Iowa Adoptive Lesbian Couple Heartbroken After Baby Dies In Neglectful Care of Teen Father


An Ankeny, Iowa lesbian couple are heartbroken after the death of the 4-month-old child that they had hoped to adopt.

After taking him home from the hospital, Heidi McFarland and her partner Rachel were forced to return 4-month Gabriel to his birth mother a few days before signing the final adoption papers. Gabriel's 16-year-old biological mother left the child with his 17-year-old father Drew James Wheeler-Smith at 7:30 PM to go and run some errands.

When she returned at 8:20 PM, the father was gone and the baby was dead, still sitting in his glider chair with white foam around his mouth.

The father has been arrested and will be charged after the child’s autopsy is complete. The McFarland family released a statement that read:

“It took about 30 seconds to fall in love with him. Heidi and Rachel were the perfect parents and any love, happiness and security that Gabe had in his short life was given by them. They would have treasured him forever.”


  1. wwolffus says

    This is a sad situation where a young mother agrees to put her child up for adoption, and then changes her mind. It has nothing to do with who’s hetero or not. Social services should have questioned the ability of 16 and 17 year old teen parents to care for an infant, especially after they initially agreed to adoption.

  2. Thom Allen says

    The christianists will say something like, “God took him to prevent him from being raised by lesbians.” Then they’ll blather about “biblical traditional marriage,” Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. You know, the usual idiotic rantings that they come up with. Maybe someone will also quote St. Mark Regnerus to show that “science” supports their religion. They’ll then all rejoice at how christian they are and shout “Amen!”

  3. northalabama says

    i could never adequately describe the sadness this story brings to my heart, and can’t fathom it’s a small fraction of the crushing burden faced by heidi, rachel, and the birth mother – unbelievable.

  4. Marshall says

    While this is a tragedy, teen mothers have a right to reclaim their children. The death of this child says nothing about the ability of the teen mother to parent her child. She trusted the child’s father.

    An autopsy has not been performed. Until then, put down the torches and pitchforks.

    Children are not possessions.

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