Quets battled twins' parents

FBI agent details adoption dealings

Staff WriterJanuary 5, 2007 

An FBI agent says Allison Quets, accused of kidnapping the twins she gave up for adoption, fell out with an Apex couple over money before later allowing them to take her children.

In an affidavit unsealed Thursday, FBI Agent Michael Sutton details the deal-making and eventual change of heart that ended with Quets fleeing with the 17-month-old twins to Canada.

Quets, arrested a week ago in Ottawa, faces a federal charge of international kidnapping. After a little more than week away, twins Tyler and Holly Needham were reunited with their adoptive parents, Denise and Kevin Needham.

After a court hearing Thursday in Ottawa, Canadian officials agreed to let Quets, 49, of Orlando, Fla., remain free on bail until Monday, when she is to surrender to Ottawa police for extradition to the United States. The Ottawa Sun reported that Quets was ordered to reside with a former local police chief who posted $5,000 bail. Her Canadian lawyer did not return several messages.

Sutton, the FBI agent, wrote in his affidavit that Quets went through in-vitro fertilization in 2004 and became pregnant with twins. At first, she sought to put only the male child up for adoption and talked to the Needhams about adopting him.

Later, she decided to have the Needhams adopt both children, because she had decided she was "incapable of raising any child." But then Quets told the Needhams that they would have to pay her expenses, Sutton wrote. The Needhams decided not to continue with the adoption, he wrote.

Quets then located another couple. But because that couple would not allow her to visit the children, she decided not to go through with that adoption, according to Sutton.

Ultimately, Quets returned to the Needhams because they would allow her to see Holly and Tyler, Sutton wrote. It was unclear whether the Needhams paid Quets' expenses.

The children were born July 6, 2005, and Quets signed a consent form letting the Needhams adopt the twins on Aug. 16, 2005, Sutton wrote. The next day, Quets contacted the Needhams and said she "may have made a mistake" and asked the Needhams to "tear up the court documents," according to Sutton's affidavit.

The Needhams refused, and Quets sued, Sutton wrote.

On Thursday, Quets' sister, Gail Quets, of Louisville, Ky., disputed how her sister's search for adoptive parents is characterized.

"The fact that my sister was having her children adopted does not mean she was a bad person, that she didn't love her children," Gail Quets said by telephone. "It means she was afraid that she could not take care of them."

She added: "The fact that she contacted other agencies indicates exactly how ambivalent she was."

Gail Quets has said her sister had a difficult pregnancy and was so ill that she was unsure she would be able to care for the twins. She said the Needhams pursued the adoption aggressively.

Sutton, the FBI agent, detailed the outcome of Quets' lawsuit against the couple: On June 29, 2006, a Florida judge terminated Quets' parental rights and granted custody to the Needhams, according to the affidavit. Quets appealed, and the judge allowed her to have visits near the Needhams' home in North Carolina every third weekend, the affidavit says.

Before Dec. 22 -- when Quets took the children and fled for Canada -- Sutton wrote, "the Needhams noticed that Quets' behavior became more erratic, anxious, verbally abusive." For example, Quets took the children to a doctor, claimed she was the legal guardian and tried to have medical records transferred from their current physician to a new doctor, Sutton wrote.

On Aug. 24, Quets obtained passports for the children, Sutton wrote. On Dec. 2, she traveled with one child to Ontario, he wrote. And before her final flight to Canada, a friend of Quets told investigators that Quets had discussed taking the children to another country that does not allow extradition, according to Sutton.

On Dec. 24, Kevin Needham went to pick up the twins from Quets at The Streets at Southpoint mall. When Quets didn't arrive, Sutton wrote, "Needham called Quets' cellular phone, she answered, the children were heard in the background and when Kevin Needham spoke, Quets immediately disconnected."

The Needhams and their lawyers are not discussing the adoption, citing the confidentiality of the case under Florida law.

Gail Quets disputes some statements in Sutton's affidavit. She said she understood that her sister's parental rights were not terminated because the case was on appeal. She said it is common to have the adoptive parents cover expenses of the birth mother.

She also said it was impossible for her sister to take one child to Ontario on Dec. 2 because the Needhams had failed to hand over the children to her sister for the visit that weekend.

About the doctor's visit, Gail Quets said, the Needhams delivered the children to her sister and indicated they were sick. Gail Quets said her sister asked the Needhams for medical information, including the name of their doctor, but the Needhams refused to say. When her sister took the children to the doctor, she found the girl had an ear infection.

"When you have children in your custody and they are sick, there is nothing wrong with taking them to the doctor," Gail Quets said.

Staff writer Andrea Weigl can be reached at 829-4848 or aweigl@newsobserver.com.

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