‘She’d text us, ‘I need more money.’ She saw me not as a woman to love her unborn child, but as a target. Our hearts and wallets were drained.’: Couple suffers adoption scam, ‘She broke us’

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“On May 8th, 2019, Shareen was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crimes she committed against us and three other families. She had pleaded guilty blindly, hoping the judge would give her a lighter sentence than what the DA was offering. We were asked to write a victim impact statement since we did not want to make the trip to Alabama. This is the statement I wrote that the DA read aloud for Shareen, the judge, and the courtroom to hear. She showed no remorse. Her sentence will be split into 5 years in prison and 15 years probation. I hope she finds redemption and God’s mercy, but more than anything, I hope she never does this to another family again.

My name is Beth and my husband Rocky and I were victims of Shareen G. and Kevin C. On Thursday, October 26th, 2017, we got the phone call no adoptive parent wants to receive. Our lawyer informed us the woman we trusted, the woman we put our faith in, was in fact lying to us and scamming us out of our hard-earned money. Worse than the money was what Shareen and Kevin did to our faith, our trust, and our family.

Our path to adoption was one that followed years of infertility and heartbreak. Leading up to our initial meeting with Shareen, I had suffered a miscarriage, countless surgeries and procedures, multiple IVF attempts, and two donor egg disasters. When we finally arrived at adoption, we were broken both emotionally and financially, but I knew I was meant to be a mother. It was all I ever wanted in my life, my heart’s only real desire.

Once we came to the decision to adopt, our only regret was not doing it sooner. We once again felt excited about the possibility of becoming parents. We had a renewed faith and a sense of purpose. Adoption was scary, expensive, and we understood there were risks, but we were never prepared to have our hearts completely broken and our wallets drained.

I’m fully aware and perhaps overly sympathetic to the fact not everyone has the same chance in life. Some of us are born to better circumstances. Some of us have better parents, opportunities, and support that others do not. That makes me empathetic to women who need to give their children up for adoption, perhaps due to drugs, financial insecurity, or just having nowhere to go. I feel the pain these women must experience, having found themselves in a situation where they are unable to care for the very child they grow inside of them. What I do not have any empathy for are women who play the system and prey on women who are in their most broken and vulnerable states. Women who use their unborn babies as currency, no regard for the actual baby, but more interested in the goods they can receive in exchange for the baby they see as transactional.

That is exactly what Shareen did to me and to at least three other women. She was fully aware, both from reading my profile and from conversations we had on the phone, that I was unable to have children and that I was incredibly heartbroken over that and desperately wanting to be a mother. She saw me not as a woman who would care for and love her unborn child, but as a target. Someone she could manipulate into giving her money and gifts, someone she could control by threatening to change her mind about the adoption or dangling her baby boy in front of us like a carrot.

Despite agreeing upon a monthly allotment of funds to cover expenses for the baby, she would call or text us in a panic she needed more money or her furniture was being repoed or she would have to sleep on the floor if we didn’t immediately overnight her more money. She would make comments about finding a new family for her son if we didn’t get her the extra money she needed. When our caseworker accused her of trying to take advantage of us, she once again threatened us with finding a new family for the baby because she was offended by the accusation.

She pretended to be insulted. She pretended to be a lot of things, but a decent human being was, by far, her greatest act. Over the three months we knew Shareen, I was in a constant state of anxiety and panic. I couldn’t eat or sleep and money seemed to be flying out the door at her every beck and call.

The type of personality defect it takes to hurt kind and decent people in this sort of manner is unfathomable to me. I truly believe Shareen is a sociopath and will absolutely do this again to another unsuspecting family if given the opportunity.

Once we were aware of the scam Shareen was running on us, we had to continue on as though we knew nothing for approximately one week while the police planned her arrest. To talk with her over those seven days and hear the sincerity in her voice, the promises she made, the lies she told with such ease, and unwavering confidence while having those same conversations with three other families, makes me believe she is pure evil. She will tell you what you want to hear and do so with a devil’s tongue. Arousing sympathy for her poor situation, promising to live a better life than she had in the past, weaseling her way into your hearts — only to be plotting her next greedy move as though you are a chess piece in her game of theft and deception. Shareen broke us.

On Thursday, October 26th, 2017, I truly lost my faith in humanity. I no longer believed in God. I became a different person. Cold, jaded, suspicious. I wasn’t sure how I was going to move forward after such a blow. I didn’t think there was ever going to be a day where I would have hope or faith again.

But then we met our son, Mac’s, birth mother and she showed us adoption can be a beautiful thing and there are kind, warm and loving women in the world who have nothing but their unborn babies’ interest at heart. Shareen is not one of these women. Her cruelty and pathology became even more clear in the contrast between our two experiences.

I have forgiven Shareen for what she did to us, only because if I live my days hating her, I will be the one who suffers. I, along with my family, deserve to be happy, not full of hate or malice like Shareen. I have forced my heart to let her go and let the courts take care of my vindication.

I hope she will spend the rest of her fertile days in prison so that she will have no chance of reproducing another baby she will surely use as currency to hurt vulnerable women whose only crimes are wanting to be mothers to unwanted babies. May God forgive her, but may the justice department hold her accountable for the pain and suffering she has caused to so many.”

Courtesy of Beth

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Beth of Pennsylvania. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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