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Maternity Fraud and Identity Theft – Revisiting the Kamiyah Mobley Story

Kamiyah Mobley. I often remember her story, her name I will never forget. Kamiyah was born to teenage parents, Shanara Mobley, and Craig Aiken on July 10, 1998. In the evening, a woman by the name of Gloria Williams, dressed in her nursing uniform, drove down to the hospital where Kamiyah had just been born. Gloria walks into the hospital room where baby Kamiyah and her mother are. She tells Kamiyah’s mother that she needs to take her baby from her to give her shots. This was the last time Kamiyah’s mother ever saw her daughter again until what transpired was eventually revealed.

After abducting baby Kamiyah, Gloria raises her as her own for the next 16 years. At the time of the abduction, Gloria was grieving a miscarriage but never told her loved ones around her. Instead told them she went into labor with Kamiyah, renaming the baby Alexis. She believed, like women sometimes do, that a baby would save her tumultuous relationship.

Gloria, for obvious reasons, hid Kamiyah’s social security number and birth certificate from her and did not want her to work so that she would not discover the truth. When Kamiyah wanted to apply for work at a restaurant, Gloria decided to tell her the truth about her birth and the abduction. Kamiyah, though just 16 years old at the time, wanted to continue living life as she had known it but the truth about her paternity and maternity started to leak, and when the police realized her birth certificate was fake, Gloria was charged with kidnapping as a result.

Maternity fraud, falsified birth certificates and other government documents, strange motives, twisted stories, and secrets uncovered years later. These concepts and ideas sound like the making of a great movie. Kamiyah’s after all become a Lifetime documentary. But sadly, we in helping professions know these occurrences to be real-life experiences for many people.

Kamiyah’s story is a difficult one, because she bonded, loved, and became attached to her own kidnapper, a woman who is the bane of her biological mother’s existence. In a way, trauma bonding and Stockholm syndrome might be considered in this case, after all, the woman she calls mother is her abductor. Kamiyah started her healing journey with Iyanla Vanzant but the two no longer work together. I sincerely hope that she does continue the journey no matter how difficult it is, so long as she works at her own pace.

The most important takeaway from the story however is that people will often make self-serving and detrimental decisions, sometimes in the heat of the moment thinking that it will not catch up with them. However, people do not get away with their diabolical schemes against others. God, the ultimate judge, saw what they did and can render his decision to try that individual at any time.

One of my favorite African Proverbs goes as follows: “Ninety-nine lies may help you, but the hundredth will give you away.”

“There are no secrets that time does not reveal.” Jean Racine


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