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Old 05-02-2011, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Tallahassee
70 posts, read 95,789 times
Reputation: 82

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I'm posting on behalf of a couple who suspect they've been scammed in Oklahoma's state adoption process. Their adoption failed after sinking enough money to buy two new cars, and they believe they were lied to by the attorney, the counselor, and the birth mother.

If you or anyone you know has experienced being scammed by a state or private adoption agency, please post here or contact me via private message.

It is my understanding that Oklahoma has better laws than many other states regarding protection of both birth mothers and adoptive parents. However, although many agencies are in place to protect birth mothers, no association yet exists nationwide to protect adoptive parents. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Thank you for reading.

Last edited by JustJulia; 09-17-2012 at 05:07 AM..
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,730,834 times
Reputation: 47257
We have been thru several attempted adoptions and 3 successful international adoptions. I think I know a thing or two about the subject.

As long as there is provcision for the birth mother to change her mind, there will be interrupted adoptions which may seem like a scam. I think the birth mother should have ample chance to change her mind but the babies should be in foster care and not placed in the home where bonding takes place instantly.

It is hard to tell what is a scam from a interrupted adoption short of video or other concrete proof.

Also as long as there is money to be made-either by attys and agencies, there will be scams. Supply and demand.
I'm so sorry for the families who have lost children thru unscrupulous people and practices but unfortunately I think there is no way to prevent it entirely.

Adopting couples need to be extra vigilant and cautious. I think so many of us are so desperate that we ignore warnings which, in hindsight, were so obvious.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Tallahassee
70 posts, read 95,789 times
Reputation: 82
Thanks for your reply, no kudzu.

Is it normal to spend almost fifty thousand dollars on one state adoption and if it fails not be able to recover anything?

How much would you say the average couple spends before they have a successful domestic adoption? I know that's a difficult estimate to make, but even a rough ballpark figure would be helpful.

The adoptive mom has had two birth mothers reneg previously. She chose OK because she didn't like the month leeway some states give birth moms to change their minds. OK gives only three days to decide after the birth.

I agree with you that vigilance is top priority. I agree with you that people can get so hopeful that they fail to ask certain questions for fear of being rejected. I suspect the adoptive mom didn't pay attention to more than one red flag. However, I also have confidence that she learned a lot from the other two failed cases. Interestingly, these adoptive parents gave me a much more glowing report of the birth mom before judgment day. After the adoption failed, then a little dirty laundry finally got aired.

Thanks again for your perspective!
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,730,834 times
Reputation: 47257
The $50,000 figure may not be extreme. It depends on so many circumstances. The birth mother is not supposed to get one cent. That is child trafficking. This is how the money is supposed to be allocated

1) living accommodations for birth mom but most still live at home, with BF or husband or in home for unwed mothers
2) medical expenses but the agency will immediately get the girl on welfare so the taxpayers end up paying for it and some girls are in such denial they never get any pre natal care
3) agency fee- a bundle
4) atty fees- a bigger bundle
5) post birth counselling- many just don't ever go. they just want the whole ting to be over with

NO- PAPs (prospective adoptive parents) cannot expect to get any money back if the adoption fails. Unfortunately some girls will sign up to place a child for adoption knowing all costs will be paid by PAP and then they "change their mind" knowing full well they never were going to agree to adoption.

International adoption is another whole can of worms and is fraught with corruption. Cambodia, Vietnam, Guatemala are just a sample of countries who have ceased USA adoptions because of corruption.
And it is very expensive but at least there is a certain degree of certainty that the child has had parental rights terminated before it is even put on a list of eligible children. China seems to have a pretty clean and transparent adoption process but it is getting longer and harder to get young children. Rarely can you get a child younger than 1 year.

Russia has a terrible reputation for having fetal alcohol damaged children and PAP are told to bring enormous amounts of money in CASH for paying off different officials AND AGENCIES.

There are of course still some ethical adoption agencies in this country but there is no guarantee and it is very expensive and takes a long time.

