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Leah Campbell was so excited when she found a potential birth mom that she could adopt from, Sarah H. Everything seemed perfect--her baby was due in weeks, she included photos of her pregnant belly, and she seemed to love her blog.
But sadly, this all came to a screeching halt when Campbell realized that this "Sarah H." wasn't at all who she said she was.
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As Campbell revealed in a blog post on the site Mom.me, it turned out to be a scam executed by Jessica Lynn Shea, a woman who had already been convicted of fraud.
"I wanted to believe her," Campbell wrote. "I wanted to believe that I could play a role in helping this woman find her perfect adoptive match. I wanted to believe this woman had something to offer, just like the thousands of prospective parents out there who want to believe in miracles."
Now, she realizes just how wrong she was--and how wrong things could've gone from there if she stayed in contact.
The troubling thing is, Campbell is not alone. Experts believe that a group of a dozen women across the country are duping several prospective parents with babies that don't exist, using fake ultrasound photos and sob stories. Then, they vanish out of nowhere--after playing with a stranger's emotions for the sick fun of it.
The worst part is, these actions have flown largely under the radar of the FBI and Congress. Prosecuting them for their actions is extremely difficult. And their actions, while deplorable, are not necessarily illegal.
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This serves as a heartbreaking reminder that it's always worth doing extra investigation and research in seemingly "miraculous" moments like these--especially when so many emotions are on the line.