Online Adoption Trap
Online date leads to bizarre custody battle.
Kristy Gaffney says she thought she’d found love when she met a man online.
Now the Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania woman claims she’s in the battle of her life - fighting for the child they had.
“I thought like he was Mr. Perfect,” Gaffney said. “There’s no words for it. I’m just so angry at him.”
Gaffney says she met a man who told her he was Ed while surfing a popular dating website.
The single mother, who is 29, says at first she was standoffish, but eventually warmed up to meeting him at a public place.
Gaffney says that first date was at a restaurant just outside of Philadelphia and it led to many more dates and an intimate relationship.
Gaffney says her new love interest told her he was a businessman, divorced, worked for the C.I.A. and was related to one of the most well-known, wealthiest families in the country.
“He said, ‘My last name is Dupont,’ and I’m like, okay. And I said, ‘related to the Duponts?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’”
Gaffney says eventually Ed started talking about wedding bells.
“He also was talking about having kids. He said he never could have kids because him and his wife, she couldn’t get pregnant,” Gaffney says.
As their relationship continued, Gaffney got pregnant.
She says at first Ed demanded she get an abortion and then changed his mind.
After the baby was born, Gaffney says Ed asked her to sign some papers that would ensure he could claim his rights as the baby’s father.
Gaffney says although she didn’t understand the paperwork, she signed it anyway and the two shared caring for the baby while Ed rebuilt his home so they could all live together as a family.
One day, Ed didn’t return their child as planned.
Instead, Gaffney says he dropped this bombshell:
“That’s when he told me that the paperwork I actually signed was me giving up the rights, not to him to have his rights. It was me giving up my rights so his wife could adopt my baby, and I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
As it turned out, Ed wasn’t Ed Dupont.
He was Emmitt Dippold, who was still married and he and his wife were in the final stages of adopting the baby.
“I couldn’t even believe that someone was capable of something like that,” Gaffney says.
She took Dippold and his wife to court to get the adoption overturned.
We reached out to Dippold at his office and his home for his side of the story, but were not able to speak with him.
In court documents, Dippold denied that he ever claimed to be a Dupont and says Gaffney may have assumed that because his email reads ‘ew-dupont.’
Dippold denied that he ever wanted Gaffney to have an abortion and denied that he ever talk about marriage.
He said Gaffney should have known all along that he was married because pictures of he and his wife were in plain view the times he and Gaffney were in his home together.
In the end, the Judge believed Gaffney and overturned the adoption based on fraud, but the fight isn’t over because the Dippolds filed an appeal.
Dippold’s attorney declined comment for our story, saying it’s inappropriate to talk about pending custody and adoption matters.