Tallahassee Couple Questioned on Suspicion of Kidnapping Own Daughter

The Feiock’s, whose daughter was adopted from China two years ago, were questioned by security agents and immigration and a U.S. passport apparently wasn't enough to convince them that little Madeline was family.

Ruth and Rick Feiock were pulled off a Delta flight Wednesday afternoon and greeted by security agents whose first question was: where did you get her?

The Feiock’s adopted Madeline from China two years ago. The toddler was screaming "mommy, mommy" and trying to get down as they went through security at Erie International Airport in Pennsylvania.

An agent got suspicious and the family was asked to get off its Tallahassee-bound flight.

Ruth Feiock says, "The suspicion was based upon one individual's observation of a toddler crying as the toddler parted with her blanket, her drink and her stroller. I find it hard to believe that that is unusual."

Even when the Feiock’s produced three U.S. passports, including one for two-year-old Madeline, agents wanted further proof. They called Helen Ervin who helped arrange Madeline's adoption through the Children's Home Society.

Helen Ervin says, "I was incensed that a family would be put through this and a little girl would be traumatized in a situation like this. We have so many beautiful Chinese children in this country today, 4,500 a year coming in."

The Feiock's ordeal ended hours after it began, but it may not be over. Madeline's parents are considering a racial discrimination suit against the airport.

The police chief at Erie International Airport defended his agents’ actions, saying two people had voiced concerns and they had to check it out. He says they would have done so if the child were white, pink or blue.

This story has made headlines all over the country and the Feiock’s say they have heard from other adoptive and multi-racial families who've had similar experiences.


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