Scammers are everywhere. From the robocalls on your cell phone to the suspicious emails in your inbox, it seems like avoiding scams has become a part of everyday life. Unfortunately, scams are also part of the adoption world. Specifically, individuals often pose as birth mothers claiming to place their child for adoption after payment of a set sum, only to vanish into thin air after receiving the payment. That is why it is so important to know what these scams are and how to avoid these types scams. Here are three adoption scams and the best ways to avoid them.
- Adoptions of Twins or Triplets
Many adoption scammers advertise adoptions of twins or triplets. Why? Because it sounds good to think you can complete your forever family with one adoption. But as is often the case, what sounds too good to be true is too good to be true. Many adoption scammers perpetrating these types of scams try to work directly with the prospective adoptive parents, thereby cutting the licensed adoption agency or adoption attorney who may be wise to these types of scams out of the picture. They also often involve tactics such as doctored medical records, including fake ultrasound images.
You might be asking how to avoid this scam. The answer is simple. Plan your adoption with a licensed adoption agency and insist that the agent interact with the birth mother. This is because adoption agencies screen birth mothers to make sure that they are fully committed to placing their child for adoption. For example, at Adoption Choices, birth mothers are subjected to an extensive background check to confirm that they are who they say they are and that they are fully committed to placing their child for adoption.
- Urgent need for money
Adoption scammers often claim that they desperately need money for any reason. For example, a woman posing as a birth mother may claim she needs an up front payment to avoid eviction from her apartment as a condition of the adoption. The reason for this is to pull at your heart strings and convince you to give her money. The problem is once she has the money, she will disappear.
Fortunately, it is easy to avoid this type of scam. As previously stated, work with a licensed adoption agency that can run the background checks needed to determine whether the birth mother really needs the money that badly. Also, you should never pay money directly to the individual. Instead, pay it to the person to whom the individual is indebted. For example, if a birth mother claims she needs money to avoid eviction, have a licensed adoption agent verify the story then, if it is true, pay the money directly to her landlord.
You can also avoid this type of scam by forming a relationship with the birth mother. It might seem counter intuitive, but forming a relationship with the birth mother can protect you against this type of scam because it gives you more information about her upbringing, current situation, and reasons for placing her child for adoption. You will also be able to better gauge her personality and pick up on potential warning signs of fraud.
- Offers of a step parent adoptions
This type of scam is a bit trickier. In this type of scam, a birth mother offers to put the prospective adoptive mother’s husband on the birth certificate. In theory, this would allow the husband to claim he is the birth father, and then have the adoptive mother adopt the child as a step parent, all without having to wrestle with the legal requirements associated with adoptions. However, the reality is much scarier. The birth mother has no intent to perform a step parent adoption. She plans to sue your husband for child support, all while keeping her child. This works because she has your husband’s name on the birth certificate claiming (albeit falsely) to be the father.
The best way to avoid this type of scam is to never agree to any shortcuts in the adoption process. The legal requirements for adoptions are there for a reason. Instead, work with a licensed adoption agency or attorney that can help you navigate the legal requirements for adoptions.
Now you know. Adoption scams are a thing. Fortunately, they are very rare, but you should still be aware of them and know the right steps to take to avoid them. And, as always, work with a licensed adoption agency or attorney who can recognize the signs of adoption scam. For more information, visit Adoption Choices of Kansas.