Attorney General Offices
scams can occur with birthmothers-to-be, adoptive parents, and adoption professionals.
Always beware of the situation. Do not let your emotions
overpower your good judgement.
Listed below are common situations which we have observed
and has been reported. Watch for the signs and always
be extra careful.
Do not jump to conclusions and try not to be overly suspicious and hurt honest people,
yet keep in mind a scam can occur.
Agree upon and
sign documents that commit all parties to an adoption
situation. Memories can fail and be selective.
Attorney General Offices by State
Find a listing by state.
Join this Yahoo email group to stay
informed about adoption scams. This group can save you time and money. Read
about the latest alerts.
1. Usually the
motivation for birthmother scams are to take your money. She needs
money for rent, food, etc. Only give money to
a birthmother-to-be through an attorney or qualified adoption
amount limits and circumstances vary by state law. Do not give money
directly to a birthmother.
2. If the
birthmother is not available by phone and wants to call you because of an
on going situation, beware! You should have a contact number and complete
that you can verify.
3. A birthmother may not even be pregnant or could be pregnant and has
other plans for the baby, including keeping the baby or promising the baby
to several waiting adoptive parents. Look for those signs.
birthmother has at least one or more crisis in her life and you are part
of the solution. This can include
stories such as rape and incest.
Be sensitive, but do not be drawn into the whole
5. The birthmother
offers a plan to bring the baby to you. Birthmothers usually want you to
meet her and arrange to receive the baby at the hospital. This ploy is used to get a plane ticket which can be cashed in
later. Do not give anyone a plane ticket. Many adopting parents have lost money by purchasing a plane
ticket and never hearing from the, supposed, birthmother again
To have a match, you must meet face to face with the
expectant mother. Big flag, the
birthmother flakes out. She misses scheduled meetings with you or other
professionals. Even with an unbelievable story
she can be very convincing.
6. Proof or pregnancy or other
documents are agreed upon, but never seem to arrive. She seems to
always have a reason for not sending you identifying information or cannot
believe that you have not received the information. A sudden
miscarriage or hospitalization can happen when you request for too much
birthmother does not want you to contact anyone
else concerning her pregnancy. She does not feel comfortable meeting or
talking with an attorney or other adoption professional. When
pressed, she might accuse you of not trusting her and can even get angry.
birthmother will not give you, but will get you the name of her doctor or
clinic where she is receiving medical attention.
birthmother will evade certain details regarding medical attention,
signing parental rights, contacting social services or adoption
birthmother changes her story about the pregnancy or her situation. If a
birthmother is talking to several adoptive parents, her story can change
because she cannot remember what she said to you.
11. Be careful
if the birthmother is expecting twins. This is a popular situation with an
adoption scam. In the natural course, ask for proof of pregnancy and how
are you able to contact her doctor.
favorite ploy is for someone to fix you up with a friend. That
person might pose as an adoptive parent and not an adoption
professional. Be careful that the friend is not the same person. If
both have the same IP address watch out!
13. Fake birthmothers
are very willing to match quickly and will say you are perfect, without
knowing much about you. They are going to send you pictures and
other thing, but never do.
They have always had complications with the pregnancy.....they usually
claim when you cannot find them that they were at the emergency room.
The birthmother does not like or want to deal with an attorney or other
adoption professional. She has had a bad experience with an attorney
and does not want to work with them again.
16. The truth of
the matter is that you need to get down to adoption business. Small talk
is necessary, but keep it in prospective. The phone meetings are to
establish if you are suited for a "match" and if yes, then both parties
need to get the necessary paper work in order.
It seems that
birthmothers-to-be also need to look for warning signs that adoptive parents may
not be able to work with them or will not follow through with the agreed
adoption. Birthmothers-to-be need to watch for these possible warning signs.
family that tells you how much contact they want you to have and after the birth
they change what they told you.
parents that makes demands rather than requests and makes you feel second
family that does not return your emails or phone calls and might not be
honest with you.
4. A family
that seems like they are desperate and will do anything to get your baby.
parent might temp you to break the law by offering you illegal funds or
expensive gift beyond what the law allows.
The adopting parents might not be qualified, you will have to be the sole
Adopting parents might pressure you when you are changing your mind about
them, they could have many personal problems, check them out.
1. Beware of any
adoption professional on the Internet who cannot provide you with
information. Get the basics and go from there.
2. If they are
an agency, find out the state they are in and their agency license number. It is not necessary for an adoption
professional to have a web site, but it helps validate their presence.
adoption facilitator should be carefully looked at, in California,
facilitators have to be bonded and in many state they are illegal.
You need to research their business.
out the professionals legal business name, physical address, physical
phone number, city business license.
any adoption professional is offended by you asking questions, they are
probably not your choice.
with the Better Business Bureau for any bad reports.
various Internet egroups or check boards on the Internet for any positive
or negative reports.
8. Read any
document you sign. Ask the "what if questions".
Anything said verbally is always overridden by the contract. Make sure
there is a contract.
9. Do not be
lured by the fact if you sign a contract, you will have the baby you want.
An adoption usually takes time.
facilitator does not have an established business with a track record and
is unknown to the Internet adoption circle, DO NOT SEND MONEY
UP-FRONT. A small application fee is about as far as we would
recommend. Have your attorney verify the facilitators
qualifications. You will need an attorney anyway.
This is a list
of common occurrences, many others exist. Think about your actions and
always use good judgment.