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Dangers of adoption fraud

People in Texas who are considering adoption or who are thinking of giving up a child should be wary of becoming victims of adoption fraud. Private agencies, birth mothers, facilitators and prospective parents might all be perpetrators of fraud in an adoption. There are warning signs birth parents and prospective parents could watch for that might reduce their risk of being deceived.

Prospective parents should ask for proof when a birth mother agrees to an adoption. Some women have been known to lie about being pregnant. An unwillingness to provide proof is a red flag. It is also possible that a mother will tell more than one parent or couple that she intends to give them her baby to collect financial assistance from multiple parties. Mothers who appear in a hurry to get money, who will not give out their phone numbers or who refuse to meet with an agency or lawyer might be planning to commit fraud. If a birth mother does not return attempts at communication, that might be another sign.

Lack of communication could also be a sign that an adoption agency or facilitator is not trustworthy. People should be wary of agencies that charge more for services than others in the area, make unsolicited attempts to speak with parents or that push people into making commitments. It is also a bad sign if agencies offer guarantees or refer to a child as "yours" when speaking with prospective parents before an adoption goes through.

People who suspect that an adoption agency or birth mother is attempting to commit adoption fraud should contact an authority, such as the FBI or local police. They might also benefit from speaking with an attorney about their unique situation to develop a strategy to deal with other issues presented by the process.

Source: Findlaw, "Adoption Fraud", November 26, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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