INDIANAPOLIS - A woman faces forgery charges after she was accused of taking financial advantage of an Indianapolis couple hoping to adopt a newborn baby.
According to the probable cause affidavit, in 2011, the couple was charged a $13,000 fee for an adoption that never took place.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Michelle Greenberg was accused of receiving $5,000 of the $13,000 fee.
"Ms. Greenberg is accused of preying on a couple who wished for an opportunity to start a family through adoption," Curry said. "We believe there may be other prospective adoptive parents and pregnant women who have been deceived in a similar fashion. We hope that in hearing this story they will come forward and report the incident to authorities."
According to court documents, the prospective adoptive parents waited through a series of canceled meetings with the birth mother, were notified of the birth and then told that the birth mother had decided to keep the baby. The couple said they were never given a chance to meet the birth mother and were unsure if she actually existed.
"They were doubly devastated. They were initially very, very disappointed when they were told the birth mother had decided not to give the baby up for adoption. Doubly so now, because we don't believe there was a birth mother in the first place," Curry said.
Prosecutors alleged that Greenberg gave investigators the contact information for a woman she claimed had been the birth mother. However, when that woman was interviewed by investigators, she said she had only recently met Greenberg. She then said that Greenberg had offered her money to pretend to be the birth mother from 2011.
Attorney Steve Kirsh has arranged hundreds of adoptions and said prospective parents should be patient and careful.
"They need to check references. They need to check online reviews. They need to talk to other people. The adoption community in Indianapolis is rather small; it’s not hard to find out who’s doing a good job and who’s not. It just takes asking a few questions and doing a little research," Kirsh said.
Greenberg was charged with three counts of forgery and one count of obstruction of justice. She will make her initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
Anyone with information regarding other potential victims was asked to contact Indiana State Police Detective Lester Norvell at 317-776-2212.
Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas