Joplin Day Care Operator Sentenced for Adoption Scheme
A 31-year old day care operator from Joplin, MO, was recently sentenced in federal court for a scheme to take the infant daughter of a client to Arkansas to be adopted by another couple.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says that Lasonya Faye Poindexter was sentenced to six years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Poindexter to pay $1,500 in restitution to the victim parents.
On June 21, 2018, Poindexter pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Poindexter reportedly began taking care of a Joplin couple’s two children at her home day care in April 2017. She admitted that she contacted a couple in Lincoln, Arkansas and offered to make arrangements for the couple to adopt one of those children, a five-month-old daughter identified in court documents as Jane Doe. The infant’s parents had never put Jane Doe up for adoption, nor had they ever told anyone that Jane Doe was available to be adopted.
Poindexter made multiple trips to Lincoln in June and July 2017 so the Arkansas couple, who had recently suffered the loss of their unborn child due to a miscarriage, could spend time with Jane Doe.
Jane Doe’s parents had never given Poindexter permission to take their daughter across state lines to Arkansas and were unaware that any of the trips occurred. The Arkansas couple usually met with Poindexter at the home of her aunt, but one visit was at the couple’s own home, where they reportedly had already prepared a nursery room for Jane Doe.
Poindexter falsely told the couple that the infant’s mother had left her baby at Poindexter’s house and wanted her to find a good family for Jane Doe because she was the product of a rape. Poindexter allegedly told the couple in Arkansas that Jane Doe’s mother wanted a closed adoption.
Poindexter asked the couple for money to provide for the care of Jane Doe until the adoption was finalized, however the couple refused to provide money until the adoption was finalized.
The Arkansas woman who sought to adopt Jane Doe viewed the mother’s Facebook page in July 2017 and noticed numerous images of the baby with her mother. On July 20, 2017, the Arkansas woman contacted the mother of Jane Doe through Facebook, sending a private message, telling the mother that she and her husband were planning to adopt Jane Doe and asking if she truly wanted to put Jane Doe up for adoption. The baby's parents then contacted law enforcement.
The Arkansas woman confronted Poindexter after communicating with Jane Doe’s mother. Poindexter sent her a screen shot of an e-mail that appeared to be from an attorney. In reality, the fake e-mail was created by Poindexter. The attorney later told investigators he had never represented Poindexter, had any communication with her and was not involved with any adoption proceeding.