What would you do if your coworker attempted to “rehome” their adopted son on a Facebook group? One online user posed this question after their work colleague did just that.
They Adopted Their Son From Ukraine
Two years prior to the incident, the Redditor’s coworker (hereafter renamed Sarah for the sake of privacy) had very publicly adopted an older child from Ukraine.
Sarah and her husband were a very religious couple who had adopted eight kids. They allegedly preferred to take in older children because it was “easier” than raising infants or toddlers.
The Co-Worker Frequently Babysat The Child
Per her account of the situation, this online user and her boyfriend regularly babysat the boy, Ivan, as a favor to Sarah and her husband.
“It’s never been a problem because I like kids,” she wrote. “I didn’t see any glaring problems despite Sarah’s constant dramatics about how awful the kid was, and he seemed to like being over [at our house]. … Our place is small but clean and really well kept.”
The user described Sarah’s home, in comparison, as “disgusting, for lack of a better word.”
The Family Wanted To Find Him a Rehome Via Social Media
After months of Sarah complaining to coworkers about her adopted son’s alleged behavior, the situation came to a head when she sent a mass email to their department, inquiring if anyone would be willing to take in Ivan.
Sarah even went so far as to post pictures of Ivan to her Facebook profile and “advertising him for re-adoption and to contact her if interested!”
According to the user, Sarah justified herself by “call[ing] it ‘re-homing’ and that it’s okay.”
The Co-Worker Didn’t Know What to Do
“Sarah’s crossed the line from weird into a full-blown psycho,” asserted the user.
In a post on a forum for legal advice, the Redditor asked what could be done: “Should I call CPS? Is this really legal?! I don’t know much about adoption, and a quick search for rehoming gets me mostly results about animals. Any advice?”
Report The Problem
Among fellow Redditors, the consensus was overwhelming. “Dude, call CPS and let them assess and address, as is their job,” wrote one commenter.
Another netizen warned against reporting anonymously and recommended providing as much detail as possible, including screenshots of Sarah’s emails and posts.
They Shared Words of Wisdom
The comment section was also flooded with multiple resources. Users shared their experiences with CPS and provided links to a chilling Reuters investigation into the phenomenon of informally re-homing children adopted overseas.
Others directed the original poster to Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families, which supervises all adoptions within that state. One commenter helpfully pointed to the Ukrainian Embassy as a potential resource.
They Phoned The Authorities
In a highly anticipated update, the original poster was able to confirm that the awful truth of the situation far exceeded her worst suspicions.
Her first phone call to the police left her worried since she was only able to secure a welfare check at the coworker’s house. Following her instincts, the online user then decided to try the priority number for her state’s child protective services hotline.
They Tried to Trace the Adoption
Once the Redditor shared that she was concerned about the possibility of human trafficking, the hotline operator questioned her on all the details of Sarah, Ivan, and Ivan’s adoption process.
Based on this information, the operator came to a conclusion that left the user speechless: “The person I spoke to right away said that she suspected that the adoption MIGHT NOT EVEN BE LEGAL.”
The Coworker Wanted to Help
During this phone call, the online user sent over screenshots of Sarah’s Facebook posts and emails. Since the CPS representative rejected her offer to take in Ivan on a temporary basis, she requested a follow-up if possible.
The Illegal Adoption
At 2:00 AM, a police officer contacted the online user to update her on the situation. According to the Redditor, the officer “was very cautious and limited in what he said” but revealed that CPS had arrived during their welfare check.
There, the CPS representative was able to confirm that Sarah had adopted Ivan illegally: “Ivan was rehomed to Sarah and her husband from another state where placement needs to be approved by a judge.”
The Children Were Taken Away
When the authorities arrived, Sarah had been in the process of scheduling a meeting with Ivan’s new adoptive home. Throughout the welfare check, multiple issues within Sarah’s home became too obvious for CPS to ignore.
For the kids’ safety, Child Protective Services then removed Ivan and the other children from her and her husband’s care.
The Coworker Followed The Advice As Provided By Reddit
The following morning, the original poster and her partner decided to report the situation to as many authorities as possible to ensure that the incident would not be ignored.
First, they forwarded all screenshots to the police department. Then, they filed a report with the local FBI office, which referred the issue to the State Department. Lastly, they contacted the Ukrainian Embassy to provide an account of the situation, with the contact information of the police officer who handled the case.
Sarah Was in Tears
Regarding workplace repercussions, the Redditor concluded her post by sharing that the company owner was made aware of Sarah’s mass email. When Sarah arrived at work at 9:30 AM the next day, their boss had already been waiting at her desk for two hours.
In the online user’s words, Sarah’s version of events was “a sob story about how her kids were being unfairly taken away! Sarah wanted time off from work to ‘clear her name’ and ‘devote herself to re-claiming her family from this misunderstanding.’”
The Boss Declared War
“I wasn’t there to witness this,” continued the original poster, “but the boss, who has six kids herself, apparently ripped Sara a new ****ole. Sarah has been dismissed, and rumor has it that the boss may or may not allow her to claim unemployment.”
How Did It End?
Readers eager to know the eventual fate of Ivan and his adopted siblings will be disappointed. The original poster has deleted their account, and there have been no new updates since 2016. Despite public condemnation, the practice of ‘re-homing’ adopted children remains common.
In 2020, family vlogger Myka Stauffer came under fire after she and her husband revealed they had ‘given up’ their five-year-old autistic son, who they adopted from China.
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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
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