What is adoption fraud?

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Family Law on Thursday, July 23, 2015.

While most adoptions end positively, with the parents getting to welcome their child to his or her new home, there are some unscrupulous people who try to take advantage of prospective adoptive parents. Adoption fraud can come in many forms, and understanding what adoptions fraud is and the warning signs to look for can help you reduce the risk of being caught in a scam.

Adoption fraud often involves the adoptive parents paying more money than they should have. Examples include the adoption agency charging for services that were not provided, and these can often be charged as hidden fees or filed under miscellaneous expenses.

Another possibility that sometimes happens with families planning open adoptions is when the adoptive parents pay for the birth mother’s medical expenses — and sometimes other expenses as well — but the birth mother does not intend to or is not legally capable of giving the child up for adoption. In extreme cases, the birth mother may have promised the child to several families.

Adoption fraud can also involve withholding critical information, such as if an adoption agency or facilitator lies about the child’s medical, emotional or family history or fails to provide information about these issues that they were aware of at the time of adoption. Medical or emotional issues can cause problems with the bonding process and can make integrating the child into the new family more challenging, and adoptive parents should be made aware of these issues beforehand.

An adoptions agency that appears unorganized, makes you feel pressured or contacts you randomly may not be reputable. If you are considering adopting a child or a birth mother looking for an adoptive family for your child, it’s important to talk with a family law attorney who can help you recognize potential problems.

Source: FindLaw, “Adoption Fraud,” accessed July 23, 2015