Questions for Adoptive Parents about Domestic or International Adoption

Want to adopt? Don't know where to begin? Curious about the adoption industry behind the scenes? Questions to ask yourself before you pay the big deposit. Read this research book compiled from 20 years of research and watch these videos.

Below is a list of the current concerns wanting couples and adoptive parents have been silently struggling with for decades. If the facilitator's explanations do not make sense, or if you suspect human rights violations, trust your instincts and do not pay their fees. Unethical adoptions hurt all involved and can take a lifetime to correct. Do not participate in the rehoming of children. This is when adoptive parents try to remove their "parental" obligations and agreements and force them onto another willing participant. To many human rights proponents, this underground method of moving children is seen as another form of abandonment and child trafficking.

Basic Questions Adoptive Parents or Applicants need to read before starting the international adoption process.

  • Were you charged a large amount of unexplained hidden fees or more fees than otherwise mentioned in the original contract?
  • Were you also advised to pay additional fees or donations to the orphanage?
  • Did the agency have you 'buy' a Home Study or pass you with just checking off the floor plan of your home?
  • Did the agency give you accurate portrayals of the adopted children's physical or emotional state?
  • Did the agency lure you into paying nonrefundable application fees with photos or videos of what looks like deprived children, leading you to believe these children were vulnerable or orphaned?
  • Did the agency exploit your own losses, giving the impression that adopting a child will heal certain wounds?
  • Did the agency use religious guilt and shame tactics which led you to believe that it was your responsibility to "save" a child?
  • Did the agency alter or withhold the child's background information?
  • If the agency showcase photo listings and public viewings on websites, catalogs, and magazines of children, questions to ask: Are agencies paying the children to model as 'orphans' in their ad campaigns? Are agencies exploiting real vulnerable children by using their photo in ad campaigns? Do the foreign parents understand what their children's photos and videos are used for and are agreeable?  Are the parents getting compensated?  Did the agency make you pay a fee in order to have access to a private photo listing of children?
  • Did the agency allow for several potential adopters to pay an application fee for the same child?
  • When applying for a child and paying the fees, did the agency require you to sign a silent clause (or gag order) which would prevent you from obtaining justice or voicing public concerns about their practices if they did not uphold their part of the agreement?
  • Does the agency imply that the children they process are "orphans"? Have agencies changed their marketing strategy such as adding: 'helping vulnerable', 'uplifting children' or 'strengthening families' as a way to increase international adoption and donations to the agency?
  • Were the financial records not to industry standards, revised, or withheld from the general public?
  • Did the agency blatantly threaten or harass you?
  • Did the agency outright lie to you? ignore your questions?
  • Can the agency offer 'post' adoption services with your 'difficult' foreign-born adopted child? Do you feel like giving up and the agency does not want anything to do with you? Do they say s/he's YOUR problem now?  Do they have a well-established program in place for 'disruptive' adoptions?
  • Does the agency imply or blames you for not 'bonding' with your newly adopted child or places blame on the child by diagnosing him or her as Reactive Attachment Disorder?  Do they suggest medication to 'control' your newly adopted child?
  • Are agencies able to 100% guarantee that you are in the process of adopting a real orphan?  Did you know that in adoption, a child can be classified as an 'orphan' even if they have a surviving parent? 
  • In the past have you heard rumors of falsified adoption files in order to hide information?  Have older adopted people found discrepancies, unexplained or confusing information in their files with the same adoption agency you are using?
  • Will you be able to return your child to their rightful parents if you found out that your adopted child was stolen?
  • Is the adoption agency barred from working with specific countries, use unethical practices or not seeking due diligence in the placement of children?
  • Were the financial records not to industry standards, revised, or withheld from the general public?
  • Does your agency offer regulations or supervision after the adoption process is complete for a smooth transition for your adopted child?
  • Does your State have laws against rehoming children?
  • What kind of education do the Social Workers have to work at the agency? Was it a quick training course to get certified in the best interest of the agency? Is your social worker trained on Child Rights?

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