The following account is true and accurate to the extent that these are the facts of the case as I was led to understand them through conversations with Allison at the time of the events. Allison attended the church my husband ran in Florida.
Allison Quets was unable to process any information at the time of the adoption which could be characterized as an “arm wrestling event.” She gained only 10 pounds during her pregnancy and due to a debilitating condition and illness known as hyper-emesis her state of exhaustion and malnutrition was critical. I know she could not process anything because as her pastor’s wife I offered to take care of the babies until she could get her strength back. My family had moved out of state but I offered to keep them as long as she needed so she could make such a life changing decision as adoption from a healthier perspective. She heard the words but she was too weak to process them and turn it into action.
Her boyfriend (not the father as they were in vitro) pressured her into giving them to his relatives with the promise that she would always be a part of their lives. His motive was to get the children out of the middle of his own relationship with Allison. Once the Needhams heard of the twins imminent birth they hounded Allison until they were born and showed up immediately at the hospital. After 6 weeks of trying to care for twins on her own in a completely malnutritioned and exhausted state Allison agreed to travel to Jacksonville and meet the Needhams at the office of their attorney Micheal Shorstein.
Her boyfriend drove her to Jacksonville and their hotel caught on fire so the night before the meeting she stood outside holding the twins all night. She was then held in Micheal Shorstein’s office for 8 hours trying to force her to sign the adoption papers. She called me (pastor’s wife) terrified as they had taken her babies and were trying to get the signed papers out of her hands and she did not want to hand them over. I told her to call 911, ask for her babies and leave without further conversation. She did call 911 and there is a tape of the call. Shorstein and company did give her back the papers and the babies at that point and they all told her the deal was off. Her boyfriend drove her home, dumped her and the twins at her townhouse and told her he would not ever help her again. That was a Saturday.
By Tuesday, with no outside help, Allison was nearly finished off with exhaustion and called her boyfriend to take her back to Jacksonville to hand over the babies. The Needhams had returned to North Carolina by this time so Mrs. Needhams sister who resides in Jacksonville took possession of the twins. Allison was given blank papers to sign with no date. The notary republic testified in the court case later that they back dated the papers after Allison left. I believe Mr. Shorstein, and a social worker were also present for this crime.
Allison’s boyfriend then drove Allison toward Savannah, Georgia to keep her from changing her mind. Allison called me from the car TWO hours after she signed the undated documents and said her boyfriend would not take her back to get her babies, she was positive she had made a mistake and the babies were not with the adoptive parents yet and she wanted to keep them. Her boyfriend asked her who she was talking to on the phone and verbally abused her and cursed her for talking to me. He refused to take her home.
As soon as she did arrive home she asked me to help her find a lawyer in Jacksonville which I did and he filed papers within 72 hours of the adoption (in other words by Friday) to stop the proceedings. The whole matter was buried and the proceedings went along at a snails pace. Finally Allison was granted some supervised visits and eventually unsupervised.
The Needhams complained about having to bring the babies to Florida and Allison volunteered to fly up and get them each time at her own expense. She had begun to recover her strength and return to work and hired help when the babies were with her to make sure they were well cared for. She usually took a neighbor to hold one of the twins on the plane. She had ended her relationship with her boyfriend as well. He tried to persuade his relatives to return the children but was rebuffed by all.
I am told that the Needhams lawyers asked them to return the children that they had others for them to adopt, but the Needhams refused. Allison also offered the Needhams the remainder of her embryos from the in vitro fertilization to produce their own children.
At the same time Allison cared for her former boyfriend’s grandaughter whose mother was in and out of rehabilitation facilities. Allison clothed her, fed her, sheltered her, and treated her as her own out of her own pocket with no help from the former boyfriend. Allison often worked over 60 hours a week, sometimes from home and sometimes travelling out of town for Lockheed Martin. She did much of the research for her own case as well. She was fearful of the rumors of the power of Michael Shorstein and his cronies in Jacksonville. Her lawyer assured her that her case was good.
My daughter and I happened to be staying with her for 10 days last June just before the verdict was handed down. The judge for the case awarded the children to the Needhams. It turns out that Michael Shorstein used to work for the judge. Allison has 5 civil suits against Michael Shorstein’s office, the Needhams, the social worker, Mrs. Needham’s mother, and the adoption agency the social worker represented I believe. If the judge had awarded the children to Allison, perhaps Michael Shorstein’s civil case would have been jeapordized. Michael Shorstein’s uncle, Harry Shorstein is the District Attorney of Jacksonville.
In Allison’s research she found another girl whose adoption Michael Shorstein had been involved in. The girl claimed to have had her baby taken from her under pressure as well. Apparently at some point in the last decade the legislature passed the Florida adoption law that says if the baby is under 6 months old there is no revocation period for the consent UNLESS YOU CAN PROVE IT WAS UNDER DURESS. With the law, Florida became one of the easiest states to adopt without complications of revoked consent. Most of the adoptions are from young mothers with few resources and little worldly experience to fight no doubt.
Enter Allison Quets who is 48, has a high powered job and money. The system is corrupt and hopefully Allison’s case will now be brought out for public and legal scrutiny and the law can be changed so more women do not fall victim to this ring of injustice. Mountains of testimony was put forth from doctors, experts and tapes to prove the story I have just told.
So I ask you, who kidnapped whom first? Was it the Needhams pressuring a malnutrioned and exhausted woman, was it Michael Shorstein who held her for 8 hours in his office after a night of no sleep and then 3 days later gave her papers with no date to sign, was it her boyfriend who would not take her back to Jacksonville within TWO hours to retrieve her children from the perspective aunt, or was it Allison who took her biological children to Canada this christmas?
Nobody supports adoption more than my husband and I, yet there needs to be a little lattitude in such weighty matters. The Florida law is not right. And where are the Women’s Rights Groups. This woman was not given her right to choose”.