The Red Flags Of Adoption

I’m not really pregnant…it was all a charade…

These aren’t exactly the kind of words you would want to hear from your anticipated child’s surrogate. Especially when you’ve been trying to complete your family for the past 10 years, after six rounds of fertility treatments. Heartbreaking stuff!

A Virginia woman, who admitted to faking a pregnancy, and tricking an Orange County couple into an adoption agreement, is facing charges.

The woman found the Trayte couple through a website they established to find “A Sibling for Hudson”. The website was reaching out to expecting mothers wanting to give their child up to the care of another family, to provide a sibling for their son, Hudson.

According to media reports, a grand jury indicted Elizabeth Jones on 9 felony larceny-related charges. According to News Five WYCB, the indictment includes 9 transactions of less than $500 in the form of gifts and benefits from the Trayte couple.

Jone’s admitted her pregnancy lie during an interview with an NBC affiliate in January. She expressed regret and uncertainty regarding the cause of her actions. Jones provided an ultrasound and showed up for a photoshoot, however payment information was never exchanged. She even criticised the excited couple’s inability to spot the ‘red flags’.

According to Trayte, the hoax endured until the woman claimed she was in labor after 33 weeks; the couple flew to Tennessee to witness the “birth” before realising Jones had only admitted herself to the hospital for back pain.

According to the Trayte couple’s social media statement:

“This was fraud and an emotional attack but an attack none the less….We hope that a precedent can be set here…so that other adoptive families don’t have to suffer the way that we have.”

Who knows what could have caused someone to deceive a hopeful and excited couple in this way? It’s hard to imagine a reason behind that kind of deception. It’s tragic cases like this that stress the importance of informing yourself about potential ‘red flags’ as well as state laws concerning adoption proceedings; whether you are planning to give a child up to another family’s care, or if you are seeking to expand your family through adoption.

How do I know If I am eligible to adopt a child?

-every state has its own laws
-in California prospective parents must be 10 years senior to the child they are adopting
-there are exceptions to this with stepparent or relative adoptions
-approval to adopt in California follows the completion of a home study, as well as criminal background (fingerprint) checks


What does the California home study involve?:

The adoption home study involves:

-fingerprint submission
-physical examination
-adoption training classes
-individual interviews with social workers
-in-home visit and investigation with a social worker


What are the legal requirements to finalise a Californian adoption?

-The completion of a post-placement supervision period
-This is a 6 month process including at least four interviews with your social worker, placed in your home with child


Adoption is a legal and emotional experience for the family involved. When considering expanding your family, or placing a child for adoption, it is important to follow correct legal procedures for your state, and get professional advice, to avoid disappointment and heartbreak.

If you need any legal assistance with adoption, or other family law matters, take a look at the services on offer at


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