Diana Trice Kane put time and heart into decorating a beautiful nursery inside her home in Ocala, Florida. She’s been preparing for the arrival of an adopted baby girl since June.

But now she fears that the baby she couldn’t wait to meet has been invented by a woman she thought was a friend.

Diana Trice Kane

When Diana married her husband Ryan six years ago, she already had three boys. But the couple wanted to have a child of their own.

In an interview with Dearly, Diana said that she had struggled with infertility for years but gave up when it was too expensive to move forward with in vitro fertilization or legal adoption.

Then she received a message on Facebook from one of her followers. Diana told Dearly:

“A woman named Nicole Otis has been a friend of mine on Facebook for over a year and a half. She’s been following my business and infertility story. She reached out to me two and a half months ago letting me know that she found out she was pregnant and was not in a situation to take care of her baby. She already has a child but has mental issues and health issues. She had a dream that she could bless us with her unborn child.”

Diana couldn’t believe that her prayers had been answered. After talking to her husband and doing some research online, they decided to move forward with an independent adoption.

Diana Trice Kane

Nicole said she was working with a lawyer and that when the time came they could handle all of the documentation together in court.

The couple announced the adoption to friends and family on August 4 and promised to keep everyone updated. They were thrilled by all of the encouragement and support.

For a few weeks, the adoption seemed to go well. Nicole would call Diana several times a day and send pictures of sonograms. Diana even met Nicole’s daughter during a video call on Facebook Messenger.

Diana told Dearly:

“Everything was going great. I never personally talked to the lawyer. In retrospect I should’ve gotten his information but I don’t know what I was thinking. I was overwhelmed with joy and I didn’t realize that people would lie about a situation like this.”

While the family was buying items for the baby room and thinking of baby names, Nicole was messaging Diana and telling her about problems in her marriage and her health.

Diana sent her $50 over Western Union to help her a few weeks ago, then sent her another $50 this week.

She didn’t think anything was wrong until August 30 when Nicole sent her a video of her supposed future baby. Nicole said she had a live feed of the baby and the two watched the baby’s heartbeat together. But when the call ended, Diana noticed the title of the video said “Baby Liam.”

Posted by Ryan Kane on Thursday, August 31, 2017

She clicked on the video and it took her to another woman’s page where people were congratulating her on the baby boy. When Diana asked her about it, Nicole said it was a mistake.

But Diana was suspicious. She asked Ryan to search Google images for sonogram photographs. Sure enough, they found a match to one of the first sonogram images Nicole had sent her.

When Nicole failed to show Diana sufficient evidence that she was pregnant, Diana was heartbroken. She went on Facebook Live and told her friends that the adoption was a fraud.

July 2018 update!!! We are pregnant with a baby girl and we are due 10-22-2018!! Tag the news in this crap!!! People are sick…#justicefordianaandryankaneToday we are devastate by some awful news. We were approached by woman a little less than two months ago who offered us the chance of a life time. Not many people know but me and my wife have been trying to have our own child since we were married almost 6 years ago. This woman came to us and offered us a chance at independent adoption: an adoption through private agreement between two families that didn't have to go through state fees because it would have been made legal by the court system. She proceeded to explain how she couldn't financially, physically or mentally keep up with a new child considering her living situation. My wife and I agreed to be the recipients to the adoption because we know deep down we can give this child a life she wouldn't be able to get with her birthmother. We've been in contact ever since and talked almost daily to make sure they weren't backing out and to show them we were taking the matter seriously. She had sent us pictures of the ultrasound when she was at the 5 month stage and me and my wife felt we were getting close to having our dreams realized! Yesterday we were contacted by the mother who proceeded to share her live ultrasound video she had received from a recent doctors appointment. This video although cute threw up instant red flags to see and my wife. The view was tagged Sydney Sorry- our little liam!Instantly me and my wife became sceptical of the video and confronted the mom on why the video was on someone else Facebook page. She explained that this other person who was her cousin had sent her the video and she uploaded the wrong one by accident. At this time we still haven't recieved a video. Because we felt something wasnt right I decide to investigate the ultrasound picture because something didnt seem right. Upon investigation ( through google image search) we discovered the same ultrasound picture on a baby forum website posted in 2012. When confronted with the evidence the mother became upset claiming her innocents. Her last saving grace was that she was to go to an emergency appointment this morning at 9:00am EST and video chat my wife to show us the truth…. She failed to come through and stopped all contact with my wife. The truth has come to life that she may have been messing with more lives than just us. Upon contact with her husband, he was left clueless as to the situation his wife was putting us through. We are now left heartbroken and frustrated on why someone would be so heartless to our situation to try to benefit off of our painful situation. I have to look at the silverlining of the situation and say that we were able to stop it before it got any worse. We don't know where to go next in this specific situation other than spread the news so that someone else doesn't fall in the same trap. We won't stop trying to continue to grow our family but we choose to be more careful from now on.https://www.youcaring.com/dianatrice-939280https://dearly.com/2017/09/26384-wife-excited-adopting-baby-girl-looked-name-sonogram-video/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social #justicefordianaandryankane

Posted by Diana Trice Kane on Thursday, August 31, 2017

She told Dearly that she also filed a police report with the Chicago Police Department and has been receiving messages from people who’ve gone through similar experiences with the same woman:

“Now the room I decorated is empty. The only thing I want to get from telling my story is justice. I want to make sure the woman is caught.

The same person who did this also scammed three other women. Her family members have reached out to me and said she’s mentally sick. She does have daughter named Bella, but they are trying to get custody because she’s mentally unstable.”

According to the National Infertility & Adoption Education Nonprofit, adoption fraud is uncommon but it is something parents should know about before adopting.

The nonprofit recommends that prospective adoptive parents can take steps to ensure they aren’t talking to a scammer, including:

  • Encouraging the custodial parents to reach out to your adoption agency or attorney
  • Asking the custodial parents to sign a HIPPA release form to see the medical files
  • Offer the expectant mother counseling
  • Search for the person’s name online and on Facebook for signs of illegal activity

Diana said that her family may try to adopt again in the near future, but for now, she’s taking some time to heal. Since she first started telling her story, she has received some hateful messages online calling her “stupid” for falling for the fraud and telling her that she shouldn’t adopt if she can’t afford the legal method.

But she doesn’t mind the hate as long as she can warn other parents to be cautious online and try to adopt through legal and protected methods:

“If there’s any doubt, they need to contact someone legally,” she said. “Make sure you have a lawyer on your end and one on their end. I don’t want to see anyone else hurt.”

Dearly reached out to the Chicago Police Department to confirm the story, but had not received a response by the time of publication.

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