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Multi-state adoption scam hits hopeful Louisiana parents

A small-scale adoption scam, which spanned throughout portions of the United States, bilked hopeful parents out of hundreds of dollars and highlighted the need for a qualified family lawyer to oversee this intricate legal process.

A 20-year-old woman from Muskogee, Oklahoma is the alleged lone perpetrator in the ring of crimes and some of her reported victims are from Louisiana, among other states.

The woman tricked parents, who were desperate to adopt children any way possible, into sending her money in exchange for the rights to adopt her child. The sum of money that the couples were willing to fork over ranged from as little as $50 to several hundreds of dollars.

While this is an illegal adoption practice to begin with, to make matters worse, the woman no longer had a child up for adoption. The woman gave birth to a son three years ago as a 17-year-old mom, but gave the child up for adoption after it was born.

Family of the alleged offender said that since giving her child up for adoption, the woman has never been the same. Saying that the woman was coaxed by an agency to give the child up, the family argued that the woman suffers from post stress, which may be one reason why she is acting irrationally.

In addition to the reported victims in Louisiana, couples from New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Utah, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, Kansas and Missouri were also involved and phoned authorities with information on the incident.

Eight victims filed official complaints, while authorities investigating the case say that many more were taken in the scam and were too embarrassed or ashamed to come forward and admit they sent the woman money.

The woman is facing eight counts of fraud, which is a felony charge. She is being housed in county jail without bond until her initial hearing.

Source: KTUL.com, "Muskogee woman accused of adoption scam," Latoya Silmon, Sept. 26, 2011

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