Private Adoption Scams
Adoption scams occur when any party involved in the adoption process misrepresents themselves, usually for financial gain. Adoption scams can be carried out by any of the following:
- Birth mother or birth parents
- Adoptive families
- Adoption professionals
To avoid adoption scams, working with reputable adoption professionals is recommended. We also strongly recommend that any financial payments go through a professional. If there are any red flags presented by any of the above parties involved in the private adoption process, it’s best to trust your gut and do some further investigating.
Adoption scams have been around for many years, but the use of social media has increased the number of scams taking place each year.
It’s important to note that sometimes adoptions fall through because the birth mother has had a change of heart, which is not considered an adoption scam. Adoption scams involve criminal intent and exploit one of the parties involved in the adoption.
Birth Mother Adoption Scams
Birth mother adoption scams are when birth mothers collect money from hopeful adoptive parents without the intention of following through with the adoption.
There are several instances of birth mother adoption scams, such as a pregnant mother milking adoptive parents for as much as they can for living expenses, medical expenses, etc., a woman pretending to be pregnant to collect money from vulnerable hopeful parents, or an expectant mother reaching out to multiple families at once to get as much money as possible.
Adoptive Family Adoption Scams
Adoptive family adoption scams are when the adoptive parents agree to an open or semi-open adoption but refuse to cooperate with those terms once the adoption is final by cutting off all communication with the birth mother or birth parents.
It can be distressing for the birth mother when agreeing to relinquish rights to her baby only because she believes she will continue to have contact with the baby as he or she grows up.
Adoption Professionals Adoption Scams
Unfortunately, adoption professionals have been known to scam hopeful parents out of money for their own financial gain, exploiting their desperation to become parents.
This can look like adoption agencies not following through with services after charging excessive fees to the parents hoping to adopt, facilitators hiding medical information or critical background information from the adoptive parents about the birth parents, or professionals lying about credentials.