Every year millions of American couples will make the decision to adopt. Adopting a child is a very exciting time for a couple. You become surrounded by wonder and mystery about the new person who will be entering your life. A new chapter, a new start, maybe after years of struggling to have a child. After going through the emotional turmoil of not being able to conceive, couples are left in a vulnerable state. Making it easier for scammers to target and take advantage of them. The scammers expect that first time adopters will not be knowledgeable about the process. So, they trick them into adopting a baby whom may never truly be theirs. Before you learn how to avoid adoption scams, here’s the actual definition:
Adoption Fraud –
also known as wrongful adoption, refers to any form of intentional misrepresentation or illegal act by someone during an adoption process for the purpose of personal or financial gain.
Adopting a child costs far more than people think. Especially, when you’re doing an international adoption. When working with an agency, adopting can cost between $8,000 to $40,000. Don’t forget to add on the costs for traveling if you’re adopting a child internationally. Most agencies do not cover that cost. With that amount of money at stake, you can see why there are people out there who want to impersonate an adoption professional. Or why a woman could promise her baby to several couples. Make sure to do your research before handing your money over to anyone.
Adoption Fraud Examples
- Adoption Agency Wants High Upfront Fees
- The Expectant Mother Keeps Putting Off Your Meeting
- The Expectant Mother Has Not Informed Her Doctor Of The Adoption
- You’re Not Given Any Background Information On The Child
- The Woman Is Attempting To Sell Her Baby Online
How To Prevent Adoption Scams
1. Have Medical Proof Of The Pregnancy
The most devastating experience would be for a couple to get their hopes up only to find out there’s no baby. Or worse the baby was given to another couple. Make sure to have medical documentation of the pregnancy from start to finish.
2. Choose An Experienced Adoption Professional
In any field, you want to work with the best of the best. When you are working with a professional that has spent years in the field, the chance of being scammed becomes lower. Meanwhile, working with someone who is new in the field could mean danger.
3. Additional Payments To Birth Mother Should Be Through Agency
To follow adoption guidelines, all pregnancy and adoption-related payments should be made through the agency. If the birth mother is asking for payments towards her car or groceries, that is not the way it should work. Contact your agency right away.
4. Are There Warning Signs?
If you have a feeling that there is something off about this process, then you are probably right. Usually, we know when someone is lying to us. Is the expectant mother flaking on your appointments? Or giving you sonogram pictures that look they were from the internet? You might have a problem.
Unfortunately, these types of financial scams happen all too often. Whenever there is a large exchange of money, there will always be an individual trying to obtain it. Despite the ethicality of manipulating parents, there are scammers who don’t care who you are or what your purpose is with your money. No one ever thinks they will be scammed, but in time someone is bound to target you. Make sure to do a public records search to prevent yourself from being in a seedy situation such as this.
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