"Re-homing" becoming disturbing new trend in adoption
MILWAUKEE - Parents have been turning their adopted children over to complete strangers, with no background check, and it's completely legal.
A woman in Milwaukee can tell you what it's like.
It's clear you can find just about anything online. An NBC/Reuters investigation found parents are giving their adopted children away to strangers through the Internet.
Quita Puchalla makes a simple plea, urging people to not giveaway unwanted, adopted children online.
Puchalla knows first-hand about this underground operation. It's called "re-homing".
In 2006, she came to the U.S. from Liberia, and a couple from Wisconsin adopted her.
“I was happy. I was going to be adopted because I thought I was coming into a safer place,” said Puchalla.
But soon after arriving she said it became clear her new family didn't want her around anymore.
Puchalla claims her adoptive parents became abusive. “He put socks in my mouth and made my nose bleed, knocked my head on the floor,” explained Puchalla. Then in 2008, less than two years after living with the Wisconsin family, Puchalla said her adoptive mother told her she would be moving into a new home.
Then one day Puchalla said her adoptive parents drove her to Illinois.
According to an NBC/Reuters investigation, her parents placed an online ad looking for a new home for their adopted teen.
Puchalla’s case isn't unique. The national investigation discovered hundreds of online classifieds for parents looking to get rid of their children. Once they get a hit, the kids are often dropped off with minimum paperwork needed.
After living on the streets, and then in and out of group homes, Puchalla wants to put her past behind her and think about the love she has to give.
But now at 21 she’s working on getting her GED and hoping her future is brighter than her past. The NBC-Reuters investigation found this underground operation of re-homing is legal and unregulated. In Puchalla’s case her adoptive parents did not run a background check. The investigation revealed the couple they gave her to was deemed unfit by child welfare authorities and even had their own biological children taken away from them in years past.