JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville mother of six is facing adoption fraud charges after police said she took the money and ran.
Shaunese Tucker, 31, turned herself in to police after a warrant was issued for her arrest. She is currently out of jail after posting $1,500 bail.
According to an arrest warrant, in May 2019, Tucker signed an agreement with the Love Adoption Life agency in San Marco to place her unborn twins up for adoption. According to police, six months later Tucker gave birth to the twins but never notified the adoption agency, despite being paid more than $7,000 for the adoption. Those payments came from a couple who spent more than $40,000 to have the agency facilitate the adoption process. By December, the agency knew something was up when Tucker didn’t show up for a meeting.
The agency owner said adoption fraud is not something that happens very often, but the agency still does its homework just in case.
“We give each expectant mother certain forms of payment and we monitor what they buy and spend money on. We check the internet for baby registries,” said Lauren Kingry, attorney and adoption agency owner.
The agency found Tucker’s public Facebook page, which showed a picture of her visibly pregnant with her six previous children. Each child was wearing a shirt that reads, “We’re adding a little more love to our family.” There was also a post about needing a baby shower, and, according to detectives, that post was written the same week Tucker signed adoption papers. An Amazon registry under Tucker’s name was also located. Detectives said that based on what was found online, it appeared Tucker had planned to keep the twins and the money she received.
When New4Jax arrived at her home to speak with her on Tuesday, she was in her car, which was parked in the driveway. Then a man who claimed to her husband came out of the house. Both eventually ran from the camera toward the back of the house. Neither wanted to talk with News4Jax.
It’s unclear who currently has custody of the twins.
Duval County Court records show that Tucker had various run-ins with law enforcement prior to this year. In 2015, she was convicted of theft charges. In 2008, Tucker was sentenced to six months in jail followed by six months of probation after she was convicted of dealing in stolen property.