TAMPA, Fla. - Police arrested a Tampa woman on charges stemming from an alleged adoption scam.
According to arrest documents, 32-year-old Jessica Bottoms, agreed to put her unborn child up for adoption in December, 2015. When the baby was born early, she didn't notify the adopted parents-to-be or their attorney, but still collected money from them.
The victims, who wished not to be named, said they discovered the baby had been born two weeks after he was delivered. In that timeframe, they had given the biological mother more than $1,000. Bottoms received more than $7,200 in cash, gift cards and services during the entire adoption plan.
The victims lost about $11,000 total, including legal fees. They say they knew they could lose money in the adoption process if the mother decided to keep her child. The issue for them was that she continued to collect money after the baby was born, knowing she was not giving up her baby.
"We understood that she had the option to parent and we respected that," the woman who hoped to adopt the child said. "But we didn't want her to do this to another family."
When ABC Action News spoke to Bottoms about the charges she said, "That's a load." Bottoms then went inside of her home without answering any questions.
The victims have since gone through the adoption process again. They now have a baby girl.