Many people have expressed their outrage and disbelief at Kailee and Peter’s actions. LOTS of you have asked that we share Kailee and Peter’s information on my blog so that people will be protected from them in the future (which I plan to do in an upcoming post.) Others have asked what kind of legal action we can take against them for their adoption fraud or breech of contract or whatever you want to call it. Theft with malicious intent is what I would call it. Some of you have suggested that we show up at her door and tell her exactly what we think of her. Another suggestion, since we always ordered pizza for her, was to have a pizza delivered to her door with a special message (that Josh strongly advised me not to share on my blog) spelled out in pepperoni (especially meaningful since she is a vegetarian.) Some of you have suggested that we get a good lawyer or go with an agency next time. The truth is, we have had a good lawyer this whole time and even if we had stuck with the agency, Kailee could have done the same thing to us. All of the bills and expenses we paid for her and her family were legal in Alabama, as long as we knew they were considered “charity” and were not given in exchange for the baby. We never gave her cash and we were careful to only pay for the things we were supposed to pay for a birth mother. There are lots of laws in place to protect the birth parents, but not many to protect the adoptive parents. We knew the risk. Many people, including our lawyer, told us over and over again that she could change her mind in the end and choose to parent the baby. We were fine with that risk and we wanted Kailee to make the choice she felt comfortable with. It was glaringly obvious to us, though, from the beginning, that she would not parent this baby. I never doubted that she would place this baby for adoption. Not once did anyone warn us that she could end up placing the baby with another couple right at the end. It never crossed our minds that she would be texting me one day and literally giving birth the next day and handing Scarlet/Ava over to someone else. We were not prepared for her to just completely cut off contact with us and leave us hanging.
Any time anyone decides that they want to be a parent, they put themselves at great risk, whether it is a biological baby or an adopted baby that they are trying for. We knew that we were putting ourselves at risk when we decided to pursue adoption. I still think she was worth it. I feel good that we gave her a chance and we gave Kailee a chance to place her baby in an amazing family. There are no legal actions we can take against Kailee and Peter since we can’t PROVE that they were getting money from anyone else while we were paying all of their bills and living expenses. There are no contracts signed in an adoption agreement before the baby is born (unless the birth parents say they want to sign the adoption papers ahead of time in front of a judge, which they didn’t.) Even if Kailee and Peter had signed the adoption papers before she was born, they had up to five days after the birth to change their minds. They weren’t bound to us by the law just because we were paying their bills. The thing they were NOT allowed to do was lead on several families at the same time and promise them all that they could adopt the baby while receiving money or gifts from them.
Even if we could sue Kailee and Peter, they have no money to give us. I know we all want to see them pay for what they have done. It is natural to want justice, but trust me when I say that their life and the guilt that they have to live with is punishment enough. They live in poverty and they struggle mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, relationally, the list goes on and on. Can you imagine what a depressing life you would have to have to spend so much time and energy deceiving other people and using your own child to make money instead of just getting a job? It truly is a sad existence. More than anger, disbelief or disgust, the main feeling I have towards Kailee is pity.
I don’t want this horrible story to deter anyone from adoption. I know there are even worse horror stories than ours when it comes to adoption, but there are so many more beautiful adoption stories that end with joy. All you can do is your best, which is what we did, and understand that opening yourself up to a child also opens you up to risk. And aren’t these babies worth it? I think so.