How To Avoid Adoption Scams

If you’ve made the decision to adopt, you’re doing a wonderful thing for a child in need. Unfortunately, there are people out there who would take advantage of your kindheartedness. Adoption scams are relatively rare, but a prospective parent should always be on the lookout for them. Having a Greenville adoption attorney can help ensure your adoption story is a success.

Adoption scams happen when women contact adoption agencies or families with no intention of placing a child for adoption. Perhaps the woman has a child but is not really searching for an adoptive family. Or the woman might not even be pregnant, but say that she is. The prospective family or agency, thinking they can adopt, will often spend money to care for the woman. Only too late do they learn there was never any hope an adoption would happen. This scam can cost thousands of dollars while shattering the dreams of the adoptive family.

We recommend you take some steps to avoid Adoption Scams

Choose a reputable adoption agency. A legitimate adoption organization will mediate contact between the prospective family and the birth mother. They also screen the birth mothers, often through interviews and background checks. In some cases, you may even be able to obtain adoption insurance in the event of fraud. A knowledgeable Greenville adoption lawyer can assist you in finding an honest agency that knows what it’s doing.

Meet the prospective birth mother. You will want to get to know the prospective birth mother, either directly or through an agency. A legitimate birth mother will not avoid this or find excuses to not meet you. To the contrary, the birth mother should be asking questions and learning more about you and your family. It’s generally a good idea to conduct meetings through a reputable adoption agency, rather than on your own.

Get proof of the pregnancy. Some scams involve “mothers” who are not even pregnant. Ultrasounds and pictures depicting a pregnant mother can be faked. Ask your Greenville adoption lawyer about obtaining clear proof you are working with a pregnant mother. This may include, for instance, medical records.

Don’t directly pay living expenses. Under the right circumstances, you can provide financial support to the mother. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Work with your Greenville, SC adoption attorney and the adoption agency to support the birth mother. If the birth mother attempts to circumvent this by asking you directly for help, it could be a red flag.

Do your own research. Having a reputable adoption agency and knowledgeable adoption lawyer will go a long way in keeping you safe. But you should look into the prospective mother yourself. Do an Internet search of the individual, including of photos provided. Check out social media groups and ask others for advice. Learn all you can about the birth mother, known scams, and the adoption process in general.

In the event you discover you are the victim of a scam, take immediate action. First, contact your Greenville, SC adoption lawyer. Next, cancel any payments and outstanding checks. You should also work with your bank’s fraud department to try to recoup lost funds. Notify law enforcement, the adoption agency, and any online groups you’re a member of.


It’s easy to get excited about the life changes that adoption will bring. But don’t let your enthusiasm cloud your judgment. At the end of the day, you have to trust your gut. If you have concerns about a potential scam, reach out to Greenville Family Law. We can help you with all aspects of the adoption process and answer any questions you have. Let us get started on your case today.

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