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Old 09-18-2012, 09:18 PM
 
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Actually, adoption-related expenses seem to run closer to $25,000 for Americans adopting an individual child from Ukraine these days, from what I read on adoption blogs. Adoptions of sibling groups can include a discount, and obviously there are savings on accommodations, parental travel, etc. as opposed to separate trips to adopt more than one child. However, as I've mentioned in other threads, frequently there are grants and matching funds available to help with costs of adopting children with special needs from Ukraine.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:49 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,555 posts, read 23,062,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Actually, adoption-related expenses seem to run closer to $25,000 for Americans adopting an individual child from Ukraine these days, from what I read on adoption blogs. Adoptions of sibling groups can include a discount, and obviously there are savings on accommodations, parental travel, etc. as opposed to separate trips to adopt more than one child. However, as I've mentioned in other threads, frequently there are grants and matching funds available to help with costs of adopting children with special needs from Ukraine.
Agency adoptions do Craig, but not independent.

I am not including the stateside expenses of all international adoptions. They are pretty standard but it is possible to shop around for lower priced home studies and to pass on hotels and stay in flats. When in Ukraine, that's what I do it's about 25 USD per night.

Now I just stay with friends!

Ukrainian friends are hospitable to a fault.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:22 PM
 
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A friend of mine had an adoption fall through a few months ago that I honestly think was a scam. She and her husband went through a private agency and paid about $15,000 for the application, background check, home study, etc. The birth mother that was matched to them got money every month for living expenses but not medical care. The agency never asked for medical releases and proof of pregnancy, and F&H accepted this as the normal way of doing things. So no medical proof was ever provided: not a report from a doctor. Not an ultrasound. Nothing. The birth mother met with them a few times, did not look pregnant (excuse given: she wasn't that far along) and dropped out of view. The baby was due in June and sure enough, about a week before the supposed due date, the birth mother disappeared.

A bunch of us saw red flags in this and tried to talk to friend n' hubs; it went in one ear and out the other because they were the "adoption experts" in the middle of the process.

I'm sure my friend and her hubs thought that since they went through an agency that it was all above board, but in all honestly, I don't think this "birth mother" was ever even pregnant. I think it was a scam from the word go, and either the agency was colluding or just plain stupid. They were too heartbroken to go to the police but if it had been me I would have been trying to see if I could press charges for fraud.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
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Can you investigate the agency? I don't mean hiring anyone, but try Googling it or BBB? Try and report them to the authorities? It sounds very suspicious to me. Problem is that some folks looking to adopt are so desperate for a family that they are often willing to overlook odd things that raise red-flags to the rest of us.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sabinerose View Post
Can you investigate the agency? I don't mean hiring anyone, but try Googling it or BBB? Try and report them to the authorities? It sounds very suspicious to me. Problem is that some folks looking to adopt are so desperate for a family that they are often willing to overlook odd things that raise red-flags to the rest of us.
I did just now: nothing is coming up for the agency itself that raises a red flag, interestingly enough. They are coming up as an accredited legitimate agency. Maybe they were above board at one time, and have gone bad?
I guess the trouble here is that since all of us are just friends and not the ones who were scammed, we can't really make any sort of official reports about the agency or the "birth mother." F&H would have to be the ones to do that and they're still grieving.

I just wish they'd done more research or listened when we tried to get them to look a little more closely at the situation. Nobody will say that to them now. There's no point in "I told you so's" and they surely thought they did the right thing by going to an agency. They are considering international now and I just hope they will make better choices.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:47 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,851,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabinerose View Post
Can you investigate the agency? I don't mean hiring anyone, but try Googling it or BBB? Try and report them to the authorities? It sounds very suspicious to me. Problem is that some folks looking to adopt are so desperate for a family that they are often willing to overlook odd things that raise red-flags to the rest of us.
The "golden rule" in adoption is to never spend more money than one can afford to lose.

Thus, the most ethical agencies are ones that will refund the majority of cost of an adoption if it falls through. They know that once a prospective adoptive parent is spending more money than they can afford to lose, then the client themselves is in danger of crossing a moral line and they don't want to have them cross that line - thus they are protecting both the adoptive parents and the expectant mothers.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:27 AM
 
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Wow.

I am/was a birth mother almost a decade ago, and I guess I never saw this side of things. I knew there was the risk that a woman could decide to keep her baby (the agency I signed myself up with must have, in retrospect, been an ethical one; they never pressured me.) The moms were generally put on Medicaid and if they had nowhere else to go, put into an apartment (agency had a contract with a nearby complex.) We saw an OB immediately for proof of pregnancy, and I even saw the couple I chose regularly the whole time, and gave them all info as I got it.

I remember calling them right after the 20wk u/s, to tell them it was a boy (I had chosen them early, against agency advisement, but I knew my own mind.)

I am so sorry that people get scammed. It sounds like half is that they refuse to see the signs, and half that there just aren't good protections.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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True. They want so much for it to work out that they go into it with one eye shut. Very sad.

But that does not excuse the people who perpetuate such scams.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
True. They want so much for it to work out that they go into it with one eye shut. Very sad.

But that does not excuse the people who perpetuate such scams.
I think that is 100% true. On both sides.

rohirette, what you are describing, that seems like it should be standard practice for adoptions, especially open adoptions...that the mother will always sign a medical release or share information about the prenatal care with the adoption agency and/or the prospective adoptive parents. It seems like that would protect everyone involved: Birth Mom gets the care she needs to ensure her health and the baby's health, and the agency gets verification that everything is legit.

I poked around on F&H's agency's website, and in their list of "responsibilities for birth mothers," there is nothing about providing proof of pregnancy or due date. Yikes. During the "pregnancy" when people asked "well, why hasn't she had an ultrasound" or "Why can't she go to a free clinic, if she's not eligible for Medicaid (red flag #1000: birth mother claimed she couldn't get medicaid)?" F&H were very defensive when asked about that, along the lines of "the agency can't force her to do that, it doesn't work that way." *sigh*

It seems to be the sort of thing where one needs to do lots of homework and stay vigilant, and it seems as though it's very easy for people to get taken in when they're desperate for a baby.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:48 AM
 
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I have many times heard of girls that went to agencies, facilitators etc. and were never pregnant to begin with. The very first thing that should be done is she has a pregnancy test from a doctor and the results are sent to the doctor. She then needs to sign a release of information for both the agency and the aparents. Not all women will/can move into these apartments that agencies will sometimes have to keep their birthmothers in. That doesn't mean that they cannot still talk to the aparents by phone or Skype, cannot get current medical information to them, or maybe even visit if they do not live too far away or if the aparents are willing for one party to fly to the other. As far as Medicaid there are states that do not allow a birthmother to be on Medicaid if she has chosen a couple and they are paying her monthly expenses. Many can get on Medicaid though because they usally either have no money or low paying jobs. Sometimes the aparents don't even know that they are responsible for the medical bills until after the baby is born. If this couple just had a failed adoption, which they did, the agency should either give them some of their $15,000 back, or what usually happens is the agency tries to match them as soon as possible and they may just be responsible for birthmother expenses and not the agency fee again. The BBB will do nothing, even if they investigate and find fault, the most they will do is put the agency's name on their list, but they never take action against anyone that is reported to them.
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