Local News

Twins' Birth Mother Gets Probation, Fine in Kidnapping Case

Posted December 18, 2007

— A birth mother who kidnapped twins from their adoptive family in Apex was sentenced Tuesday to five years' probation and other penalties.

Allison Quets received credit for the 8½ months she already had spent behind bars.

She must go through a mental-health treatment program, surrender her passport and check in with a probation officer when she travels in the United States, the federal court ruled.

She will also have no contact with the twins or their adoptive parents unless a judge grants it. If she is granted visitation in a separate state civil case, it will have to be supervised. A custody hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2.

Quets must pay a $15,000 fine to the government and $180 in restitution to the adoptive family for a hotel stay and meals when they traveled to Canada, which is where Quets took the twins when she fled.

She took the then-17-month-old twins on Dec. 22, 2006, from their adoptive parents, Kevin and Denise Needham, of Apex, and traveled to Canada. Authorities apprehended her in Ottawa, Ontario.

The Needhams have paid more than $200,000 in adoption expenses fighting Quets to retain custody. The court decided civil fees did not apply in the case, however.

Friends of the Needhams said the judge's ruling was one of the best for which they could have hoped.

"I am pleased with how it went. I think that with the probation the judge gave her that she will at least be watched," said Kat Moncol.

Quets' attorney, Jim Craven said there were still "lots of unanswered questions" after the sentencing Tuesday.

Quets pleaded guilty in September to two counts of international parental kidnapping. She claims she signed adoption papers under duress and was ill after suffering medical problems during her pregnancy.

After she left jail in September, Quets talked about seeing her children again.

"Of course, I want to see them again, more than anything," she said.

In November, Raleigh attorney Michael S. Harrell filed a request in Wake County on behalf of Quets, stating the adoption in 2004 was contingent upon her "retaining a continuing and familiar role" in the lives of the children, Holly Ann and Tyler Lee, after the adoption was finalized.

The Florida First District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling terminating Quets' parental rights in the case.

Craven said North Carolina does have jurisdiction, however, because the adoptive family lives in Apex.

"I don't know anybody that's had a case like this. This case is unique," he said. 

The Needhams have not spoken publicly about the case. According to a Web site created by friends of theirs, the confidential nature of adoptions prevents the Needhams from correcting "misinformation."

An attorney for the Needhams filed a motion late Tuesday asking to seal the file on the visitation complaint and to have the courtroom closed to any proceeding.


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  • lodwolf Dec 20, 2007

    Nope and nope. But I can see why you would have thought these two were those people.

  • nikkirc Dec 20, 2007

    This comment section is more of a psychological study than the actual case. Strong emotions if no one is directly involved. Dare I guess that Denise Needham is Mom on Call? And it was asked if Sissy is Allison Quets? Any thoughts on this?

    I recently relocated to the midwest from Apex area. It is common knowledge that Denise Needham has an adult daughter who was not fathered by Kevin Needham. As an adoptee and mental health professional, I wonder how the severing of that relationship was a precursor to the denying of the open adoption agreement.

  • sissy843 Dec 20, 2007

    Took my own advice and clicked at that site. Found new stuff. Every time, I do. They have a lot of information there. http://www.helpher.org/mothers/treatments/medications.php Found this medication page when searching treatments. Zofran is used for chemo patients...how awful is that to take a chemo med to stay pregnant. And I found Reglan on that page. That is AWFUL and MISERABLE stuff. I took it to increase my milk for my son...got major anxiety and depression. I really hope these sick and puking women aren't made sicker with that horrible medicine. I couldn't function for ages after trying a few days of it. Got the milk going but at a huge cost. TERRIBLE...by the time the milk increased, I didn't even want to nurse my baby. Hated that medicine.

  • sissy843 Dec 20, 2007

    Better yet, Mom on Call, you should read the medical articles the HER Foundation links. I've read a lot on their site, and it's well-researched data in peer reviewed journals that are linked. And in my reading there since learning about Allison Quets's cas, I have never seen them use her as a "poster child" for HG. But, you know, if her case can get some attention to a misunderstood disease, my guess is other mothers who have suffered are simply relieved to have Hyperemesis become better known. Perhaps we can all be more compassionate in the future if we meet someone with this illness during pregnancy.

    You said you see women choosing adoption over the disease? What do you mean? I haven't found any who placed children after surviving (except those who may have gotten the illness as single teen and not believed in abortion...so the same general stats for relinquishment in the HG groups as in other groups of teens.)

  • sissy843 Dec 20, 2007

    Mom on Call, actually, I've researched that very topic. Women with HG do not place their children for adoption...there are no stats. When they survive such a disease and get the baby to term, they do not place. Unless, of course, they have an unplanned pregnancy and are opposed to abortion (personally), then they may choose to place a child. But there are not any significant data/stats I have found in my HG research in terms of stats on relinquishment. The metabolic problems lead to a higher rate of cognitive disorders during and after delivery, but proper supports (which Quets was not offered) always have a positive health outcome. (Email me, and I'll send you some of the articles I found at medline and other databases, if you want...is there an email option here? I know we have VERY different views of this case, but I am happy to share the research on the medical issues involved.)

  • Mom on Call Dec 20, 2007

    Also lots of typos for me...lol, sorry. I meant suffering through HG AGAIN. Too much Christmas Cheer here at my house ;-)

  • Mom on Call Dec 20, 2007

    Hey I have read through this blog and others online and it appears the the HER website no longer has AQ as thier poster child! I am so glad, not say that AQ did not have awful debilitating disease, just saying she is not the one they need as thier "darling" for the media.

    Oh also...does anyone know of the data for women who have suffered from HG and then chose adoption for thier children? I am very interested in that data. I guess I should just email the board members at HER or the heads of the orginization. This is all so interesting to me...I see women who chose adoption over risking sufferng through HG.

    Lots to be learned about the world huh?

  • Yelena Dec 20, 2007


    That woman, who you claim is not dangerous, kidnapped 2 children and left the country. The Needham family do not need to go find another woman who does not want her babies, they already found that in the kidnapper. This woman is a criminal.

    The children have a real mother and father, the people who have been, and will continue to raise them.

    Anybody can be an incubator, that's all this woman is. The Needham's are the parents

  • sissy843 Dec 20, 2007

    The American Medical Association defines conception...that is what I used. I think it happens when sperm meets egg, but hey, the law and medical community don't care what I think. And if Quets chose donor sperm and donor egg, then she IS responsible for that meeting too.

  • sissy843 Dec 20, 2007

    Willowdreams, I am a Christian, and pages back you say I cannot be one. Why? Because I find this to be an immoral adoption? Because I question the adoption industry? Personal attacks are not necessary.

    lodwulf... I'm not a mind reader and believe me, if I were Allison Quets, I'd not be speaking rationally. I have thought through the situation, and if I find an answer to each concern raised here, then there must be an answer. Plain and simple, the answers are there if folks want to look. But it requires removing our illusions about adoption as a "giving and loving" industry about children. People adopt out of a desire to love a child, yes, but the industry is a gigantic profit industry and HAS to beat Quets or they risk losing a lot of adoption dollars. (Not an endictment of adoptive parents, but of how the industry takes advantage of all involved.)