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.
You are acting in an emotionally healthy way to go through the stages of grief. All that you’ve expressed is normal and as I’ve followed your story I’ve thought the same things but I’ve also had a few more thoughts I hope you don’t mind that I share.
As we all know (as Christians): Vengeance is God’s, not ours.
You said it well: Imagine the life. I know when my life is out of sorts, especially by my own bad choices (sin) and I’m living with guilt that it is nothing short of pure torture. I cannot sleep, eat or enjoy anything until I’ve made it right in some way. Some things can’t be undone so all we can do is apologize. For all we know they could be feeling severe depression, perhaps even suicidal – I think I would be if I had to live with myself like that.
That said, even if they don’t feel bad, even if there is no earthly penalty or in the best case scenario, if they accept God, experience and admit guilt, for the rest of us to continue to feel angry and bitter is drinking the poison and expecting them to suffer. Although, as I prefaced in the beginning of my message, feeling angry is a normal stage in the grief process.
I am so very sorry you guys are going through this. You did nothing wrong. God bless you. Know that you will remain in our prayers!
Those are all good thoughts. I love that analogy of drinking the poison. One of my first thoughts after we found out about the betrayal was “Ugh I’m going to have to forgive her” because I knew there really was no other way. It is a freeing feeling to let it go and leave it in God’s hands (although the hurt is still there) Thanks for your input ❤
I assume you never heard back from the adoptive parents? It would be interesting to get their side of things.
They did read my message to them on Facebook but never replied. I would love to hear their side of the story. Of course if they didn’t know about us and then found out what happened it seems like they would at least reply to my message with a “Wow! We had no idea! How terrible.” Or a “thank you for supporting our baby all of those months.” or at least SOMETHING. It just seems sketchy to me.
So gracious, Bethany. Xoxox
The couple who adopted your potential daughter sent me a video about them on a forum site. It was over the summer.
I looked at their facebook page in august and there was a comment that someone posted about hpw she was going to be an auntie. So perhaps k had picked them around the summer.
Just thought you might want to know to clear up some of your questions.
Thank you so much for sharing. It does help to have one more piece of the puzzle- we constantly wonder if this was all planned, if they were also paying her, or if she just had a sudden change of heart right at the end. So it seems she chose them around the end of the summer maybe? I wonder why she didn’t just tell us? I guess she wanted the money, I have no idea. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing this information it really does help
I obviously don’t know for sure, but to me it seems like she was probably profiting off you both for awhile.
Anyway, I guess it is all speculation at this point. I am glad you are finding forgiveness and peace.
My view on this is that you and your husband were that babys parents for a short time and rather than see it as money being wasted on two very unappreciative, shady individuals, it was money used to look after the baby you hoped would be yours… even if you didn’t get the chance to physically know her. In some ways it’s much like losing a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth. You invest time and effort into a life with the hope that you’ll continue caring for them long after they’re born – you do what you can to protect them and hope for a future with them, even if it’s not guaranteed. We know all too well what a risk it is but take it anyway for the chance at parenthood because we all have so much love to give. Maybe God put you in this situation because you are such good people, good parents – maybe your generosity helped keep that baby girl safer, healthier than she would’ve been had you not been present in K & P’s life. The outcome for you both is surely awful and unfortunate (putting it mildly) – but I hope that you can see how you positively effected that baby – that you were her parents for a short time and made an impact on her life. Maybe you were both crucial to her survival – and that is the one thing you can walk away feeling good about.
That is such a good perspective and it brings me a lot of comfort. I think one of the hardest things is feeling like all of our stress, time, hard work and money was wasted, but maybe it wasn’t. Maybe we still had a positive impact on that baby’s life. I certainly hope so.