Saturday, August 02, 2008

FLORIDA AND SCAMMERS

This situation is the second one in the last year that has made the news. It irritates me is that they automatically accuse the "birthmother" in this case as a scamming "birthmother." Lets get the facts straight. She is a scammer. She wasn't pregnant. So she most definitely was not an expectant mother considering placement or relinquishment. So the term, "birthmother" should not even be used in this conversation.

I know that Texas has its own situation similiar to this. I however don't think she was associated with an adoption agency. Its situations like these that concern me. The advertisements to expectant mothers lead to these situations. I know that prospective adoptive parents (PAP) think this is the best way to put themselves out there. When PAPs put themselves out there like this, they risk getting hurt. Several comments even state that they should check with foster care. They should. Those are children who are truly without parents.

Adoption is big money right now. Is it any wonder that people in this economy would try this sort of situation?

Here is the story:

Woman fakes pregnancy in adoption scam

NAPLES, Fla. -- After years of waiting, Steven Mielke and his wife Monique celebrated in February upon learning they would finally have a bundle of joy to call their own.

For nearly three years the Naples couple had been working with Heart of Adoptions Inc. to adopt a baby, a process Steven originally thought would be much easier than it was.

So in February, when learning they had a match, both Steven and Monique were excited.

"We've been waiting for a long time," Steven Mielke said. "We were excited. We told our friends and family the good news. Did whatever little things we could to prepare ourselves to be parents."

But the couple's dreams were crushed in late April when the deal with the 23-year-old birth mother broke up. Then, in late July, Steven and Monique learned that the woman they had been paying to have their baby had never been pregnant in the first place.

Stephanie Blume first entered Heart of Adoptions on Feb. 25, with a proof of pregnancy test from Planned Parenthood of Collier County, according to an arrest report.

Blume filled out a profile, which was eventually passed on to Steven and Monique.

"She gave all the right answers," Mielke said.

Steven and Monique were matched with Blume, and started paying her living expenses through the agency, Mielke said. But in about a month, red flags started going up when Blume wasn't going to her doctor's appointments.

"For some reason she wasn't going," Mielke said. "We kept pressing and asking why."

By the end of April, the Mielkes and the agency broke off the deal. At the time, Mielke said he and his wife thought Blume may have had second thoughts about the adoption.

Regardless, they were heartbroken.

"It was really hard, really disappointing," Steven said. "To finally be matched up with someone and to think we found this person, it was just tough."

But things would get tougher.

On July 21, investigators from the Collier County Sheriff's Office received information that Blume had never been pregnant, and instead had obtained another woman's urine, faked the pregnancy test and had been defrauding the agency and the Mielkes all along, the sheriff's office reported.

Robert Moore, whom Blume had listed on adoption forms as a possible father of her baby, told investigators he was certain he could not be the father of the child, reports said. Moore told the investigators he heard Blume had a miscarriage but had no knowledge of her seeing a doctor.

Blume's sister, Rebecca Yanez, also told investigators that Blume had a miscarriage, the sheriff's office reported.

Investigators then spoke with Blume, who discussed her involvement with the scheme.

Exactly what she told the investigators has been redacted from an arrest report, but investigators later questioned a man named Robert Lyons about whether he gave his daughter's urine to Blume for the pregnancy test, reports said. Lyons' response was also redacted from reports.

On Wednesday, Blume was arrested on a felony charge of grand theft and a misdemeanor charge of providing false adoption information. Steven Mielke said he and his wife paid close to $4,000 to Blume, through the agency, in living expenses, and also paid about $900 in attorney fees.

Collier County court records indicate that Blume is already on probation after being adjudicated guilty on drug and petty theft charges from early February.

Steven Mielke said learning about the alleged fraud has been hard on him, and twice as hard on his wife. The couple is still looking to adopt.

"I feel really, really sad for her to think what's going on in her life to do something this terrible to someone else," Steven said of Blume. "I'm also pretty angry and I want to make sure she gets whatever punishment she has coming to her. She certainly deserves it.

"It doesn't get much lower than that, I've got to say."

(Contact Ryan Mills of the Naples Daily News in Florida at XX(at)xxx.com.)






2 comments:

Niels said...

I gracefully disagree about the statement there is no right to adopt. I think it is falsely abused by the NCFA et al. to push their discriminatory agenda.

I believe there is a right to adopt, there is just no right to receive children based upon an adoption application.

Just before reading this post, I wrote something about this very topic on my own blog: The right to adopt.

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

I guess I should have explained further. The right to adopt is a statutory right where as the right to parent one's own child is a fundamental right.

I think with Thomas Atwood it is the moral majority that wants to rule the kingdom of adoption. Gay adoption activists want to make it a fundamental right. It is not a fundamental right. In this respect, they will lose their argument. I agree that its discrimination. Just like adoptee access is discrimination. We are treated separately under the law. Gays like the other races in America are now being treated separately as well. If the right to adopt becomes a fundamental right, then we all will be judged as to who is the fittest parent. That is my biggest concern. I don't think the moral majority should be the sole discretionary on this topic.

I wonder if this is not a test for our generation. If the bible says its a sin but the bible also says its not our place to judge. I know my husband will disagree with me but I believe that all should be treated equal under the law. If an adoption agency takes federal funds then they should honor the same laws.

I recently watched the movie "Gone Baby Gone." The mother is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Her brother arranges to have the child taken and to be raised by a former police chief. Her brother makes the decision that she is not fit to raise her child. A private detective figures out the entire scheme. He loses his wife in the process because he decided to call in the state police into the situation. He made the right decision in the film. It may not have been the best decision but it was the right decision because it wasn't up to the brother nor other law enforcement to make the decision in an illegal manner. Life is complex. We can't violate the rights of other human beings just because we don't like their life style.