Kiel — Todd and Melissa Puchalla struggled more than two years to raise Quita, the troubled teenager they had adopted from Liberia. When they decided to give up the 16-year-old, they found new parents to take her in less than two days — by posting an ad on the Internet.continue at JS
Nicole and Calvin Eason, an Illinois couple in their 30s, responded quickly. In emails, Nicole Eason assured Melissa Puchalla that she could handle the girl. "People that are around me think I am awesome with kids," Eason wrote.
A few weeks later, on Oct. 4, 2008, the Puchallas drove from their Wisconsin home to Westville, Ill. The handoff took place at the Country Aire Mobile Home Park, where the Easons lived.
No attorneys or child welfare officials were present. The Puchallas simply signed a notarized statement declaring these virtual strangers to be Quita's guardians. The visit lasted a few hours. It was the first and the last time that the couples would meet.
To Melissa Puchalla, the Easons "seemed wonderful." Had she vetted them more closely, she might have discovered what Reuters would learn:
■ Child welfare authorities had taken away both of Nicole Eason's biological children years earlier. A sheriff's deputy wrote that the couple had "violent tendencies."
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
JS: Adopted children traded, advertised like pets