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A blog about infertility, adoption,and adoption loss which has finally led to a beautiful miracle who was worth smiling for."Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future."Proverbs 31:25

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Possible Failed Adoption Ahead

Let me start this post by saying that I can't predict if an adoption match is going to end in a failed attempt.  Nor am I saying that a "failed" adoption (I really prefer adoption loss) is always some one's fault.  It's not.  Sometimes the birthmom changes her mind and she has every right to do that.  It's very sad for the adoptive couple but we're talking about a baby here.  Cute and lovable.  Who wouldn't want to keep that.  Now that I'm a mom I understand a little better how hard it must have been for Olive's birthmom to say goodbye.  It must be the worst pain. 
I did want to post about possible signs that an adoption match might be a scam.  I've gathered these through my own personal experience and the experience of other APs (adoptive parents) whom I know of. 
  1. Asking for money: I think the biggest red flag is if the birthmom/parents ask for money.  In many situations were you are working with an agency or lawyers they have rules about the exchange of money between birthparents and APs.  For one thing, It's against the law to buy a baby.  Sometimes an agreement is worked out where the APs pay for medical expenses or some living expenses.  I don't happen to agree with that at all, but I know it happens.  What I'm talking about is when you get hit up for money right off the bat.  For example; you are contacted by a birthmom and she says she is interested in placing with you but only if you send her some money for this or that.  It sounds fishy reading it here, but when you are so wanting to be parents you are blinded by that desire.  In our failed adoption K was working our agency.  She got help with living expenses, transportation, child care (both expenses and daycare), and medical expenses.  We had no idea that all this was going on during our match.  We know that our agency helps birthmoms, but was unaware of how much she was using them. 
  2. Little white lies: things that you realize don't add up about birthmom's story or just anything.  Someone who is a pathological lier uses them freely like breathing.  In our match, K told us many lies.  As I've said before I have no doubt that the whole thing was fake from the beginning.  One lie that I caught her in was way in the beginning.  She had told us that she was a certain age, however when I looked her up on facebook her profile had a birthday that said she was older.  Of course it bothered me at first, but then I thought, "It isn't important to our situation so why should I care".  If what you are being told doesn't make sense - question it until you get answerer's.  K went back and forth with us about her due date and how far along she was.  It seemed to change daily.  Then she was having contractions or a c-section and then she wasn't.  We were up and down all the time.  Which brings me to my third point.
  3. Drama Queen: If the birthmom seems to love attention and makes big scenes then she might be in it simply for the spotlight.  It was really hard for me to admit that someone could be this insensitive, but that is what K did with us. 
  4. Not Struggling: If a birthmom is really trying to decide what is best for her baby by placing with you, then she should be really struggling emotionally.  If she isn't then there is something wrong.  It's one thing to like you as her couple or family, but letting someone else raise her child should be extremely difficult to deal with.  K never once seemed conflicted.  The whole time she was as cool as a cucumber.  At the time that seemed like a good thing.  That she was confident in us.  Really she just didn't have anything to worry about.  It's that simple.
  5. Intuition: Listen to your intuition.  God put it there on purpose.  If something seems off and you don't even have a name for it - proceed with caution.
When your in the middle of a match it is a very happy time.  I really enjoyed most of it.  It was, I would think, a lot like being pregnant.  You are looking at life through rose colored glasses.  So, it is very hard to see if there is something wrong.  If you're like me, there is some denial as well.  I really thought that I had bonded with K.  I went to her dr appointment with her.  We emailed.  We visited at the agency.  I was sure that we were all in for an amazing open adoption experience.  I was so wrong.
I'm not posting this to scare anyone or upset anyone.  I just thought that I had wished someone had warned me. 
Edited To Include
An online friend of mine had some great things to add to this list.  Mrs. Stephanie Galetti is a new adoptive mom of a handsome little boy named Chance, a wife, and an attorney. 
Stephanie:
"I would add:
1.  If they are on FB and the only "friends" they have are other hopeful adoptive couples (she's likely attention craving and seeking from several AP's) or newly formed accounts (likely all made by her);2.  If they are sending or posting ultrasound pics - look closely at the name, date, and location of the pic. If there are none with this info, they may just be off the Internet, or they may be hiding something (it's okay to block their name if on FB, but you can do that easily without blocking or cutting off ALL the info on the us. I recently saw one where it was dated 1999...try again, hon! Haha
Similarly, if they post pictures and the date in the lower right side is there- that's probably old - those are from FILM cameras- virtually no one uses those now.. And if the date is blurred out, bingo! Or obviously doctored, bingo!
3.  Anything that appears Photoshopped probably is... You have to ask yourself WHY they would photoshop something unless they are hiding it or lying.
4.  If they don't want to talk on the phone and only want to talk via email, FB, or text... I wouldn't get concerned immediately. These are the days of the texting generation. That's how young girls (and guys) communicate. It's easier for them. BUT, if after many weeks or a couple of months of this, they are still not either willing to meet you in person or on the phone, some caution should be taken. I'll note, though... We talk with our BM via text 99% of the time; we did before our son was born and continue to today. It's just the easiest and most comfortable way for her....
5.  Meeting: you should insist on meeting in person and getting proof of pregnancy- this might include a doctors report or a FULL undoctored ultrasound showing name, clinic (google it to make sure it is where she says she lives), and date. Make sure the EDD (estimated due date) lines up with what she has told you. LMP (last menstrual period) is helpful for that same reason. Do NOT base your belief that she is really pregnant on pics of a big belly - ESPECIALLY ones that don't show her face! --- I've come to learn that even young girls can have a surprisingly flabby belly which, when "puffed out" can be made to look like a pregnant belly... Get POP! Also, keep an eye on belly pics - do her 12 weeks along (shouldn't really be showing) and 28 weeks along (should be pretty large and obviously pregnant) look about the same? Trust your gut on this one. Compare pics on the Internet of that many weeks along...
6.  If they refuse to have contact with your attorney or agency, start wondering... In most states, SOMEONE is going to have to take surrenders... If they don't want to deal with that someone, maybe they don't intend to give the baby up..
 7.  Keep in mind that there are, indeed, women and young girls out there who do this for attention only, not to get money or anything of value. They are emotional scammers. No one knows exactly why they do it, but there are a lot of them out there. So, just because she doesn't ask for money or something of value, doesn't mean it isn't a scam.

8.  Trust your instincts above all else and always proceed with caution."

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