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Topic : 07/27 Adoptions Scams, Part 2

Number of Replies: 473
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Created on : Thursday, February 15, 2007, 04:45:52 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 02/23) The story of Marie, Crissy and Jen continues. These three potential adoptive mothers were scammed by Melissa, a woman who claimed to be pregnant with a child meant for them. When the baby turned out to be a fraud, they say they and several others were left with nothing but a handful of lies and a nursery full of heartache. Melissa agreed to meet Crissy face to face, but can Dr. Phil convince her to give the same satisfaction to her other two accusers? Follow what happens when Melissa succumbs to an emotional meltdown. Plus, having been badly burned in their efforts to adopt, what’s next for Marie, Crissy and Jen? Can they ever build enough trust to enter the adoption arena again? Hear what Dr. Phil thinks they should do. Plus, find out what happened to another couple desperate to adopt after the Dr. Phil show gave their efforts a little boost. Join the discussion!

Find out what happened on the show.

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February 23, 2007, 6:58 am CST

Adoption Scam

I am so grateful that Dr. Phil is going to help these women fulfil their heart's desires.  I know how it feels to yearn for a child.  After 17 years of marriage, my husband and I adopted a beautiful baby girl.  She is such a joy.


Adoption is WONDERFUL!!!! 


I pray these victims will find peace and healing -- not allowing the scam artist any additional power in their lives.

February 23, 2007, 7:04 am CST

What's YOUR definition of "evil'.?

Quote From: reticulate

I think she ahould go to jail for scamming and stealing money, but she isn't dangerous, and didn't take anything away from these women. Babies have no personalities, so one is as good as the next. She got their hopes up sure, but she isn't evil.
e-vil-Morally bad or wrong; wicked.Injurious,harmful That which is morally bad or wrong; wickedness That which causes misfortune,suffering etc (see "Melissa")
February 23, 2007, 7:21 am CST

Send Her Away to Jail

What Melissa has done to these women

 is absolutely Horrid !

I truly believe she does know - Right ! from Wrong ! -

and she should not only have to answer to these women face to face

 but also  to a judge.

February 23, 2007, 7:27 am CST

Adoption via message boards

I'm a birth-mother who gave a son up for adoption many years ago.  At that time, open adoptions were just beginning to become more the norm.  I know everyone's feelings are different, but I think these message boards "advertising" babies for adoption are just ripe for this type of scam--hence just one more reason for my reluctance towards "open" adoptions.  There's millions of kids in the US needing adoptive homes and all can be arranged through agencies that are legitimate and concerned with the child's welfare, the birth-mother and the adoptive family.  Heading to message boards to find a potential birth-mom seems a dangerous and desperate way of finding a baby.  You never know who your dealing with and there's virtually no oversight to ensure that anyone, birth-moms, or potential adoptive parents are screened.  The birth-mom could also be at risk for scams, child trafficking, bad people in general.


Michigan (the state I'm from) has some tough adoption laws, but these laws protect the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents.  It's very difficult to cut off ties with a child (as a birth-mom), but there's a valuable lesson in learning to relinquish control for the best interest of a child.  Dealing with a reputable agency where the birth parents can receive counseling, and adoptive parents are well screened makes relinquishing control a easier, still painful, but easier.  I know that my child is not in a perfect family (perfect families don't exist), but I'm confident that he grew up loved and cherished--and that's all any parent can ask for.  I don't know who my child went to, but I have a much greater sense of security that the family was well screened, my values and requests were acknowledged and considered, and my child is being raised by people who truely care for him.  A message board would have never given me that assurance.


I can sympathize with the yearning to have a child, but letting that yearning change to desperation can leave anyone open to pain and manipulation.  Work through a reputable agency and consider an older child--the real joy of children (I have 2 of my own now) comes when they can express their joys, pains, loves, heartaches verbally--babies are cute but babyhood only lasts such a short time.  Babies grow into kids who desperately need loving and involved parents--that's when the real work starts--when the babies turn into young children and young adults.  The internet is an awesome tool to connect us all with the world, but just like I tell my 16 year old daughter, message boards are no different that standing in a room full of strangers with a sign on your back saying "I'll talk to anyone that will listen".  Sometimes you meet great people, but the risk is much higher that you'll be sorely disappointed.


Good luck to these 3 women--there's millions of children out there who need you desperately--they may not be 3 days old, but they need you no less. 

February 23, 2007, 7:33 am CST

Obviously no children

Quote From: reticulate

This was a pretty bad scam to pull. She got people's hopes up, and more importantly took their money. But it's not all that terrible. She didn't promise these women anything they can't find again. It's not a kid, it's a baby. Babies don't have personalities, so one baby is as good as the next. She doesn't deserve to burn for it, just give 'em back their money. After that, who cares?

