Barbara Atkinson gave her baby up for adoption after giving birth to her eight years ago because she had no job and no home.
After she did, little Lauren Ashley went home from the hospital with Bill and Sabrina Kavanaugh. Two days later, the Kavanaughs filed to adopt the child.
It was not until afterward that Barbara Atkinson's own adoptive parents, David and Doris Calhoun, learned what she had done, reportedly forcing their 21-year-old daughter to reclaim Lauren.
The adoption fell through thanks to an attorney's neglect and eight months after her birth, Lauren was returned to her birth mother.
Authorities rescued 8-year-old Lauren Ashley Calhoun from her home just last week.
When police arrived she was eating spaghetti at the kitchen table, but authorities say she had spent the past four months locked in a cramped closet in her mother's trailer in Hutchins. She was malnourished and covered in her own waste, authorities say. She weighed just 25 pounds and told police she was 2 years old.
Barbara Atkinson, 30, remained jailed Sunday in the Dallas County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond on charges of injury to a child. Her 33-year-old ex-husband, Kenneth Ray Atkinson, will not be released on bond because he also faces charges of probation violation out of Ellis County, police said.
An attorney who interviewed Barbara Atkinson in 1993 as part of the attempt to regain custody of Lauren recommended that the girl remain with the Kavanaughs because she would receive better opportunities than her birth mother could provide, The Dallas Morning News reported in its Sunday editions.
Barbara Atkinson told a social worker in 1993 that she had a happy childhood and described her adoptive parents as "fair and loving" people.
But by her late teens, Barbara Atkinson was showing signs of personality problems, her friends said.
She left Canton High School after completing 10th grade, court records show. Six months after turning 17, she married Jimmy Wayne Jenkins, a man nine years her elder. They lived together for five months before separating.
When she became pregnant with Lauren, Barbara Atkinson was unemployed and living with a family in Van Zandt County that felt sorry for her and took her in, the Kavanaughs said.
Doris and David Calhoun and Barbara Atkinson's brother have said that they had not seen Lauren in more than two years. They said that when they asked about the girl, Barbara Atkinson told them Lauren had an eating disorder and was staying with a baby sitter.
Members of the Calhoun family said they are seeking custody of Barbara Atkinson's children, including Lauren.
"We're embarrassed," said a brother who requested that his name not be published. "I can't believe my own sister did this."
Lauren remained hospitalized Sunday in serious but stable condition at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
Investigators on Thursday interviewed Lauren and her five siblings, who have been placed in foster care by Child Protective Services.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.