us over the years. All those pictures I sent prove there was contact between us.
Judge Tindill has not set a hearing date for Ambrose’s motion to arrest the adopted mother and ban the biological mother.