WORKING ETHICALLY WITH EXPECTANT PARENTS
Those exploring adoption hear these days about scams which allege that women claiming to be birthmothers victimize desperate would-be adopters. A number of media outlets have covered stories about these kinds of scams, both domestic and intercountry. The scenarios include
- Women who are not pregnant, but are claiming to be pregnant, who scam one (or more) set of prospective adopters for support money. (Often adopters are later told that there has been a miscarriage or neonatal death.)
- Women who really are pregnant, but who have no intention of making an adoption plan working (almost always long distance) with several agencies, facilitators, or attorneys and collecting support money from all.
- Scammers from foreign countries (frequently African, or Asian or Eastern European nations) claiming to be needy birthparents interested in placing children in the U.S.
- Scammers from foreign countries claiming to be American expectant mothers and identified as foreign only by careful examination of the hidden headers which track their email.
This is unconscionable behavior, but it is real. These people, however, are not a norm. Later sections of Adopting discuss how to avoid such scams.
There is little public discussion, though, about adoptive parents who misbehave. We're going to talk about that here.