Marine lied about having baby with wife overseas to skirt adoption laws, feds say

Federal agents patrol outside the federal courthouse in downtown Charleston.
Federal agents patrol outside the federal courthouse in downtown Charleston. AP

A former Marine and his wife are accused of lying to immigration officials about a baby to get around overseas adoption rules, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prosecutors say in 2014 the couple pretended the baby from the Philippines was their biological child.

The wife “falsely attested that while in the Philippines on vacation, she learned she was pregnant five days before the baby was born,” according to a DOJ press release.

Former Marine Gerald Vincent Locker Jr., 46, and his wife, 24-year-old Stephanie Jean Locker, now live in Huger, South Carolina, the DOJ said. They were formerly based in Japan.

Both have been charged in federal court with “one count of conspiracy and Stephanie Jean Locker with one count of making false statements in an application for a passport.”

“While in Japan, the couple attempted to circumvent legal adoption processes by asserting that a baby from the Philippines was their own natural born child. Presenting a number of falsified documents to a U.S. Consular Officer, Stephanie Jean Locker applied for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad,” the DOJ said.

Twelve children were adopted into nine homes in Horry County during the state’s adoption day. Families from multiple counties gathered at the courthouse in Conway to make it permanent just days before Thanksgiving.

Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.