Friday, September 30, 2011

What to keep in mind if an Adoption Professional approaches you or post a situation.



When one is approached or finds a situation that is posted on the net, by some adoption professional, think about these things before sending money or laying your heart on the line.  Others who have had this experience, maybe you could add to this and we can share our knowledge for those who are new to adoption. Please keep in mind that this is SOME adoption professionals as there a majority who would never do this.
1. Know that the situation is probably posted all over the net, therefore you will be one of hundreds flooding their mail box. Especially if it is the "perfect situation".
2. .Even though they are in "desperate need to find a family to match with this expectant mom" it will not be that easy. If you are asked to overnight a signed contract and/or send a large fee, make sure you have another adoption professional backing you and also looking into the situation. Or simply do not do it. Never be pressured into a situation unless you are willing to put your adoption funds all in one basket.
3. Once you sign up, and have paid application fee you may have to pay a few thousands before being presented to expectant parent.  In all likely hood, you will never see this money again. Be prepared to kiss it goodbye.
4. Before you agree to send in funds, you  will receive little information about the situation, therefore you are unable to make the most informed decision, because now possible baby is being dangled. Information that you should expect about any given situation is the state where mom lives, when she is due, what kind of expenses does she need, is there medical information, where is dad, what kind of support does she have from her family, is there drugs, drinking involved, what kind of adoption does she want, has adoption professional met with her, has pregancy been verified, has she signed release of medical information, pretty much everything except for her indentity. Now is is not always possible for adoption professional to have this info on hand, but they should have most of it and be willing to share with you.
5. You may hand thousands to adoption professional, just to be presented and you would have a one in 5-15 chance of being picked. Here is where I think one should know what "bait and switch" means. When an adoption professional post on a group about the perfect situation, my radar goes up. An ethical adoption professional would never have to post that, they in fact wouldn't be posting alot of situations if they are in adoption and have a good reputation, and are not out for the big bucks. The only kind of situations you would see posted is truly the ones where they simply do not have the clientel which mom is looking for. That maybe full AA couple, or family that is willing to adopt a FAE/FAS or other special needs. 
6. You may be asked to sign a contract which states you agree too pay so much now, so much at match, and so many other fees.  Also it may state that if adoption fails you will receive NO refund and then they may say "you can claim your loss on your taxes" Last I read you need to finalize an adoption before you can claim all of it.
7. If match failed (in this case it could be if you are not matched with situation presented to you) your money is now tied up and if there is no refund and you may need to stick with this adoption professional for a year or so and will have to join others on their rematch list.  I have seen this happen many, many times and the family's stuck on the list have to sit back and watch these situations being presented on boards, groups etc...and are afraid to say anything to the adoption professional because after all, they have their thousands and by voicing a concern may get them at the bottom of the list, or off the list. How is one to know, because it is their list.


A great way to educate, and protect yourself, your clients, and others from being scammed, mistreated or in choosing the perfect situation for you. Check out the video on http://www.myadoptionadvisor.com/adoption-scams/!!!!! Thumbs up!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good news! Or I think it is good news,,hope it is good news. Got an email from an Indiana Detective who is working on the Lynn Smith Ellis case,,he is waiting on a final vital piece of information and then we should hear that she has been arrested!  This investigation started in March 2011,,,longest one so far and in the end I believe FBI may get involve which would start the investigation all over again. Or if the State of IND. can come up with a good case against Lynn, it may be decided the states case is stronger and the punishment will be harsher then what FBI would be able to hand down.
Lynn Ellis  started out wanting to adopt and for some reason, unbeknownst to me, cannot go about adopting in the legal fashion in which one has to.  Number one thing a potential adoptive parent needs to start the adoption process is a home study. Since Lynn couldn't get one done she found an agency website who had posted a copy of a home study letter on their website, they didn't realize someone would copy and paste it, fill in their info and try and pass it off as a legit one . She then tried to pass it off with a few adoption professionals and  raised enough red flags and after they verified  some of the information on the h/s was false, came to adoptionscams for help.  It wasn't hard to find the web site and figure out what she had done.
I guess this gal decided since that didn't work she would hang her shingles as a facilitator, called her service Tinkerbell Adoption Referral Service, and try to lure in unsuspecting pregnant gals looking towards adoption.  One thing she didn't look into before setting up shop was that Indiana had just past a new law that outlawed facilitators in that state.  Or maybe she knew this info, after all she faked a h/s, and she didn't care if she was breaking the law once again.
While she spent time looking for a pregnant gal to work with, she was also collecting funds from potential adoptive families, and presenting them with a situations that we believe didn't exist. Should find that out once the charges are filed, as they confiscated her computer which she used to do her dirty work.  She would get everyone's hopes up and then in the end, baby either died, mom changed her mind or mom simply disappeared.  One pregnant mom, who she saved for herself, or was planning on "selling", did fly to Gary Indiana, where Lynn lives, to place her newborn for adoption with the Ellis's. Once she got there, she started to feel uncomfortable, also saw that Lynn wasn't ready for a baby and there apparently were other major red flags, so THANK GOD, this mom got on the next plane home with her baby.
Believe me, this is not the only person who try's to bring a baby into their home illegally.
The saddest part in all of this, is I am not so sure her husband knew what she was doing and she does have a teen daughter who will be greatly affected by her moms actions.

