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!!!!! Thumbs up!

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