Blog// LGBT Adoption

6 Signs of an Unethical Adoption Agency

The early stages of the adoption process can be a confusing time for first-time adopters, and sadly whether its domestic adoption, infant adoption, or international adoption, there are some shady agencies out there trying to make a quick buck on hopeful families. Selecting the right agency to handle your adoption isn’t a decision that should be made overnight, and needs thorough and considered research. In this article we’ll be looking at some of the top red flags for unethical adoption agencies that you should steer clear of. 

  1. Lack of Accreditation: If the agency has no accreditations from known boards or agencies, then it is a definite no-go. If they seem accredited but you’re suspicious, you can contact the creditiation board to check the legitimacy of their claim. 

  2. Outlandish Claims: An agency that is boasting connection rates or making bold statements such as ‘100% guaranteed’ or their ability to ‘place children other agencies can’t!’ then move on fast! If it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

  3. Fees: Fees that are higher than normal without a legitimate cause, or fees that seem like a complete bargain normally indicate a scam agency. These ‘agencies’ are usually shut down quickly, but with new ones popping up frequently, be vigilant. Research can help you avoid falling into this trap, as being clued up on the average fees for your area or state will help give a ballpark range you should be looking for. 

  4. No Reviews, Hidden Reviews, or Suspicious Testimonials: Any respectable agency should be upfront with their reviews, and many will proudly display them on their website. Others will be able to provide you with references upon request. A shady agency will likely try to dodge your request to provide reason after reason why they’re not able to give them to you yet. On a similar note, a scam website may display false testimonials. Look out for warning signs such as vague or generic names such as ‘Mrs. Smith’, as well as bold claims or generic descriptions of the services offered such as ‘the best in the state!’. This statement seems to paint the agency in a positive light, but doesn’t actually tell you anything as to why this is true. If you notice this troubling sign, you should look elsewhere.

  5. Act Fast!: A sketchy agency will push you to move quickly in your decision making. They might try to pressure you with deals or the threat of incoming price increases of domestic adoption. No agency that is genuine will ever pressure you to commit quickly — after all, you're adopting a child not shopping for a Black Friday deal!

  6. Add-Ons: A trustworthy agency will provide a transparent service with all costs clearly outlaid upfront and no hidden fees. They will never expect you to pay extra for ‘special services’ such as skipping the wait on infant adoption to get connected sooner. Therefore, if you find you prospective agency is doing this, it is best to find another option!

As with any major life decision, when it comes to adoption it is important to do your research — especially when it comes to picking the adoption agency that will facilitate the process, as it can have such a huge impact on your adoption experience. 

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