Having trouble raising the kids? Put them up for adoption on Craigslist.
At least that's what one area mom did for her son. Stephanie Redus of Huffman sent out a desperate plea to the Craigslist community, saying the responsibilities of parenthood were just too much and she couldn't handle the pressure.
Redus, 29, posted the Craigslist ad on May 1, which read, "Hi, I'm trying to adopt out my three-year-old son. I'm not in a good place in my life and don't feel like I can care for him properly, but I don't know where to start. If you or know anyone who is interested in caring for him please let me know. I'm a single mom and can't do this. Thanks, Desperate."
According to the criminal complaint, Houston Peace Officer D. Thomas served a grand jury subpoena to Craigslist to determine who posted the ad. Redus's phone number and e-mail matched the contact information Thomas found, which allowed the officer to bring Redus in for questioning on May 9.
Redus was placed in jail, but was free to go on a $1,000 bail.
Spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office Sara Kinney told Hair Balls this was the first she's seen of charges like these. For the time being, the complaint lists the case under advertising for placement of a child, which falls under a misdemeanor. However, KTRK reports the charge could be raised as authorities take into consideration the details behind this case.
"New technology, the Internet, is creating these types of cases that we have to deal with now," Harris County Assistant District Attorney David Abrams told KTRK.
The complaint states that during her interview, Redus admitted she did make the post, but she never intended to give up her son. She did, however, admit to responding to at least one adoption request, and even went as far as asking the interested party if he had any additional children and asked to see a picture of his home.
Thomas says in the complaint that the posting was to help Redus battle her depression and anxiety, which she hasn't been able to take her medication for because she's pregnant.
"Because she's pregnant, she was off the medication she normally takes to control her sort of emotional instability," Kinney said.
"I guess the argument could be made that when she is no longer pregnant and can take the right medication, she would be stable," Kinney said. "If they see that is the case, she could be allowed to parent the child in the long run."
Four days after her first interview with officers, Redus returned to the police department, stating in the complaint that she was bothered by the fact that she hadn't been completely honest in her last interview. Redus admitted that she did after all respond to several interested parties about the adoption of her son, and reiterated that the post was to help her deal with anxiety.
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If Redus were to be incarcerated, CPS would evaluate the family to help determine what would be best for the children.
"She was forthcoming with all the information when contacted," Kinney said. "She definitely has some kind of stability issue that she's willing to admit, which I think is obviously a step in the right direction to righting this very interesting and bizarre and awful situation."
Currently, her toddler is staying with his father. Authorities have not yet determined why the option of the son staying with a father wasn't available until this point.
Redus is scheduled for her arraignment today, May 21.