Here is one of the news stories on this case.  http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/30/victims-adoption-web-site-is-a-scam/

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For the next couple of days I will probably post a few times on my blog. Have so much to say,,LOL.

Received this email and love it! So any of you in the NE,,pap's, ap's, sw, or Quad's who can make it, should go!  Adoption is all about the adopted person, the birthparent/s and very little about us adoptive parents (but we do have a huge responsibility towards our adopted person).  If at all possible openness in adoption is a MUST. It is very important to understand all the feelings, heart and soul of those who have the most to gain from knowing where they came from, why they were placed, where and how their baby is and when the adopted person is ready to ask questions, the answers should be readily available to him/her.  This makes for a much more "grounded" person.

Healthy relationships with birth relatives are a vital part of any open adoption. Continue the learning process about this and many other important topics at the

November Adoption Conference
In honor of National Adoption Month

Saturday, November 12, 2011
8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA

Registration is now open at www.AdoptionCommunityofNE.org

This conference is sponsored by the Adoption Community of New England in honor of National Adoption Month and focuses on topics vital to prospective adopters and parents of children from foster care.

Workshops include:

Parenting Kids with Rough Starts
A Panel of Adoptive Teens and their Adoptive Parents
Is Transracial Adoption Right for Me?
Post Placement Issues and Services
Understanding the Effects of Trauma
Healthy Relationships with Birth Families
Come Celebrate My First Birthday
Why are Some Kids Disorganized, Unprepared and Impulsive?
Understanding the Development of Adopted Children

Have questions about this event? Contact the office at 508.872.2230 for more information.

Presented in cooperation with Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. (MARE), Adoption Journeys, Bright Futures Adoption Center, A Program of Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps, Inc., The Center for Child Health and Development, LLC, Central Massachusetts Child Trauma Center, LUK, Inc., Raade Communication Connections

2011-2012 Conference Planning Committee
Adoption Community of New England, Inc.
34 Deloss Street, Second Floor
Framingham, MA 01702
508.872.2230
508.872.2231 FAX
www.AdoptionCommunityofNE.org
While watching and listening to this news cast  http://www.ktul.com/story/15552861/muskogee-woman-accused-of-adoption-scam   because she is feeling the pain of placing a baby?? I would believe her if she hadn't also scammed when she was pregnant with that baby.   She had stated in another news cast that these potential adoptive parents pay out thousands to agency's why is it she didn't get any money, so basically, what she meant is, they took from me, now I will take from them.
Makes me wonder how she was treated when she placed her baby. Would love to hear that story! It still does not give her the right to do what she has been doing,,hope she gets some help, seems obvious to me what her issue is. And her mom is just wrong in her justification of Davanna's reasoning and actions.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Whoooooooohoooooooooooo!! www.adoptionscams.net is up and running again!  Still trying to set up the message board, but not sure it will work out. If not, we will then start a new one.  Was able to retain all the info from it, so it will be in our data base.  Contact me at lbanks8928@sio.midco.net

Friday, September 23, 2011

Davanna Dotson/Muskogee, Oklahoma

Well, here goes, first blog post!
For sometime now, a gal by the name of Davanna Dotston, goes by DeAmber Dotson has been contacting potential adoptive parents stating that she is pregnant, or has given birth (says sons name is Jeremy). She is not pregnant and has not just given birth and is playing the part of expectant mom for the purpose of receiving money.  There is a detective working the case now. Det Lynn can be reached at 918-680-3144.
This scam could have been shut down if 100% of the potential adoptive parents had insisted on gaining proof of pregnancy and then were able to verify it.  But this con artist was able to play into the pap's emotions and she said everything they want to hear, therefore some people jumped the gun and sent her funds. Don't know if anyone sent funds directly or not,,hope not, they need to use an adoption professional, whether it is an atty or adoption agency.
Davanna was also charged and convicted with doing this very same thing already,,,,,,,,grrrrrrr do they ever learn?

http://www.newson6.com/story/15529972/muskogee-woman-accused-of-adoption-fraud

October 3, 2013

State drops adoption fraud charge

Move comes after woman admits guilt in federal court

State charges were dismissed against a Muskogee woman who pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud in a multistate adoption scam.

Davanna Dotson, 22, is serving 48 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of probation. As part of a plea deal, she was ordered to pay $14,976.21 in restitution.

Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore dropped a felony charge of obtaining money by false pretense Thursday. He said eight other felonies were dismissed in September as part of the federal deal.

“We got our restitution through the federal system,” Moore said. “There was no use in trying to proceed on the same type of charges she’s also plead guilty.”

Dotson was accused of pretending to have a baby for adoption and persuading potential adoptive parents in other states to send money to her for diapers, transportation, car seats and other items.

The scheme involved families and agencies in several states, including Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, Virginia and Texas.

Dotson was indicted in November. She pleaded guilty in December and was sentenced in August.

Because Dotson was convicted of a federal charge, Moore said, his office had been planning to dismiss charges on or before Dotson’s state preliminary hearing.

He said there was “no rush” to file the dismissal because Dotson is already serving her sentence.

Allowing the U.S. attorney to take the case Dotson also saved the state the expense of  continuing court proceedings and bringing in people to testify, he said.

Reach Thad Ayers at (918) 684-2903 or tayers@muskogeephoenix.com.