Local News

Father: Abducted Twins Back in Apex

Posted January 1, 2007
Updated January 2, 2007

— Adopted twins taken by their birth mother to Canada last week have returned to their Apex home, the twins' adoptive father told WRAL.

Tyler Lee and Holly Ann Needham, 17 months old, were found safe in Canada late Friday. Their birth mother, Allison Lee Quets, 49, remains in custody in Ottawa and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, where she could face federal charges of international parental kidnapping.

Quets, who has visitation rights with the children, didn't return them to their adoptive parents, Denise and Kevin Needham of Apex, on Christmas Eve.

The FBI said Quets and the children crossed into Canada on Dec. 23. Authorities said they stayed at a bed-and-breakfast for several days and intended to rent a house in Ottawa.

The Needhams traveled to Canada over the weekend to pick up the toddlers, Kevin Needham said.

Quets' attorney, Jeff Schroeder, said she consented to the adoption after a rough pregnancy, but changed her mind within 12 hours. She has fought the Needhams for custodial rights ever since.

The case is before an appellate court in Florida, where Quets gave birth to the twins. Schroeder had hoped to keep the children in Canada until the adoption appeal played out in Florida.

"She'll be devastated," Schroeder said of Quets. "We're sorry that during a holiday weekend when the courts are closed that this was allowed to happen."

A group of birth-parent advocates is expected to support Quets at her court hearing.

In addition to appealing the twins' adoption in court, Quets turned to a New Jersey-based group called Adoption: Legalized Lies. Spokeswoman Jessica DelBalzo said that she believes adoptions are too often driven by money and coercion.

"She called us and was just obviously heartbroken on the phone over what she was going through, crying. She did not want to lose her children," DelBalzo said.

Donnas Kinton, executive director of Amazing Grace Adoptions, said she believes the vast majority of adoptions are driven by what's best for children. Quets and other mothers need trained health-care workers evaluating their emotional state when adoptions are decided, she said.

"In this particular case, it's highly unusual. I know when we do adoptions, we would not do unsupervised visits," Kinton said. "It does put a bad light on adoptions, which can be a beautiful thing."

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  • msudawg Jan 19, 2007

    In the state of Florida if a child is under 6 months of age when put up for adoption it is FINAL! Those children are where they belong, with the Needhams.

  • Apple Jan 3, 2007

    The adoption process is not well organized at all!! I have custody of my two nieces (one is 7yrs. old and the other is 23 months old). I am currently in the process of adoption. Allison Lee Quets changed her mind within the timeframe SHE WAS TOLD she had, and now it seems that what she was told was a lie if she is not able to get her children back. I can only imagine how she feels and don't blame her at all for what she did. And as far as the adopted parents are concerned, they should feel terrible for what they have done. My sister is not able to care for her children, and that is why I have them. But, if she becomes able to later in the future, adopted or not, the children are always better off with their real mother. I'm not saying I wouldn't be a big part of their life, but their real mother should too. But in this case the mother changed her mind in the length of time given to do so, therefore the real kidnappers to me are the adopted parents.

  • boatrokr Jan 2, 2007

    This is one of the dirty little secrets of adoption. Yes, the mother has x number of days (it varies from state to state) to change her mind....but that's easier said than done.

    The mother cannot just go pick up her children. She has to get a custody order, and, as in this case, will be fought tooth and nail by both the prospective adoptive parents and the agency if one was involved. It is not unusual AT ALL for them to drag their feet until the legal windowcloses. Go to a support group for birthparents and you will find scores of such victims. Quite often their revocation of the agreement, although done within the legal timeframe, will be revoked and denied by social services or the judge because, after all, these women are usually young and unmarried, and the system feels that the children will be better off adopted. Whether this is true or not is and should be irrelevant - the mother acted legally - but it's not.

  • dmrroberson Jan 2, 2007

    I believe what she did was WRONG! Once the adoption process has been completed, she doesn't have any parental rights to those children anymore. For all intents and purposes, she becomes estranged to them, so by her kidnapping them, she's just as wrong as if some total stranger did it.

  • almbld782 Jan 2, 2007

    well we need to know why the kids are with adotive parents .... why did she give her child up????? was she forced or was it on her own to give them up!!!! I think we are not getting the whole story and there had to be a reason for her to go take them children to canada .....

  • crckttsgr Jan 2, 2007

    Ok first of all, Pippy999, thank you. Your comment is very level headed and well thought out and others should take a note from your page and try to see that there is more going on here than what you are being told by the MEDIA. Next, I'd have to say to clyronald, that its a horrible and tragic event when any child is murdered and I feel deeply sad for your loss. I also have grandchildren, and know the love and bond that comes with that. However, there is something wrong here if whoever was in charge of checking out the person who adopted your grandchild, if this person has 5 adoptees and is getting PAID!! Can anyone say red flashing lights? Who allowed this adoption to happen? There are choices here, the mother usually is the one in charge, and I can assure you that most adoptive parents do NOT get paid a monthly allowance. Fostering may be a different story, but that should not be confused with adopting.

  • St Ives Jan 2, 2007

    Giving birth to a child dose not give one the right of ownership. If there are circomstances that put the child in danger in the birth family then that child should be removed.Adoptive parents do need to be checked out and the state and this entire country needs to be more selective in placement of these children. Too many are put in situations worse than they came out of. Children can not speak for themselves and must be protected at all cost. Sometimes I feel the SPCA is more selective as to where they place animals than the state is with choosing foster parents. Change in our system is needed and more follow-up with adoptive parents is also needed. If the state needs to spend more on hiring social workers so be it. We are grooming our next generation lets get it right.

  • Drifter Jan 2, 2007

    The fact that she kidnapped the kids at all, for whatever reason tells me she's not responsible enough to be a parent.

  • clyronald Jan 1, 2007

    i had a grandchild murdered after he was adopted out.I believe if the children can be kept in the birth family that they should be allowed to stay there.THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH THE WHOLE ADOPTION SYSTEM.Too many children are being put there when they have other choices.I believe that the people of the united states need to demand change.Until there is change, the children will always be in danger in the adoption system.Most adopted parents are only after the money that comes with the adoption.The couple that adopted my grandchildren was getting 400.00 a month for adopting them. she had 5 adopted children. Quite an income would'nt you think.

  • Pippy999 Jan 1, 2007

    Nobody knows the details of what's going on, only what their lawyers have said. Obviously there is more to it than what we're reading because she hasn't gotten them back yet. You can't condemn the adoptive parents and claim they are unable to replace the birth mother. A lot of adoptions and adoptees turn out wonderful.