Woman Pulls Cruel Adoption Scam on Couple Desperate for a Baby

woman scams adoptive coupleThe adoption process is emotionally taxing, expensive, and painfully long. So after trying and failing to conceive, one Illinois couple decided to post an ad on Craigslist looking to adopt a baby.

Little did they know that the woman who responded, Heather Taylor, was a scam artist who had previously faked a pregnancy. Taylor responded to the ad posted by Mark and Tracy Dziekanski and agreed to let them adopt the child she was "currently carrying." They sent her money for medical needs; she sent them photos and even called Tracy from the delivery room when she was supposedly delivering the child.

The entire story seemed plausible, the couple thought, until it finally came time to meet their baby.


Taylor said she was on her way to deliver the newborn, then had to turn around and return home. Another time, she said she had made it to Illinois and was staying near them. They finally became more and more suspicious and Taylor confessed.

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When the couple reached back out on Craigslist and discovered that Taylor had also scammed another adoptive woman, they approached the police. Taylor has since been arrested and sentenced to 36 months probation and asked to seek mental treatment. In total, she only made about $2,000 from both scams, but it could have been much, much worse.

It's no surprise that the family desperately wanted a baby of their own, and to take advantage of a loving couple is absolutely criminal. However, it is important to understand that adoption fraud does exist, and there are warning signs adoptive parents can look for and steps they can follow in case an adoption seems fraudulent.

The National Council for Adoption and the Adoption Advocate recommend that prospective parents get educated about the possible risks and signs of fraud, especially when dealing directly with the birth mother. Some warning signs are:

  • The birth mother does not promptly respond to requests of proof of pregnancy and makes excuses for not sending proof.
  • She avoids meetings with adoption agencies, counselors, or attorneys.
  • She often asks the prospective adoptive parents for help with medial expenses prior to the baby's birth.

For more tips, visit The National Council for Adoption.

What do you think? Are you surprised that this turned out to be a scam?


Image via dbarsky/Flickr

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