Tuesday, March 11, 2014

So you’re so you just completed your ethical adoption, and you want to recommend your agency? Let’s talk about that…

Over ten years ago a friend of mine decided to adopt from Ethiopia. She did as much research as the olden days of the internet allowed and chose a well-respected non-profit agency.  Her child joined their family and all was well. So well, that she decided to adopt again. Not long after her second child arrived, another friend of mine started talking about adoption. I introduced her to my friend with the two Ethiopian kids. She decided to adopt from Ethiopia and chose to use the same agency based on my first friend’s recommendation. Her first adoption went so well she decided to adopt again. When she was in process with her second adoption, I decided to adopt and of course I chose the same agency. After all, two of my good friends had really terrific experiences with the agency. What better reference could there be?

But here’s the thing, it often takes time, sometimes a long time, for unethical practices and fraud to come to light. Now, all these years after my first friend adopted her first child I can say, of the five children the three of us adopted, two had serious undisclosed health conditions, two had fraudulent ages, one’s story of abandonment is sketchy at best, and one’s story of how the child came to be relinquished and who the birth family was is pure BS.

And the agency that facilitated all of this? AAI. The agency that just announced that they are declaring bankruptcy, leaving in-country staff unpaid, PAPs out thousands of dollars in adoption fees they paid and with limited to no assistance to complete their adoptions, children in legal limbo, and donors to their sponsorship program with the knowledge that their donations have been used for agency operations and haven’t been spent on actual sponsorships for many many months.

My friends and I aren’t idiots (we have five advanced degrees between us) and we’re not bad people. We wanted to expand/create families. We wanted to do that by giving children who needed a family, a family. We were duped by people who said all the right things and made it all look pretty, until it wasn’t. It isn’t!

Please remember, good customer service isn’t the same thing as an ethical adoption and unless you have had a INDEPENDENT investigation that 100% verified the info the agency provided and the story hasn’t varied over many years and many contacts with birth family, you have had original Ethiopian documents translated by an independent source and it matches exactly what your agency-provided translated copies said, and you have reviewed every case the agency processed from the area and time period your child was made available for adoption to ensure that there were not other fraudulent cases bundled in with your child’s you should KEEP YOUR DAMN MOUTH SHUT ABOUT HOW ETHICAL YOUR AGENCY IS!!!

And one other thing, talking about corruption isn't disloyal to your child. It is possible to love your child with all your heart and at the same time deeply regret the unscrupulous filth that brought them into your family. I know this because I do it every single day.