Quets: 'My Interests Were in Protecting My Children'
A birth mother accused of kidnapping her twin toddlers from their adoptive parents in Apex told a national television audience Thursday morning that she only wanted to care for the youngsters and never planned to abduct them.
Allison Quets is charged with two federalcounts of international parental kidnapping after fleeing with the twins, now 21 months old, to Canada after a weekend visit in December.
Quets was arrested with the twins in Ottawa, Ontario, a week later. The twins are back in the care of their adoptive parents in Apex, and Quets is being held in the Franklin County Jail until her trial.
Dressed in a red prison jumpsuit, Quets appeared on the syndicated Dr. Phil show Thursday to discuss her case. Her attorney, Kathleen Mullin, and her sister, Gail Quets, also appeared on the show, which examined hyperemesis, the debilitating disease Quets said she suffered during her pregnancy.
"I was so sick and depleted that I thought I was going to die, and there were moments that I wanted to die," said Quets, whose eyes continually darted about during the interview. "I was just very, very, very desperate. ... I thought I was going down the tubes, and I didn't want to take them with me."
She said she consented to the adoption only because of her illness and because attorneys in Florida coerced her during an extended meeting. She said she had no legal representation and was sleep-deprived and malnourished.
"It's obvious the consent was obtained with pressure," she said. "They knew I was at my weakest, my lowest point, and they took advantage of that."
Prosecutors have described Quets as manipulative and said she planned the abduction for months.
Quets said she decided to take the twins to Canada "at the last minute."
"I didn't have a long-term plan. I just knew I had to be with my children," she said. "As a mother, my interests were in protecting my children."
Mullin agreed that there was no criminal intent in Quets' actions.
"She didn't kidnap these babies. She never possessed the criminal heart to take them," Mullin said. "There was nothing covert in what Allison did."
Quets said she doesn't regret her decision to take the children to Canada, and she said she thinks it would be fair for a court to remove the twins from the Apex home where they have spent so much of their lives and put them back in her care.
"The best interest of the babies is to be with their mother," she said.