St. Louis Public Radio News
2:46 pm
Fri February 14, 2003

Internet Adoption Service Head Arrested

Maple Valley, Wa. – A former San Diego woman, accused of running a fraudulent Internet adoption service, has been arrested in Washington state on multiple counts of wire fraud.

Her clients included a Missouri mother of twins adopted twice over the Internet, a case that became international news.

FBI agents arrested Tina Johnson Thursday at her home in the Seattle suburb of Maple Valley, Washington. Two children were found in the home and placed in protective care.

Johnson was at the center of an Internet adoption case involving twin girls born in 2000 to Tranda Wecker, of St. Louis.

A California couple claimed they had paid $6,000 to Johnson's service to adopt the girls, Kiara and Keyara. They say Wecker took the girls for a visit and never returned.

An international custody battle ensued when a Welsh couple surfaced, claiming they had paid Johnson $12,000 to adopt the girls.

A judge in Missouri has since ruled against both and is looking for a home for the children.