Updated:ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —
Orange County investigators said a pregnant woman tried to shop her baby around to different adoption agencies and made a $12,000 profit from vulnerable would-be parents in the process.
Channel 9’s Renee Stoll spoke to one of the agencies that was allegedly swindled by Shiela Suansing.
The executive director of Gift of Life Adoptions near Tampa said Suansing’s birth father originally contacted the agency.
“We made the connections and started working with them, and matching them with a family,” Cari Still said.
Once the adoption process was in progress, the family hoping to take Suansing’s child home started paying for her expenses.
“It was pretty normal, customary, frequent financial assistance,” Still said. “Things that are covered under statutes like rent, food, and clothing.”
Investigators said Suansing also promised her baby to another family, and was simultaneously in the adoption process with adoption attorney Linda Barnby in Maitland.
The second family had spent more than $10,000 paying the very same expenses for Suansing.
The two agencies eventually found out about each other.
“How Linda found out about it was essentially through the grapevine,” Still said.
Suansing was charged with adoption fraud, scheming to defraud and grand theft.
The owner of Gift of Life Adoptions said he’s seen this happen before, and the birth mom rarely gets any serious punishment through the courts.