I was very naive when I started looking into adoption years ago. I thought anybody, even church folks, involved in adoption would be kind and good at heart but there are hypocrites and evil people in every aspect of modern life and adoption is no different.

And what do you mean by "state " adoption? If the County Department of Children Services is involved than that is what I would consider "state" involvement. Private adoptions (with agency or individuals) must have attys too and other people are involved. Some are called facilitators.

Not only have I adopted three times but I have helped a few young women make adoption plans and it was interesting being on different sides of the process.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:46 AM
 
9,181 posts, read 9,263,338 times
Reputation: 28754
Quote:
I'm posting on behalf of a couple who suspect they've been scammed in Oklahoma's state adoption process. Their adoption failed after sinking enough money to buy two new cars, and they believe they were lied to by the attorney, the counselor, and the birth mother.

I'm working on creating a web site/forum in the interest of starting up a national association to prevent failed adoptions and protect adoptive parents from scams.

If you or anyone you know has experienced being scammed by a state or private adoption agency, please post here or contact me via private message. I will post a link to the networking web site soon.

It is my understanding that Oklahoma has better laws than many other states regarding protection of both birth mothers and adoptive parents. However, although many agencies are in place to protect birth mothers, no association yet exists nationwide to protect adoptive parents. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Thank you for reading.
We adopted newborn infants twice through agencies.

I would strongly encourage anyone adopting to adopt through an agency. If you don't do so, you set yourself up for problems. I am an attorney, yet I would discourage anyone from adopting solely through an attorney. Agencies are set up to provide counseling services that hopefully discourage birthmothers from changing their mind at the last minute. Ideally, the agency counsels prospective birthmothers and "weeds out" the ones that could never place a child for adoption at the end. This prevents a lot of wasted time and money.

Expenses for private adoptions are high. State laws may attempt to regulate these charges, but its difficult to do. For example, a birthmother is entitled to compensation for "living expenses". Living expenses can be high or low depending on how the birthmother lives. Who is to say that $50,000 is unreasonable for six months living expenses? There are plenty of people who consume more than that in six months time. Our fees back in 92' and 99' were $10,000 and $25,000.

Adoption scams exist simply because the number of birthmothers willing to place a healthy infant for adoption in America is very low. On the other hand, infertility is very high and so is competition among prospective adoptive parents for the few healthy infants that are available. I don't wish to seem crude, but its a function of the law of "supply and demand".

I suppose it would be possible to pass laws regulating this process more heavily. I am against that. The more an activity is regulated, the less of it there is. Regulation involves cost and the legitimate providers of any service are usually hit harder than slipshod or dishonest providers who try to avoid complying with rules. Honestly, if we regulate adoption anymore than it already is than it might be more honest simply to just abolish it altogether. At some point, an activity becomes so cumbersome and difficult it is no longer worth pursuing. Also, more regulation means more cost. It becomes a justification for agencies raising inflated rates even higher.

Perspective adoptive parents have an obligation to perform what is called "due diligence" just like any other group does. Due diligence means checking out an attorney or an agency and finding out things like how many adoptions they have actually completed in a specified period of time. It means refusing to work with anyone who is not licensed and reputable. It means asking questions and getting answers. There are many ways in life to get scammed. Phony adoptions is simply one of dozens. You live life and try to learn from it. Some lessons are more costly and painful than others.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:55 AM
 
12 posts, read 19,059 times
Reputation: 33
What about natural mothers being "scammed" out of their infants with bogus "open adoption" promises, or is it that only the "savior" adopters are scammed?

Hardly...
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:35 AM
 
Location: NJ
10,666 posts, read 21,340,667 times
Reputation: 8813
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie1990 View Post
What about natural mothers being "scammed" out of their infants with bogus "open adoption" promises, or is it that only the "savior" adopters are scammed?

Hardly...
Would make a great post.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:11 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,633 posts, read 23,219,501 times
Reputation: 48739
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
We adopted newborn infants twice through agencies.

