Pregnancy Make-Believe

ByABC News
July 20, 2006, 11:17 AM

July 21, 2006 — -- Sarah and Kris Everson, depending on whom you believe, are eithercalculating con artists or the most misunderstood couple in ruralJackson County, Mo.

The couple is at the center of an alleged hoax involving miracle sextuplets. It began last winter when Sarah made a shocking announcement -- she was pregnant with six babies. This was quite a surprise, since Sarah was 45 and had two grownchildren, but her fourth husband, Kris, 34, was delighted.

However, when "20/20" asked Sarah if her gynecologist had confirmed thepregnancy, she refused to answer the question and her story became inconsistent.

"I'm not going to answer that one," she said. "Can we just leave it at I went to the doctor?"

Sarah said she kept the sextuplets a secret from her husband for months during her pregnancy. Finally, well into the pregnancy, she made the bombshell announcement.

Kris said he was worried about how he was going to support the children.

"I was like 'holy crap!' How the hell am I going to do this?" he said. "I was, like, working in a job and just kind of getting by."

Paula McKinney, an executive at Haldex Corp., the auto parts factory where Kris worked, was moved by the thought of such a special birth and told Kris not to worry about finances.

"I was going to reach out to my co-workers," McKinney said. "I was going to go globalwith my company with the announcement. I was going to go out [in]to thecommunity."

Excitement over the sextuplets mounted, with people everywhereopening their hearts and their wallets to help the cash-strappedcouple. No one questioned Sarah's pregnancy when they saw her.

Sarah said she had a really big, round belly and that she looked verypregnant.

"I actually believed I was [pregnant]," she said. "There's actually a disorder where your mind takes over and your body actually begins to grow and you begin to lactate."

Sarah said she was suffering from pseudocyesis, a psychologicalcondition in which a woman who's not pregnant but is desperate to have children looks as if she is. She said she had sonogram pictures to prove the babies were real.