The Difference Between Scamming and Changing One’s Mind

Recently, I exchanged comments with someone on my post What I Get to Do. In one of her comments, she wrote, “And I’m sorry, but the woman who changed her mind doesn’t need your judgement either.”

Let’s get this straight: There is a BIG difference between an expectant mother changing her mind and an expectant mother scamming prospective adoptive parents.

In our case, we actually had two matches that fell through. The one in April 2011 ended in June 2011, when the expectant mother changed her mind. She simply told the agency she couldn’t place her daughter and left it at that. I was disappointed, but I bore her no ill will. I still don’t, and I hope that she and her children are doing well.

The one in July 2011 was a scam. “Jasmine” kept asking for more money. We finally said, “No” and she dropped off the face of the earth.

I’ve been researching and involved in adoption since 2003. After the second round of her asking for money, mentally, I knew Jasmine was probably scamming us. But she was saying just enough that was right to keep me hopeful. I feel like an idiot, I really do. Ultimately, we were lucky that we only lost $600.

There are probably many women who match with prospective adoptive parents, thinking that adoption is the best option, then decide that they can’t go through with it. Their reasons for changing their minds are varied, and I believe most of them enter into matches with the best of intentions. I don’t think all women who change their minds are scammers, not at all.

In Jasmine’s case, we found out later that her proof of pregnancy had been forged. It’s likely that she was never even pregnant. The laws of the state of Kansas were such that she could have gotten $4,000 in “expenses” and she was going to use them to her advantage.

This is just another reason to have federal adoption laws, and strict adherence to guidelines about what expectant parent expenses are allowable.

7 thoughts on “The Difference Between Scamming and Changing One’s Mind

  1. >>This is just another reason to have federal adoption laws, and strict adherence to guidelines about what expectant parent expenses are allowable.<<

    Or better yet, have all adoptions be free of ANY money changing hands, and conducted via the state and not a private agency that makes money off of them.

  2. We have experienced four failed adoptions. I refused to call any of the women involved with our adoption attempts birth mothers.

    1. In our first failed adoption, the woman forged her proof of pregnancy. Our adoption agency was appalled that we contacted law enforcement and indicted this woman and the receptionist at the OB/GYN.
    2. The second woman simply took our money and ran. There is still an outstanding warrant for her arrest. Again, the adoption agency was furious at us for contacting law enforcement, saying that our actions were impacting their business.
    3. Via an American Academy of Adoption Attorney (Quad-A) a woman was located that was actually pregnant. She stated that she changed her mind and wanted to parent. On her Facebook page she bragged about how she was “fooling” these “loosers who cannot even figure out how to make a baby.”
    4. Our last adoption attempt the woman’s family demanded payments in addition to birth mother expenses, “just like they say on MTV.” When we refused to pay these bribes, the birth mother decided to parent.

    All the adoption professionals say our failures are our fault. We need to hold our nose and pay the money and hope for the best. The State Police state that all these adoption professionals are operating on the very edge of the law.

    Given the huge demand for fees by various adoption professionals (30 – 50K) I really wonder if it is possible to adoptive ethically. I also have great difficulty believing there are not some elements of corruption when a woman says she decided to parent.

    • That is horrible! I wish we had thought to call the authorities on “Jasmine.” However, we knew so little about her, I’m not sure anything could have been done.
      We do need reform, specifically around fees and “birthmother expenses.” I do think it’s very difficult to adopt completely ethically.
      I’m going to hold off on judging all women who choose to parent, though. I think they’re under a lot of pressure as well, from different sources. I know there are some women who pay lip service to adoption without ever intending to place, but there are some women who do intend to place, but can’t, for many reasons.

      • My family cannot continue to experience failed adoptions. It’s too draining both emotionally and money-wise. We are currently experiencing many adoption professionals that refuse to work with us “due to our deep ties to law enforcement.”

        We also are told we cannot “vet” our expectant mother even though our law enforcement contacts. Our law enforcement contacts don’t believe that the adoption professional have the investigative skills to determine who is a birth mother and who is a scammers. it’s quite the “catch-22.” I’m don’t see how it help us to finalize adoptions, if all we do if arrest, indict, and convict all these criminals.

        I would like some path to grow our family.

        Do you have any suggestions?

      • I’m really not sure. You could try agencies outside of your state. If your state allows facilitators, and you’re wanting to adopt a child of color, Pact is pretty darn ethical. No one is going to allow you to investigate expectant parents, though.

        Otherwise, I’d say your choice is international adoption or going the fost/adopt route if your state/county allows you to only be adoptive parents through foster care.

  3. I think it’s a real problem that the adoption industry demands complete background investigations of potential adoptive parents (PAPS), but refuses to level the playing field by refusing to require the the same type of information for expectant parents. This is opening up PAPs to corruption and fraud. This is even more true of agencies/attorneys that insist of completely open adoptions.

    Do you really want strangers in your home with criminal records? The state police in three of our failed adoptions found that the women had long criminal records with multiple convictions for fraud. They gave the adoption agency fake names, SS#, and false addresses. The social workers and case manager failed to catch onto their criminal activities. They lacked the investigative skills to determine if the information was accurate.

    In reference to International Adoption, the Office of Children Services (State Department) is not very encouraging about status of international adoption. It appears to me that the Hague treaty is closing county after county to adoption..

    According the US Department of Human Services, 49 of 50 states cannot comply with the federal Adoption and Safe Family Act of 1997. Thus it is very difficult if not impossible to adopt any child out of the foster care system. The state would rather setup permanency plans that are illegal and pay the fine under the Adoption and Safe Family Act than lose out of any federal funding.

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