Local News

Birth Mom Still Wants Visitation of Twins She Abducted

Posted December 17, 2007 12:18 p.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2007 6:04 a.m. EST

— A woman at the center of an international kidnapping case is still asking for supervised visitation of the twins she gave birth to and then put up for adoption.

In a complaint, filed by Raleigh attorney Michael S. Harrell in Wake County District Court on Nov. 20, Allison Quets claims the adoption in 2005 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.

She claims the adoptive parents, Kevin and Denise Needham, of Apex, breached the open adoption agreement and refused to provide visitation, access and communication rights as provided in the agreement.

The open adoption agreement provides for six visits per year with the children and telephone contact with them and requires that the adoptive parents provide at least 10 photos at a time of the children, as well as a summary of their health, well-being and progress.

Quets is asking for temporary and permanent visitation rights, access to information concerning the children and communication with them. She is also asking to have the adoption set aside if the court invalidates the open adoption agreement and refuses to enforce it against the Needhams.

Harrell was unavailable for comment Monday. A custody hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2.

Quets pleaded guilty in September to two counts of international parental kidnapping in the Dec. 22, 2006, abduction of the children, who were 17 month old at the time.

Authorities said she did not return the children home to their adoptive parents following a weekend visit. She was arrested nearly a week later in Ottawa, Ontario.

Prosecutors said Quets planned for months to take the children and obtained passports for them.

Quets has been fighting for custody since about a month after giving them up for adoption in Florida. She claims she signed adoption papers under duress and was ill after suffering medical problems during her pregnancy.

The Florida First District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling terminating Quets' parental rights in the case. North Carolina has jurisdiction under Interstate Compact because the adoptive family lives there.

Quets, meanwhile, is expected to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court on the kidnapping charges. Her criminal attorney, Jim Craven, of Durham, said he hopes she will receive credit for the eight months she served in jail.

Craven said he also hopes the case will prompt people to take another look at private adoption laws.

"It's a very sad case," Craven said. "There are no winners. It's just sad all the way around."