LI mother charged in adoption scam

Accused of promising unborn baby to multiple families
February 4, 2008 3:13:28 PM PST
A Long Island mother who preyed on vulnerable couples who were desperate for a baby is heading for prison Monday. Authorities say she worked several different families at once, promising them her unborn baby.

Long Island reporter Emily Smith has the story.

Lisa and Peter Caruso drove to Long Island from Pennsylvania today, just to see Emily Singer sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison. They say they know they're not getting the baby of their dreams, but they are getting justice.

"All we wanted was to have a child, to be a family," Lisa said.

They say they found that hope in Singer, a 25-year-old Long Island woman connected to them through a small Pennsylvania adoption agency two years ago.

Singer, they say, eventually promised them her unborn son Alex, as long as they helped her with finances, like rent, food and clothing throughout the pregnancy..

"We were prepared for everything," Lisa said. "We were not prepared that this woman was intentionally scamming us just for money."

They admit Singer would act erratically, often lying, at first about the due date and later increasing her requests for money. So the Carusos did some research and also contacted the adoption agency. They say they were told to push forward.

"They said just get through this, in just a couple of weeks, you'll have that baby," Lisa said.

Turns out the Carusos weren't the only couple in line for Singer's unborn son. Prosecutor John Scarglto says once the Carusos reported the alleged crime, he discovered Singer targeted at least one other Pennsylvania couple, telling them the baby would be theirs. Authorities say she maintained it all by going through different adoption agencies .

"She is manipulative, she is selfish, she is heartless," Scarglato said.

In court, Singer admitted to the crime saying, "That's how I've gotten by for the last two years and for that I apologize."

She also said, "I apologize to the people I've hurt. It wasn't meant to go that far."

For the Carusos, that apology is nothing. Yet somehow, today means everything .

"This is my happy ending," Lisa said. "Some have a happy ending with a baby...Mine is that she is now put out of commission."

Singer's four children are now all with the state system in foster care.