"Babies don't have personalities, so one baby is as good as the next."  You've got to be joking!  Do you have any children?  Have you ever been around babies?  I have 7 nieces and nephews, and now have a 4 month old daughter of my own.  NONE of them were the same, from birth they all had their own personalities and quirks.  No, one is not as good as the next.  Yikes, if you do have children I would honestly be uncomfortable thinking of how you must treat them or treated them when they were born.  I was learning my daughters opinions and traits from the moment she was born, as was my twin sister and older brother with their children.  ALLLL of them were different. 


I would think most people would care much less for the money these women lost and a great deal more for the trust, dreams, love, and hope that this despicable woman stole from them.  I didn't hear any of these women going on and on about wanting back the money they lost in this scam.  Every single one of them talked about how they lost trust in others and in themselves to attempt to adopt again.  They lost something way more valuable than money.  In every single case I bet each of them would say they felt like they honestly lost a child that they had already imagined a life for.  I lost a set of twins that were delivered prematurely, and even though I never got to know them I had enough time to imagine what their lives would have been like.  No amount of money could have made that pain any less.

February 23, 2007, 7:47 am CST


What I don't understand is why everyone feels so extremely sorry for women who want to adopt a baby, but NO ONE takes any consideration that the baby they buy and beg for LOSES its mother in order to fulfill another woman's desire.  The baby is truly a commodity in a buy and sell system.  So obvious when you see shows like this where the women are so desparate.  The babies grow up and realize the transaction, and are appalled that we are part of an elaborate business.  No human rights, as even our very identity and birth certificate are sealed from us indefinately.   Since when is it ethical to "advertise and market" for a human life?  Babies are not blank slates that society can just play "musical parents" with and change their identity to serve adult purposes.  Adoption should only happen when a grieving child has lost their entire biological family in a tragedy (not advertised for and begged for and money exchanged) and even then their birth certificates and identities should not be changed and falsified.   Dr. Phil kept telling this scammer that she "owes" these women an apology.  I think the babies of adoption are owed an apology, instead of being completely ignored for the fulfillment of others.   
February 23, 2007, 7:47 am CST

Prosecute? Plus ignore trolls

I'm glad they are getting help to find a child. Will Melissa still be prosecuted? I have a feeling if the FBI searched her house already, it was a federal crime and she perpetrated fraud across state lines. She could still be held accountable in court.  I still don't know if she is just more sorry about that. Anyway, there are a few trolls popping up on this board who are on the site just to stir things up. Best to ignore them.
February 23, 2007, 7:57 am CST

I so feel for them!

My husband, Greg and I are in the process of adoption.  While finishing up with our homestudy, we found out that our Social Worker was a fraud!  She had come to our home December 21, paid her our money and gave her all our original documents for the homestudy.  After not hearing back from her the end of January, I emailed her to check the status and she replied stating she closed the business and sorry.  Refusing to refund us and give us our documents back which we had worked on since last April, we did some research and found out that her license had been revoked in November and she was to refund all clients and return all original documents....prior to our visit she knew this!  We have since found 2 other couples that she has done the same too...who knows how many others she has hurt in this process.  Sad part is...she has an adopted son and knows what we are going through with the infertility and adoption process.  Greg and I have contacted an Adoption Attorney, the BBB, Ethics Commision and licensing bureau, Hopefully she will get what she deserves!


Thanks for letting me vent.....

February 23, 2007, 7:59 am CST


I hope Melissa gets stuck under the jail.  Her behaviour is beyond sociopathic, she doesn't even show any emotion.  She's like I'm sorry, like she backed into there car.  She commited the most heinous type of fraud imaginable.


I would wager money, that if she isn't locked away she will be "back in business" ina few years.

February 23, 2007, 8:00 am CST


Quote From: reticulate

This was a pretty bad scam to pull. She got people's hopes up, and more importantly took their money. But it's not all that terrible. She didn't promise these women anything they can't find again. It's not a kid, it's a baby. Babies don't have personalities, so one baby is as good as the next. She doesn't deserve to burn for it, just give 'em back their money. After that, who cares?

Lets' just go to the Build a Baby store and make another one.  Get that assembly line going...


Maybe she doesn't deserve to burn but she does deserve jail - she committed fraud - that's illegal.  She gave me the creeps just watching her with her vacant stares and her trying protraying herself as a victim.  Puhlease - she knew what she was doing and she's bummed cause she got caught and called out on it.  Too bad.

BTW, all babies have personalities and they are not all the same.  But I think you meant that because these women had never seen the 'child' that they would never know the difference?

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