Greg and Breanne Paquin revealed on social media they were scammed by a Houston woman who claimed to be pregnant and willing to give them her baby. The adoption fraud is under investigation by local authorities and the FBI, the Ohio couple says. The woman who is accused of being the scammer hasn’t been publicly identified.
According to social media posts by Breanne Paquin, the couple traveled from Cleveland to Texas after Christmas, expecting to pick up their adopted child on January 1, 2022. But when they got to Houston, they learned they had been the victims of a scam that cost them thousands of dollars and left them heartbroken.
“My husband and I are victims of adoption fraud,” Breanne Paquin said in a TikTok video that has more than two million views. “This was not just a case of an expectant mom changing her mind. This was fraud. Looking back now, there were definitely red flags that we were just overlooking. We had blinders on. We were hopeful adoptive parents. I believed everything she said. This is someone I talked to every single day for the past five months straight.”
Breanne Paquin, a 27-year-old nurse and realtor who goes by “Chronically Breanne” on social media, and her 30-year-old husband, Greg Paquin, have been married since 2017 and had been trying to have a baby for several years before deciding on adoption, according to her social media posts. In August, the couple posted on Facebook looking for an expectant mother who would be open to them adopting her child. And Breanne Paquin soon wrote on social media they had connected with a Houston woman for a private adoption and hired a lawyer to set it up. They planned to name their son Carson Ryder Paquin.
Breanne Paquin chronicled their adoption journey on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, where she has gained hundreds of thousands of followers posting about living with a chronic illness. On December 25, the couple posted a photo at the Cleveland airport and wrote, “The best Christmas yet ♥️ on our way to pick up our baby boy!!” On December 31, Breanne Paquin revealed they had been the victims of a scam. “Going home with an empty car seat and broken hearts. No we aren’t okay. Adoption scams are so very real,” she wrote. On Instagram, she added, “I wish this wasn’t real. Why is this happening to us?”
She said on TikTok about the mother approaching her on social media in August, “This is very common in private adoptions and I know several couples who have adopted this way. We verified her identity immediately and had lawyers involved within three days of talking to her.” She said they weren’t able to go to any doctor appointments because of the distance between them. But she sent her photos of her “pregnant belly” and “videos of the baby moving. It all seemed real. We talked about what the future looked like for all of us, what the baby would call her, would he get to know his siblings, everything. There is not a single part of me that thought this was not real or not happening.”
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The Houston Woman Sent the Couple Ultrasound Photos & Details About Pregnancy Complications & Breanne Paquin’s Mother Started a GoFundMe to Help Them With Adoption Expenses
According to the Paquins, the unnamed Houston woman found them on Facebook, where Breanne Paquin had joined groups for people looking to adopt and had posted messages addressed, “dear birth momma,” about what they could provide to a child. The Houston woman reached out to her, she wrote on Facebook. Breanne Paquin’s mother, Michelle Atkinson started a GoFundMe to help her daughter and son-in-law with expenses related to the adoption.
“After 3 years of battling infertility, they were told that conceiving a child naturally was not a possibility for them. After a lot of prayer, they decided against other methods of conception and decided instead to pursue private adoption,” Michelle Atkinson wrote. “Through word of mouth and the power of social media, an expecting mother found Greg and Breanne and instantly felt a connection. Breanne and Mom talk every single day and have created such a good relationship that they plan to continue even after birth. Baby boy is due January 1st and will be born in Houston, Texas where Mom resides. They will have an open adoption so that Baby Boy always knows that he is so loved and never feels that he was unwanted.”
As exciting as it is that they found their baby so quickly, this also means that they did not have the time they thought they would have to save up for all of the up front costs of adoption. As you may or may not know, the costs of adoption are substantial. The fees cover things such as their home study, background checks, fire inspections, lawyer and court fees, health care for Mom and Baby, and even post placement visits.
Unfortunately, Mom has had to go to the ER a few times now and has been recently diagnosed with placenta previa and gestational hypertension. This has made her pregnancy high risk and she is on strict bed rest and being followed by a high risk specialist. Because health insurance isn’t great and hardly covers these bills, the cost of healthcare for Mom and Baby has been extensive.
On Facebook, Breanne Paquin posted photos from her baby shower in December, writing, “My baby shower was everything I’ve ever dreamed of!! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to celebrate me and Baby Carson 💙 he is so so spoiled and loved already!! Any day now.”
In November, she posted a photo on Facebook about how excited she and her husband were to soon be a family of more than two, writing, “I am humbled by the support I receive every single day during this wild journey of starting our family. It truly means so much to us. If you’d like to further support us please share the link below or feel free to donate. I sincerely appreciate all the love, wishes, and advice that’s been given to us so far and though there’s nothing I can do to return your support, you are forever on our heart and we truly could not do this without you. Thank you. Our prayers of one day becoming parents are coming true ♥️ We are so excited and feel so blessed 🥰”
She also posted about issues the woman said she was having:
Baby Boy update: Baby Boy is doing so good 🤗 he’s super active and doesn’t like to keep still! I can’t wait to see his cute little face 🥰
However, Mom isn’t doing quite as great. This past week she went to the hospital with some bleeding and was diagnosed with complete placenta previa. She is on strict bed rest and waiting to see a high risk specialist.
