Suspended attorney and former Hollywood writer-plagiarist Christopher Ambrose gained full custody of his three adopted teenagers in a contentious custody battle in Connecticut.
Despite the children’s wishes to live with their adoptive mother, Karen Riordan, Ambrose has gotten restraining orders against her and is aggressively pushing for her incarceration.
He figures that the teenagers won’t be able to see her if she is behind bars.
They are living captive at his house under surveillance. The loving father will do anything to prevent the three teens from seeing their adoptive mother.
She is Karen Riordan, a special education teacher, with masters degrees in psychology and special education, who won the Distinguished Teacher of the Year from Greenwhich School District before leaving her tenured position to become a wife and full time stay at home mother — the latter being a very dangerous occupation in the state of Connecticut with its predatory family court..
She raised the kids from infancy — for the first thirteen years of the two eldest, Mia, and Matthew – now both almost 17 – and the first nine years of Sawyer’s life.
In the case of the youngest, 13-year-old Sawyer, Ambrose wants to keep him not only away from his adoptive mother Riordan but also from his biological mother, Tara Southern.
He is fighting to prevent Swayer’s birth mother from seeing her child, claiming she has no right, since when she gave him up, the adoption was closed.
Sawyer has made disclosures that Ambrose abuses him, and if it is true, it is only natural that the father would not want the boy to spread that around. Ambrose has also made a motion to have the teens’ cell phones taken.
Tara Southern, the birth mother, presented FR with Sawyer’s adoption records, showing Ambrose told another little white one to the court.
The adoption was actually an open adoption.
Ambrose told Family Court Judge Erika Tindill that Southern should not see Sawyer because he “was adopted at birth in a closed adoption. There has been no contact with her since he was born.”
That statement was what creators of fiction like Ambrose call a “little white one.”
The adoption was open.
And there has been plenty of contact between the birth mother and the child because Riordan who is an expert on child development felt it was a good not a bad thing for the boy to know he was adopted and loved by both his adoptive parents but his birth mother as well.
Tara has been in contact with the adoptive mother Karen consistently, and has met Sawyer and speaks with him. The two have a close relationship, and with Ambrose’s removal of the teens adoptive mother, Sawyer, and his biological mother have become closer still.
The approach adoptive father Ambrose adopts is strikingly different from adoptive mother Riordan.
While Riordan welcomes the relationship, on the theory that having loving people in a child’s life is not harmful, but a blessing, Ambrose wants the children to have the courts exclude the adoptive mother, her family and the biological mother.
Perhaps other abusers can understand it. If the teens see others, they might disclose something that could adversely impact Ambrose.
Better to keep the teens isolated.
Ambrose is only one man, but he has succeeded in making five people very unhappy.
- adoptive mother, Karen Riordan
- biological mother, Tara Southern
Conversely, he has made a procession of lawyers, a guardian ad litem, a custody evaluator, and a battery of therapists happy as he fought and won custody in Connecticut family court.
Had Ambrose not gotten caught plagiarizing a TV script, he would still be out in Los Angeles, and the five people he is making miserable would be leading happy lives.
Indeed, if Ambrose had only changed the plot lines on his script for Instinct that he “borrowed” from Bones, no one would be miserable today.
Rather than crafting the character as an Amish piano player who flees home and meets a tragic end in his script, “Secrets and Lies” – a plot strikingly similar to the one in the “Bones” script from which it is allegedly “borrowed” – Ambrose could have made the character a writer from Connecticut. This character might then journey to Hollywood, attain remarkable success (occasionally plagiarizing a script but not getting caught) and never return home to terrorize his children. His absence would be the delight of all involved.
But in real life, Ambrose got caught plagiarizing, which made him unemployable as a writer in Hollywood. He returned to Connecticut. Once home, there was no room for anyone else’s happiness other than his own in his reality script.
That, of course, includes anyone who might make the children happy like Tara Southern.
Here is a little more of her story, from Tara herself.
By Tara Southern
I don’t want to hurt anyone or try to destroy anyone’s life or reputation. I’m not asking for custody of Sawyer. I only want him to be happy and grow up to be the best person he can be.
When I was pregnant with Sawyer, his father and I split up, and he moved back to Mexico. I knew that alone, I could not give Sawyer the life he deserved. I had to think about what was best for him.
I decided to give him up for adoption. And I got lucky, I thought!
The agency chose a wealthy, happily married couple that had already adopted two other children of Spanish heritage. The adoptive father was a writer of some of the most popular television shows on TV. How lucky was that??? “Wow!! My baby will never want or need for anything!” That’s all I could think about. I left that hospital, the happiest young lady in the world.
How could such a fairy tale story go so wrong? What happened?
I feel like I owe it to Sawyer to try and help him as much as possible now. I feel like I let him down, because if I had never put him up for adoption, he wouldn’t be with Chris Ambrose now.
It’s my fault. I made bad choices in my life when I was younger, and now, my son, the only child I’ve ever had and ever will have, is suffering because of it.
I can’t change the past, but I can try to make the future better for him.
The first nine years of his life were great; I know this because Karen ensured I knew everything happening in Sawyer’s life, from his first to his 5th birthday. His first piece of art (just some scribbling on a piece of paper) was his artwork.
His footprints, his handprints, books full of photos that she put a lot of time and effort into, letters, Christmas cards, and more photos!! He was smiling in every one of those photos, and so were Mia and Matthew. There are no smiles in their photos now, only sad faces and saddened eyes. These children deserve to be happy, like they used to be. Is that too much to ask?
Let them be happy, live their lives, and be loved, please! I will do everything I can to try and make that happen! I promise!! I owe it to Sawyer. He deserves nothing but the best, and Mia and Matthew deserve it! All three of you are beautiful inside and out!! I love all of you! I’m so glad I know you now and know that one day. (Hopefully soon), we can be together and live a happy and family-filled life together!! Love conquers all!
Editor’s concluding comment: Tara, that is a fine sentiment –‘love conquers all’ – and it works in many places, but not in Connecticut Family Court. This is why Ambrose wins again and again. It is said “money can’t buy love,” which is true. His children do not love him. They are afraid of him. But in Connecticut Family Court, money can at least buy custody.
Just ask Chris Ambrose.