Adoption scams can break the hearts of potential parents

By Greg Collier

Adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences for a parent. It can also be one of the most challenging. The adoption process is not only costly, but there are also miles of red tape that perspective parents have to navigate. In the end, the experience is worth it, as you’re giving a home to a child who may not have had one otherwise. However, money and bureaucracy are not the only thing adoptive parents have to worry about. Even in adoption, there are scammers looking to take advantage of those with good intentions.

An Ohio couple recently fell victim to one of these scams. They were looking for an expectant mother who was looking to have their child adopted. A woman from Houston, Texas replied, and an arrangement was made. The couple even hired a Texas adoption lawyer to make sure that the Texas woman was who she said she was. The couple paid $9,000 in medical expenses for the supposedly expectant mother. Eventually, the Texas woman messaged the couple saying that labor would be induced in the next few days. The Ohio couple traveled to Texas expecting to welcome a new member into their family. They received a call from the Texas woman, who said that she had to postpone being induced into labor because her mother was ill. Then more days passed, and the couple received no response from the Texas woman. It was at this point their lawyer advised them that they had been scammed.

We can’t speak for the couple, but we imagine the lost money might have been secondary to the feeling of disappointment that they were leaving Texas without a son or daughter.

If you’re a family looking to adopt, especially if it’s a private adoption, hire an attorney who specializes in adoption. While not a guarantee of avoiding a scam, they go a long way in helping avoid one. If you are engaging in a private adoption, don’t be afraid to ask all the questions you need to help you verify that the baby is on the way. Lastly, you may want to go through an adoption agency. Again, it’s not a guarantee of avoiding a scam, but the agencies do a great job of rejecting potential scammers.