Couple are DUPED by 'surrogate mother' - who FAKED her pregnancy
She even posed for photos to announce the news
Editor / March 15 2019
A distraught woman has revealed how she was fooled into thinking a mum was having a baby that she could adopt – only to find out it was all a hoax.
Laura Trayte met the 'birth mother' Elizabeth Jones, on Facebook after trying to adopt a child following years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive.
Jones led Laura and her husband, Matt, to believe she was pregnant and was delighted for them to adopt her little girl — but now it’s clear it was a fake baby.
Laura and Matt, from California, had struggled to conceive their first son, Hudson, and then, after multiple rounds of IVF, decided to look for a baby to adopt.
They launched the Facebook page, "A Sibling For Hudson," and met Beth Jones.
She told the Traytes on social media that she had fallen pregnant but couldn't afford a third child – but wanted no money in exchange for her daughter.
The Traytes were so excited, they chose the name Noella for their baby and even paid for a huge photoshoot with Jones, and revealed on social media what was going to happen with the adoption.
Laura even flew from her home in California to Virginia where the two women met with a lawyer, who drew up the paperwork that authorised Laura and Matt to have power of attorney to make medical decisions after the baby’s birth.
But then, the whole story unravelled quickly.
Jones texted to say she was in labour with baby Noella but all was not going well.
Via a series of panicked text messages, Jones said she was bleeding heavily and sent photos of bloody sheets. Laura even spoke to her and tried to calm her down during her contractions - believing that the woman really was in labour.
Then the 'birth mother' said she had to flag down an ambulance in the street, and then, painfully gave birth to the baby girl as the ambulance raced toward the emergency room.
“There’s so much blood,” a Jones texted Laura from the ER, according to messages provided to The Washington Post. “Omg! I don’t think any of us expected this to happen like this."
“I’m sorry,” Jones later wrote, “I gotta push her out.”
“You did it!!” Laura answered, trying to encourage Jones through the pain — until she realised something was very wrong.
Laura had raced to the ER expecting to meet her baby girl in the Nicu ward but the hospital had no idea what she was talking about.
There was NO Elizabeth Jones there with a baby, but there was an Elizabeth Jones who had checked herself in for back pain – and there was no blood and no baby.
Laura said she was so shocked she never got a proper explanation for what happened on that day and since then Beth has failed to explain why she fooled the Traynes into believing they were going to have a daughter.
"Well, that’s the million-dollar question,” Elizabeth Jones told local news station WYCB 5 in January.
Elizabeth Jones has now been arrested on nine counts of felony larceny for allegedly obtaining gifts and other perks from the Traytes under false pretences. Because she accepted no money for the baby, she cannot be charged with with any other crime - but they can claim for the dinners they paid for and the photo shoot.
During the investigation by the district attorney's office, Jones claimed she had lost the baby two weeks before but then she said it was actually at 13 weeks – but she has no explanation for why she said it was a girl.
“What I did . . . I never should have done it,” she told WYCB 5, “but I’m not a horrible person. I’m really not. And I really wish people would see that. People make mistakes all the time.”
The Traytes family wrote about their pain and suffering online dubbing it the 'Death of a unicorn' and are now struggling to come to terms with what has happened but are unsure if they’ll try and adopt again.
Frances Sheen has been a magazine and website journalist & editor for the last 20 years - both in Australia and the UK. She's appeared on countless TV and radio shows to discuss parenting and launched her own social media parenting brand. She's the mum of two little girls and juggles that with a busy working life.