I would strongly encourage anyone adopting to adopt through an agency. If you don't do so, you set yourself up for problems. I am an attorney, yet I would discourage anyone from adopting solely through an attorney. Agencies are set up to provide counseling services that hopefully discourage birthmothers from changing their mind at the last minute. Ideally, the agency counsels prospective birthmothers and "weeds out" the ones that could never place a child for adoption at the end. This prevents a lot of wasted time and money.

Expenses for private adoptions are high. State laws may attempt to regulate these charges, but its difficult to do. For example, a birthmother is entitled to compensation for "living expenses". Living expenses can be high or low depending on how the birthmother lives. Who is to say that $50,000 is unreasonable for six months living expenses? There are plenty of people who consume more than that in six months time. Our fees back in 92' and 99' were $10,000 and $25,000.

Adoption scams exist simply because the number of birthmothers willing to place a healthy infant for adoption in America is very low. On the other hand, infertility is very high and so is competition among prospective adoptive parents for the few healthy infants that are available. I don't wish to seem crude, but its a function of the law of "supply and demand".

I suppose it would be possible to pass laws regulating this process more heavily. I am against that. The more an activity is regulated, the less of it there is. Regulation involves cost and the legitimate providers of any service are usually hit harder than slipshod or dishonest providers who try to avoid complying with rules. Honestly, if we regulate adoption anymore than it already is than it might be more honest simply to just abolish it altogether. At some point, an activity becomes so cumbersome and difficult it is no longer worth pursuing. Also, more regulation means more cost. It becomes a justification for agencies raising inflated rates even higher.

Perspective adoptive parents have an obligation to perform what is called "due diligence" just like any other group does. Due diligence means checking out an attorney or an agency and finding out things like how many adoptions they have actually completed in a specified period of time. It means refusing to work with anyone who is not licensed and reputable. It means asking questions and getting answers. There are many ways in life to get scammed. Phony adoptions is simply one of dozens. You live life and try to learn from it. Some lessons are more costly and painful than others.
That's very true. The obligation to perform due dillegence does fall on the propsective parents.

Many times they are so over joyed that they opt out of this important step because they want to believe it to be true. It's a very sad situation.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:09 AM
 
16,482 posts, read 21,073,633 times
Reputation: 16171
You have said "state" adoption a few times, but I don't think you mean this is an adoption through the state, but a domestic adoption. Most states allow for birthmother living expenses to be paid. The bottom line is the birthmother has the right to change her mind and despite how painful that is (and I know personally how that feels) there isn't anything that can be done about it. We chose to adopt from a state where the birthfather's right would be terminated for him if he did not financially support the birthmom when she was pregnant and also a state where the birthmother could sign away her right just after a few days. Each state has different laws. I am sorry your friends have lost so much money.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Warren, OH
2,748 posts, read 3,336,103 times
Reputation: 6472
Quote:
Originally Posted by pontyrogof View Post
Thanks for your reply, no kudzu.

Is it normal to spend almost fifty thousand dollars on one state adoption and if it fails not be able to recover anything?

How much would you say the average couple spends before they have a successful domestic adoption? I know that's a difficult estimate to make, but even a rough ballpark figure would be helpful.

The adoptive mom has had two birth mothers reneg previously. She chose OK because she didn't like the month leeway some states give birth moms to change their minds. OK gives only three days to decide after the birth.

I agree with you that vigilance is top priority. I agree with you that people can get so hopeful that they fail to ask certain questions for fear of being rejected. I suspect the adoptive mom didn't pay attention to more than one red flag. However, I also have confidence that she learned a lot from the other two failed cases. Interestingly, these adoptive parents gave me a much more glowing report of the birth mom before judgment day. After the adoption failed, then a little dirty laundry finally got aired.

Thanks again for your perspective!
No. It's not normal at all. That's the price of 31/2 Ukraine adoptions.
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