The path to adoption can come with some bumps in the road. Sometimes, an adoptive family may wait for a match for much longer than they had planned. Some families may be matched, only to face a disruption when an expecting mother chooses to parent. And unfortunately, some families even fall victim to adoption fraud.
Adoption fraud commonly occurs in the form of a woman who claims to be pregnant and seeks out an adoptive family, but in reality, she has no plans of pursuing adoption. While these women are usually looking for money, this is not always the case. It can also be considered adoption fraud if a potential birth mother intends to pursue an adoption plan, but is dishonest with you about medical issues that may affect her baby.
It can be tough to know exactly what to look out for in an adoption scammer. In some cases, a pregnant mother may claim to pursue adoption with no intention of seeing it through. In other cases, she may not even be pregnant at all. Some behaviors that may be indicative of an adoption scammer are:
- Reluctance to provide proof of pregnancy or other pregnancy-related medical information
- Unusual quickness in choosing you as an adoptive family
- Excessive concern or preoccupation with money
- Refusal to accept counseling
You can take measures, however, to protect yourself from the emotional and financial devastation of an adoption scam. If a birth mother contacts you, don’t be afraid to do a Google search of her, and don’t feel bad about being reserved until you meet her in person. Taking this kind of action may seem overly cautious, but it can help to protect you from the risk of a scam.
Lowering the risk of adoption fraud is also an especially compelling reason to work with an experienced adoption agency. Families that choose to find a birth mother on their own, especially through the Internet, are more vulnerable to scams. Adoption agencies have ways of preventing these incidents from happening at all.
Here at American Adoptions, we do everything in our power to protect you from an adoption scam, including:
- Mediating contact between the adoptive family and prospective birth mother
- Counseling birth mothers and gauging their commitment and sincerity before helping them choose an adoptive family
- Networking with other adoption professionals and law enforcement to identify scammers
- Keeping an up-to-date record of scams and potential scammers
We understand that, despite taking even the best preventative measures, not every adoption fraud can be avoided. However, for those unfortunate times when fraud is not detected, we have a unique Risk-Sharing Program in place to cover any lost adoption expenses.
Frauds and scams are an unfortunate reality in the world of adoption, and we encourage you to take all possible steps to prevent them from happening to you. Wherever you may be in your adoption journey, know that American Adoptions can help protect you from adoption fraud and put you on the perfect path to finding your little one.