what I want you to know: adoption scams can happen

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. (If you are new to this blog, regularly schedule programming will resume after the holidays, but you can check out the “Best Of” section in the meantime). If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. This guest post is by Heather..Photobucket

I want you to know that adoption scams can happen.  We went through a devastating and trying time regarding a potential adoption last month. The short of the situation was that we were matched with this baby through a private adoption...

but we never got him.  In fact, baby Jeremiah doesn't exist.

The “birth mother”, who at the time used the name DeAmber Dotson (we later found out her real name is DaVanna Dotson), told our attorney that she lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  DaVanna said that her aunt in Oklahoma had helped her set up a private adoption with another couple.... but when she got to Oklahoma to visit her aunt and give  up Jeremiah, she wasn't happy with the potential adoptive parents.  It was at that point that she said she needed some money for gas, formula, diapers, and a car seat so she could return to Virginia Beach and give us custody of Jeremiah when we went through the adoption process.  At first, none of this raised any red flags in our minds because it is fairly normal protocol to cover travel expenses when a private adoption arrangements are being made.

Well, after a crazy two days of texts with DaVanna and friends ripping apart our guest room to make way for a nursery, I began to get suspicious. DaVanna avoided contact with my attorney... the same attorney DaVanna had contacted originally to set up the adoption; Davanna asked for more money, which I refused to give to her; and DaVanna avoided answering specifics on her location even though she claimed she was in the midst of the long drive from Oklahoma to Virginia.

In the end, there was no baby, no private adoption potential and DaVanna had never left the state of Oklahoma.  I knew that if she had pulled the scam on us, she must be preying on the emotions of other couples wanting a child, so I went to the Oklahoma News Channel 6 in hopes that other couples would come forward.  Well, the story aired and 7 other couples, plus us, came forward and are willing to testify.  DaVanna was arrested and is awaiting trial. I have amazing friends that were with me every step of the way.  They got angry with me... they got sad with me... and they tracked this girl down with me.  Most people aren't that lucky, so I say thank you to my friends... you know who you are!

We will be parents one day.  I'm just sitting back and waiting to see what God has in store for us.

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