Mom ready to renew custody battle for twins
CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen
Sunday, January 07, 2007
OTTAWA -- Allison Quets' face beamed Saturday as she showed home movies of her biological twins in their beloved double stroller.
The digital movie camera, which Quets preciously guards, holds her only reminders of Holly and Tyler while she prepares to return to the United States on Monday to face charges of kidnapping of her own children.
Quets, 49, was found in Ottawa on Dec. 29 with the 17-month-old infants, who were adopted by a North Carolina couple shortly after they were born.
The American woman, who was in custody for a week, has won a number of supporters in Ottawa who sympathize with her situation. She has been staying in the home of Robert and Mary Thompson since being given a temporary release on Thursday.
"I'll be returning to fight," she said of her return to the U.S. on Monday.
"That's what my life is right now, fighting for my children. I have sacrificed almost everything and I'm not stopping now. That's all there is for me my children and they need me, I know they need me.
"I could never ever tell them I gave up on them, ever. And I never will."
The American woman faces federal and state kidnapping charges in North Carolina.
The self-described "shy, quiet, engineering type" wiped away tears several times while discussing her difficult pregnancy and her future plans to go home, clear her name, and gain full custody of Holly and Tyler.
Her decision to bypass extradition hearings and voluntarily return was sealed once the twins returned home with their adoptive parents, Kevin and Denise Needham of Apex, N.C.
`There's really no point being anywhere else or doing anything else," she said.
She wouldn't comment on the specifics of her ongoing custody appeal in Florida.
After her arrest at a three-bedroom townhouse in Ottawa, she was taken into custody, where she said fellow inmates were a source of strength.
"They sat with me when I cried," she said. "They told me to be strong and some of them gave up their phone time for me.
"The female guards helped as well. They were sympathetic because I was a mother who was fighting for her children."
Quets, a slender woman with short brown hair who works in computer engineering, conceived her children through in-vitro fertilization in what she said was a difficult pregnancy.
She said she battled hyperemesis, a condition that causes excessive nausea and vomiting, malnourishment. It can lead to depression, ruptured organs, and even miscarriage.
"Every time I threw up blood I was afraid I was going to die," she said. "I was not healthy."
Quets claims she suffered post-partum depression after giving birth and was pressured into offering the twins for adoption. Since then she's poured her life savings of about $400,000 US into the custody dispute and has used her academic background to study family law.
"I think God has chosen me to fight this battle on behalf of so many other women that just can't do it," she said. "There are times when I really nearly crushed but I manage to persevere."
OTTAWA -- A woman accused of kidnapping her 17-month-old twins from their adoptive parents in Apex and taking them to Canada is expected to report to police Monday for extradition to the United States.
Allison Quets was released on bail Friday. She is currently in the custody of two Canadian couples who posted nearly 18,000 in bonds and cash.
Quets discussed the incident in an exclusive interview with the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday. She says her children are the joy of her life and mean everything to her.
She also says morally she feels like her actions were justified because she says she was trying to protect her children.
An attorney for Quets says his client will continue her efforts to regain custody of the twins – a boy, Tyler Lee, and a girl Holly Ann – when she returns to the United States.
Quets says she hopes to see them again soon. Meanwhile, the twins have been returned to their adoptive parents in Apex.
As an adoptee, I want to comment. What Allison did was wrong, yes wrong! When she gave up her babies, that should have been the end of it. In my opinion, she never should have had visitation at all. She did indeed break the law and take her children from their parents, yes their parents, the parents who loved and nurtured them, the parents they bonded with.
We seem to forget what is best for the children. Some of you say the only best thing for the children is being with their birth parents. I disagree completely and so do many others. Remember Jessica Deboyer? Was that right? NO!!!! Was that the best thing for Jessica? NO!!!! She, like other, are taken from the ONLY parents they know and are emotionally scarred for life. I believe this with all my heart.
Do we as adoptees have rights? Yes, we are entitled to our birth certificates. Yes, we are entitled to our history. But supporting Allison Quets I will never do as she is wrong. I will support the Needhams because they are the rightful parents.
As for your bashing of Nancy Grace, I agree wholeheartedly with her. She is right in her opiniions and I, for on, support all she said regarding this case.
See anonymous this is where you are wrong. She changed her mind after twelve hours. Keep in mind that she was still ill from her pregnancy. She very nearly died from her pregnancy. The only reason why she even considered adoption was because of these reasons. Would you like to find out that this is what happened to you? I know that I would not. Instead of being put into that situation where she was forced, why wasn't she supported? No instead everyone forced her to do this. Would you want your child to go through this situation? It happens to women all over the country. They don't want to give any information on parenting just adoption and abortion. If you were a smart person, you would investigate adoption a little more thoroughly. By the way have you made contact with your first mother or father? If you had you would know more about your story which I do believe that you are entitled to.
I recently heard of this story; being that I don't watch the news much. As a mother to two beautiful little ladies, I will never forget my babies. Allison obviously loves her babies - why else would she fight??
