Crime

Lawyer rejects adoption story

A lawyer for Denise and Kevin Needham of Apex, the adoptive parents of twins who were taken to Canada by birth mother Allison Quets, took issue Tuesday with how Quets' sister, Gail, has been depicting the adoption of 17-month-olds, Tyler Lee and Holly Ann Needham, in Florida in 2005.

"There were substantial findings by that court that would not support Gail Quets' statements," said David Garfinkel, a lawyer in Jacksonville, Fla.

Allison Quets, who fled to Canada last month with the fraternal twins she had given up for adoption to the Needhams, walked into a Ottawa courtroom Tuesday only to have her bail hearing delayed until Thursday, according to the Ottawa Sun newspaper. Quets, 49, of Orlando, Fla., faces extradition to the U.S. for federal charges of international kidnapping, as well as North Carolina charges of kidnapping. She picked up the twins Dec. 22 for a weekend visit approved by a Florida court, where she is appealing the adoption.

Police started investigating after Quets failed to return the children Christmas Eve. Quets and the twins were located in Ottawa on Friday.

Garfinkel said he could not discuss details because Florida law keeps adoption cases sealed, and that limits what he and his clients can say about the adoption.

In response, Gail Quets of Louisville, Ky., said: "It sounds like the kind of evasive thing a lawyer would say."

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Needhams wrote that while the public may be curious about the adoption details, such cases are sealed to protect the children's privacy. "All of the facts of this situation were well-documented during the trial that took place in Florida. That court process upheld that Holly and Tyler should remain in our custody," they wrote.

The Needhams went on to offer thanks to all those who helped with the twins' safe return Sunday to North Carolina.

"We would like to start by expressing our gratitude and appreciation to every individual at the Durham Police Department, Apex Police Department, FBI, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa Police Department, Canadian Child Services, the FBI Victim Witness Program and other Canadian and U.S. authorities who helped to safely resolve the situation," the statement read. "We returned home from Canada with Holly and Tyler on Sunday and have been able to celebrate a wonderful Christmas and New Year."

Gail Quets said her sister conceived the twins through in-vitro fertilization but became ill during the pregnancy and agreed to the adoption. She said her sister revoked her consent of the adoption after the twins' birth and is appealing the Needhams' custody of the twins.

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