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The Puchallas simply signed a notarized statement declaring these virtual strangers to be Quita's guardians. It was the first and the last time 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.
" REUTERS/Samantha Sais Part 1: When a Liberian girl proves too much for her parents, they advertise her online and give her to a couple they’ve never met. KIEL, Wisconsin – Todd and Melissa Puchalla struggled for more than two years to raise Quita, the troubled teenager they'd adopted from Liberia.
When she arrived in the United States, Quita says, she "was happy … Like Quita, now 21, these children are often the casualties of international adoptions gone sour.
On average, a child was advertised for there once a week.
Most of the children ranged in age from 6 to 14 and had been adopted from abroad – from countries such as Russia and China, Ethiopia and Ukraine. After learning what Reuters found, Yahoo acted swiftly.
When she called the school that Quita was supposed to attend, an administrator told Puchalla that the teenager had never shown up. The Easons had packed up their purple Chevy truck and driven off with her, leaving behind a pile of trash, a pair of blue mattresses and two puppies chained in their yard, authorities later found.
The Puchallas had rescued Quita from an orphanage in Liberia, brought her to America and then signed her over to a couple they barely knew.Within hours, it began shutting down Adopting-from-, the six-year-old bulletin board.