Please keep Mom and Baby in your prayers. Placenta Previa can correct itself but it can be dangerous to both Mom and Baby. And keep me in your prayers because my anxiety is real right now.
In September, she posted ultrasound photos sent to her by the Houston woman, writing, “Carson Ryder Paquin 💙 you are so loved already baby boy.”
On TikTok, Paquin said she offered the woman several opportunities to back out of the adoption if she wanted to. She said they “ran background checks, we did everything we could think to do to ensure that this was legitimate. We were supposed to go to meet her back in October, we were going to just fly to Houston, spend the weekend, get to know her, but then all of a sudden she developed high-risk complications that had her on bed rest and she didn’t want visitors. And we understood that. … I wouldn’t want visitors if I was on bed rest either. So that’s a red flag I guess we overlooked.” She said another “red flag” was in December, when a C-section planned for December 9 because of her complications was canceled last-minute after the couple had planned to fly to Houston.
An Attorney They Hired in Houston Reviewed the Situation After the Supposedly Expectant Mother Stopped Communicating & Told the Paquins They Were Likely Scammed
Breanne Paquin’s mother updated the GoFundMe in January after they learned they had been the victims of a scam. She wrote, “Due to incredibly unfortunate events, we are having updated ‘Greg & Breanne’s Adoption Fund’ to help with their expenses after being fraudulently promised a baby boy by a woman who never intended on giving the baby up for adoption. Whether or not the baby even exists is still being questioned.” She explained:
They had joined protected adoption groups on social media, became knowledgeable on the signs of adoption scams, and researched as much as possible on the process of different adoption routes. In August, an expecting mother due January 1, 2022,from Houston, TX found Breanne and Greg through social media.
They felt their prayers were being answered quickly, so they were hesitant at first to not get their hopes up. They hired an attorney in Houston, required proof of identity, conducted background checks on the expectant mother, and spoke to her daily with updates about their baby. Breanne and the expectant mother became very close, Breanne considered her a friend. The expectant mother provided ultrasound videos and photos, medical bill receipts, personal “bump” updates, talked about their future plans with an open adoption, and assured Breanne and Greg that this is what she truly wanted to do. That God told her that they were the couple that would care for her baby boy. They reimbursed her for every medical bill and provided her with support during the entire process as they wanted to do everything they could to make the mother of their baby’s life easier.
She wrote, “Breanne and Greg put together the nursery, got everything they needed to care for their new baby boy, had a baby shower, a diaper party and posted updates about the process and updates about the baby on social media. They were so excited to hold their new son in their arms and the expectant mother seemed to be just as happy for them knowing the baby was already so loved.”
According to the GoFundMe, the Houston woman told the couple her induction date was December 28, so they planned to travel to Houston on December 25. She wrote:
On Christmas day, they packed up everything they needed for their newborn and traveled to Houston to await induction day. The day before the induction, the mother told them that unfortunately her mother was in the hospital due to heart problems and wanted to put off the induction for a few days. They understood completely because family means so much to them that they told her whatever she needed they supported it. After a couple days, something didn’t seem right as communication became scarce. They contacted their attorney who reviewed everything again and informed them that he believes they have been scammed.
They left back to Cleveland on New Years Eve with an empty car seat, broken hearts, to a home prepared for a baby that they did not come home with. It is important to make note that this is not a case where an expectant mother had a change of heart last minute. She never intended on giving them their baby and there is now proof of that.
Atkinson added, “Breanne and Greg lost a lot of money during this process, but their hearts are shattered as they also try to wrap their heads around how someone could be so manipulative and cruel. It is sickening that this woman that Breanne once considered to be like a friend, was playing with their heart the entire time. Breanne and Greg are good-hearted people and should never have been robbed of their most desired hope of becoming parents.”
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office & the FBI Are Investigating for Possible Charges in the Scam That Cost the Couple At Least $10,000
Breanne Paquin told Fox 26 Houston, “The lawyer and my husband actually went out to one of her last known addresses which happened to be family members of hers. They spoke with her family, who said they did not think she was pregnant at all, and they said her mom was completely fine and not in the hospital.”
According to the news station, the Paquins’ lawyer is working with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI to investigate the woman. Breanne Paquin told Fox 26, “Nothing has changed, we left an empty house and we’re coming home to an empty house. But at the same time everything feels like it’s changed.”
On TikTok, Paquin wrote about the Houston woman, “She has spoken to our lawyer since this story aired and she knows she’s in a lot of trouble. That’s all I can say at this time.” She said the money they gave to the woman, about $10,000, was to reimburse her for medical expenses. She added that their lawyer thinks the woman potentially made fraudulent medical documents.
She said on TikTok that her husband and their lawyer went to one of the woman’s last known addresses in Houston and her family told them, “They knew nothing about a pregnancy. They didn’t know anything about an adoption. They said they were shocked but not surprised that she would do something like this. And were just very hurt she would take it this far. So at this point we truly don’t know if there was ever a baby or if she was pregnant. There’s a lot of evidence to point she never intended to give this baby up for adoption. Either way is fraud and it currently is being investigated at this time.”
Heavy on Houston has reached out to local and federal authorities. Paquin said she would share more information on TikTok when she can and decided to post about it to bring awareness to adoption fraud in hopes it prevents further incidents. Paquin said in a TikTok comment, “My head is spinning from the attention this is getting. I just hope it brings awareness to how common this is.”