I’m rather embarrassed to be writing this post. I’ve been involved in the adoption world since 2003, but it still happened: We were scammed.
I’m going to post the pertinent information first, so folks who might be looking for scammer info don’t have to read the whole post. The woman calls herself Jasmine Taylor. She’s from Indianapolis, IN. She says she has a 16-month-old daughter, Imani (not sure of the spelling), whom she wants to place as well. She says she’s just not ready to be a mother, even though she’s had Imani all this time.
Now, the whole story.
On June 15, we got a call from JoAnn at Adoption Connections. She had a woman due with a biracial baby girl. The woman, Jasmine, had a 16-month-old girl whom she also wanted to place. She didn’t care if the two were placed in the same family. In fact, she preferred that they not be. They didn’t have the same father. She lived in Indianapolis, IN. She said she could sleep easier knowing that she had someone to take the baby in.
After the match, she began asking for money. She wanted her cable back on, to the tune of $400. JoAnn wouldn’t give it to her. Cable isn’t a pregnancy-related expense after all. Jasmine and I were supposed to talk on the phone, but she missed the time. She didn’t return messages or texts. Then, I got a call from JoAnn. Jasmine had been in the hospital due to bleeding. She had a torn placenta. Jasmine and I talked, and she decided she’d go to Kansas (where Adoption Connections is) on June 30.
June 30 arrived, and Jasmine was saying that her electricity had been turned off. She wanted it turned on before she went. However, JoAnn couldn’t just pay the electric company. Jasmine needed cash so she could go to the company in person. We texted back and forth for a bit, and I told her she should plan on coming to Kansas, as she had said she wanted to do.
Once again, nothing – no communication. Then, I texted her and asked how she was. She was coming to Kansas, she said. This past weekend, JoAnn called and said that Jasmine told her she was getting on the bus. But Jasmine never arrived. The following Monday, she talked to JoAnn and to me. She had lost her phone and didn’t want to go on a trip without one, in case of emergency. The cost of the phone was minimal. At this point, I was pretty sure this was a scam, but I also thought, as Max put it, “there’s a lot to be said for bad luck and stupidity.” For a relatively small amount of money, I would know if this was a scam or if it was really going to happen. So I sent her Western Union for the phone.
She never arrived in Kansas. Her phone number isn’t accepting calls. She hasn’t answered texts. I called another phone number she used and left a message. We don’t expect to hear from her again.
We lost about $600, which isn’t that big in the adoption world – it could be a lot worse. But we’re pretty much out of what we can pay in “birthmother expenses”.
We’ve been waiting almost a year. At the end of September, we’ll have to update our home study. Jack and his sister will be more than 5 years apart, when I wanted them to be 3-5 years apart. We’re not seeing that many situations, and when we do, the costs are prohibitive. (But that’s another post.)
We just all want Jackson’s baby sister to come home soon.