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Lawyer pleads guilty in adoption scheme

Associated Press / August 11, 2011

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SAN DIEGO - A California lawyer who specializes in reproductive law is the latest of three women to plead guilty for taking part in what US l prosecutors called a “baby-selling ring’’ that charged 12 couples more than $100,000 to adopt babies born from surrogate pregnancies.

Theresa Erickson, 43, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud Tuesday before US Magistrate Judge William McCurine.

According to her plea agreement, Erickson, along with a Maryland-based lawyer who also specializes in reproductive law and a Las Vegas woman, recruited women to travel to Ukraine to be implanted with embryos created from the sperm and egg of donors.

Once the surrogate reached the second trimester of pregnancy, prosecutors claimed the defendants would “shop’’ the babies by falsely telling couples that a couple who had intended to adopt the baby backed out of the deal.

The new couple that agreed to adopt the unborn baby would have to pay more than $100,000 in fees.

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