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Adoption Scam / Adoption Fraud

How to recognize an adoption scam or adoption fraud: Unfortunately, adoption scams are not all that uncommon. A woman or couple contact a prospective family offering to place their child. Often they are seeking money, but sometimes just attention. Either way, you need to be on the lookout. They are usually not hard to spot when you know the warning signs. Use these resources to help you be on the lookout.


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Where to Start for Information on Adoption Scam / Adoption Fraud:

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Information and Resources on Adoption Scam / Adoption Fraud:

Adoption fraud or adoption scams can be perpetrated by a pregnant, or supposedly pregnant women; by an adoption agency, attorney, or facilitator; or by adoptive parents. An expectant or supposedly pregnant woman can promise to place a child with you for adoption with no intention of following through. She can make this promise with the hopes of getting money or support from you, or she may simply want the emotional connection to you. A prospective birth mother may also lie to you about risk factor the baby may have, such as drug or alcohol exposure.


An adoption agency, adoption attorney, or adoption facilitator can perpetuate a fraud on adoptive parents by charging exorbitant fees, not providing the services promised, and not disclosing all information about the child to the adoptive parent (also known as a fraudulent adoption).


Although not always classified as an adoption fraud, we believe that adoptive parents can also scam birth parents by making promises during the “courting phase” pre-adoption with little intention of following through. For example, adoptive parents who are not comfortable with an open adoption might promise continued contact after the baby is born, knowing that it will be hard for the birth parents to enforce. Also, some prospective adoptive parents lie about themselves in order to convince an expectant woman to pick them. For example, they may lie about their religious affiliation or involvement, or lie about whether the adoptive mother plans to return to work post adoption.


There are no guarantees in adoption (or life for that matter), but there are things you can do to lessen your risks of falling prey to an adoption scam. In order to protect yourself consider our Top Ten Warning Signs for Adoption Fraud and our Top Ten Tips for Avoiding a Birth Mother Adoption Scam.

  • Someone’s Missing has a section on “Avoiding Online Fraud”, “Avoiding Birth Mother Scams”, and “Screening Your Birth Mother”. The advice is spot on.
  • A great article on how to spot a scam. This is one of the best I’ve found.
  • AdoptionScams Yahoo group - Other prospective parents will post the details of a scam allowing others to compare their situation.

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