Reuters released the third and fourth parts of their five part story on what is essentially an online network connecting people who don't want their adopted kids anymore and those who are willing to take them in. The catch, of course, is that the sort of person that will take in a kid without going through legal channels or investigation of their qualifications can be exactly the sort of person you don't want near children in the first place:
Online, she called herself Big Momma; he went by the name lovethemcute. And in the summer of 2006, housemates Nicole Eason and Randy Winslow were surfing the Internet with a common objective.
Each was looking for children.
Winslow — lovethemcute — was 41, balding and paunchy. He swapped pictures of naked children and would later spend time in a chat room called baby&toddlerlove, where he described himself as a "lil boylover," court documents show. There, he would graphically boast of molesting boys and explain how to keep the abuse quiet: "Just have to raise them to think its fine and not to tell anyone," he wrote in a chat with an undercover federal agent. "What is done in the family stays in the family."
Eason — Big Momma — was about to turn 28. She had moved to Illinois from two states where authorities had taken away her biological children years earlier. In one report, authorities noted that a child she and friends were watching had died in her care.
Living away from her husband, Calvin, and with Winslow in the Illinois town of Tilton, Eason wanted to be a mother again. A few hours on an Internet bulletin board were all she would need to find a new child.
Unfortunately, these two ended up with a child in their care, handed off at a freeway exit, although that child was eventually removed from their home and placed in foster care. Winslow is now in jail, convicted on child pornography charges, but Eason—a woman who has had at least two biological children taken away from her by state authorities, was watching someone else's child when it drowned in a bathtub, and has taken in at least six previously adopted children via the internet—is currently living in Tucson (at least, she was when the report was filed, it seems she and her husband move around a lot):
In February 2011, the Easons left New York. They rented a Ford Focus and drove to Florida. Later that year, they moved to Tucson, Arizona. There, Calvin Eason was convicted of stealing the rental car and sentenced to three years of probation.
As part of the car-theft court proceedings, Calvin was required to fill out a form listing his dependents. On the document, dated December 2011, he listed two children by name: a 9-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son.
When Reuters visited the Eason home in May, there was no sign of the boy or girl. Nicole was driving a cab; Calvin was working the graveyard shift as a janitor for a local grocer. They had just moved into the house.
In interviews, the Easons discussed the children they had taken through re-homing. Nicole recited their names and talked about how much it means to be a parent. "It makes me feel important," she explained. "I guess maybe that's my psychological problem, you know.… It's like, what would I be without them?"
In August, the Easons moved out of the house after failing to pay rent for two months; when the property manager went inside, he says he found five dogs there.
The Easons were staying a few miles away, at a Fairfield Inn. Outside the hotel, Nicole was asked if the couple would be taking in other children.
"Yes," she said. "I have kids in my room."
The story is a wildly unpleasant and infuriating read, but one that needs to be reported. Something has to be done to keep this from happening.