Local News

Birth Mom Who Kidnapped Twins Wants Visitation Rights

Posted January 2, 2008 6:07 a.m. EST
Updated January 2, 2008 8:47 p.m. EST

— A judge heard arguments Wednesday but didn't rule on whether to dismiss the visitation case of a birth mother convicted of kidnapping twins from their adoptive family in Apex.

Allison Quets was sentenced last month to five years probation after she pleaded guilty to international parental kidnapping.

On Dec. 22, 2006, Quets took twin, who were 17 months old at the time, from their adoptive parents, Kevin and Denise Needham of Apex, and traveled to Canada. FBI agents arrested Quets about a week later in Ottawa, Ontario. The children were unhurt and returned to the Needhams.

Quets received credit for the more than eight months she spent behind bars, but her effort to see the children is not over.

She has maintained that she signed adoption papers under duress and was ill after suffering medical problems during her pregnancy. Her attorney filed paperwork saying she's entitled to see the twins under an original adoption agreement in Florida. Under that agreement, Quets was supposed to see the children six times a year and have additional telephone contact with them.

A Florida appellate court upheld a lower court's ruling terminating Quets' parental rights in the case.

"We'll have to see what happens," Quets said Wednesday morning as she entered the courtroom. "I love my children."

The judge in her criminal case ruled that any visitation rights she wins in her civil case would require supervised visits.

The Needhams have asked that Quets' attempt at visitation be dismissed, and their attorney said any proceedings in the case need to be closed because she would have to cite sealed adoption records to argue the case.

If the case moves forward, the judge said the custody hearing would be open to the public.