Adoption is a very difficult decision and does serve a purpose (unwanted children for people who want children). I hope to see that Allison gets to keep her children. Doing what's best for the children? Are the children in any harm? Is she not better and capable of being a responsible parent regardless of how the children were conceived? She sacrificed her health and much more to carry and bring these children to the world. I look forward to following the story through you...
As another adoptee and lawyer (albeit Canadian) I would like to add my 2 cents worth - first, there appears to be some issues with respect to Florida adoption law and the ability of a person to withdraw consent. That is a legal issue that needs to be brought to the government for changes and all Florida constitutents should let their opinion be heard, not just one side or a vocal minority. My opinion is there should be some mechanism for revoking your consent without a certain time frame. But, since this case is going to be decided under current laws, I think Allison will lose. The lawyers are not the evil geniuses at work here. It was a bad situation and perhaps not handled correctly but in the US as it is in Canada the standard in court cases is "the best interests of the child or children", not who had the child first, who has the greatest right based on paperwork, the notion that a birth mother is automatically better for children are not issues the courts look at. The judges that look at this will have all the information in front of him or her that each side has, not just what is reported for the best sensational effect in the media. For people to say that the courts don't know what they are talking about - well, that's just not correct. Another reason I think Allison will lose is that my understanding is that she shopped around for a number of agencies to handle the adoption - goes to her credibility and, if she was so out of her mind because she was so sick, how did she have the wherewithal to organize all this? I had a friend who originally had planned to give up a child, she changed her mind a couple of days after birth and, even though she had terrible post partum with her first child and was a single parent recovering from another difficult pregnancy she waited to make the right decision for her. The adoptive parents were disappointed but all's well in the world and, for her and her daughter, she made the right decision. We all make decisions, some wrong ones at times. Most of us have to stick to them. In my opinion, taking the children and fleeing the country does not bode well for Allison in court as well. If she had been able to actually get away with this, who would we be feeling sorry for? Probably the Needham's for having their children snatched from them. It was irresponsible of her to take them without permission and is not the best way to fight the system and she will pay for it in time. I absolutely believe that she loves those children and she believes she made a terrible mistake and was taken advantage of. Sorry, we all have to live with our mistakes and take the consequences. Instead of thinking solely about herself and what she is missing, she should also be trying to seriously consider what is actually best for them, not just emotionally but financially, physically, etc. Two loving, caring parents that have passed the rigors of adoption screening are probably in a better position to look after the twins than she is and I also believe it is unfair to those children to publish their pictures and names. They will become oddities where media types will look for them every few years to see what happened to them, as if it is any of our business. Without looking at all the evidence, just simply based on what I have read and seen, I would uphold the adoption unless I had compelling evidence that her consent has been correctly revoked and there had been no coercion to have Allison sign papers. Not for a minute do I believe she was bullied into this - she simply had a change of heart after the birth - not uncommon - but as she is not some 14 year old teenager, she should have to live with what she agreed to.
As an adoptee, I truly sympathize with her. I know how hard giving me up was on my birth mother as we have been in touch for many years now. I love my adoptive family and and am also close with my birth mother and my other family. It is a great blessing and I think they all are wonderful people but I know, and my birth mother knows, that she did the right thing. Her and I are very much alike even though we didn't meet until my mid-30's and I wouldn't change a thing. Mom and Dad (adoptive parents) will always be Mom and Dad and they gave me everything a child needs in life, especially love so, for all those that believe that adoptive parents cannot possibly bond or do as good a job as a birth mother - HOGWASH! That is a an unfounded statement based on sentimentality, not science or research. Those twins have, until she kidnapped them, been raised by two people who have bonded with their children and love them dearly. Does anybody imagine their pain?
Sorry to rain on all the dogooders that are trying to help Allison - watch what happens. If you really want to know what the court hears or sees, go to court when the trail is underway and see what happens, read transcripts and evidence. Then maybe you will get a clearer picture of what really happened here. The people I feel sorry for are those two children - they should have not have been used for political gain as they have. That is the only way I see Allison's exposure of them to the media.
Coercion, trickery, lying, perjury. unconstitutional laws, unethical attorneys and corrupt judges cause tragedies. Using an unenforceable open adoption agreement and misleading someone who is sick and vulnerable is an atrocity. The Needhams should be ashamed of themselves. The records should be open. Let the truth be knows. So many of the postings are misinformation. Nancy Grace is about ratings not about the truth. The Needhams need to leave mothers and their children alone. Using their cousin to gain access to a woman looking for help is despicable. Why weren't they registered with an agency? Let's take a good look at these people. What does anyone really know about the Needhams? How disgusting of them to use those children to satisfy their emotional and psychological needs. Children are not toys for adults. Families should be preserved. The mother wants her children back, restore the family. Do the right thing. Even adoptive parents are sickened by the Needhams behavior.
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