Guest Author - Karen Ledbetter
According to the law, each count Ms. Quets faces carries a maximum of three years. Since she has already served the minimum, it’s quite possible that she may not serve any additional prison time.
The kidnapping of the then 17-month-old toddlers occurred during court-ordered unsupervised visitation in December of 2006. Ms. Quets was later found hiding out with the children in a Canada bed and breakfast, where she was arrested on kidnapping charges.
Quets’ sentencing hearing is not until December. In the meantime, she is a free woman, able to travel anywhere in the state of North Carolina and the state of Florida, where the custody battle for the children continues. Apparently, Ms. Quets has continued her fight involving the Florida courts from her North Carolina jail cell. A condition of her release states that Ms. Quets is to have absolutely no contact with the children unless a Florida court orders otherwise. Despite this order, as she left the courthouse, Ms. Quets spoke of reuniting with the toddlers. Court proceedings are to resume in Florida on September 17, 2007, where Ms. Quets apparently hopes to overturn the adoption and regain full custody of the children. In the meantime, attorneys are trying to work out some sort of visitation arrangement outside of the courts. If this is done, is there any guarantee that Ms. Quets will not take off with the children again?
Ms. Quets placed the babies for adoption with North Carolina residents, Kevin and Denise Needham in 2005, apparently due to illness and inability to care for them at the time. Then Ms. Quets changed her mind about the adoption. Ms. Quets was a Florida resident at the time, and the adoption documents were signed in Florida, where consent is irrevocable. She had been fighting the adoptive placement in court ever since. Apparently, she hatched the kidnapping plan out of desperation to get the children back.
There are so many yet unanswered questions in this case, especially surrounding Ms. Quets’ health and mental status at the time she entrusted the babies to Mr. and Mrs. Needham’s care. If she truly was as physically ill as she claims, who was caring for the babies before she placed them with Mr. and Mrs. Needham? Did she realize that adoption consent is irrevocable in the state of Florida? Did her then boyfriend really coerce her into going along with the adoptive placement? Was she more interested in keeping a man in her life than her children? Was adoption fraud committed? If so, does this make the adoptive placement invalid? Did Ms. Needham seek professional mental health counseling, either before or after placement, to help her deal with the emotional aspects of adoption? And perhaps, most importantly, where were all the so-called friends and supporters BEFORE Ms. Quets made the adoption plan? If they had been around to help when she was so weak and ill, then perhaps she would not have had to place the babies in an adoptive home.
If nothing else, this case proves the importance of women receiving thorough legal counseling regarding the laws, and so forth, through an attorney not representing the hopeful adoptive parents, as well as emotional counseling/support, BEFORE signing documents. The saddest part in all of this is that two precious children are paying the price of one woman’s multiple errors in judgement.