Sunday, August 29, 2010


You may remember I posted this a few months back, about our adoption agency closing.

We had such a wonderful experience that it makes me very sad that they have been pushed out of business. They had a HUGE yard sale to sell off all their office furniture and supplies and are now out of their building too. They are now just working out of their homes and have a PO box. Here is a link to their blog, if your interested.

Yesterday, I got this e-mail from them. With this happening, it's no wonder that some people are against adoption.
Hi everyone,

I have received word that many of you are confused about what a facilitator is, so here is the following:

In a nutshell here is a facilitator: they are not able to practice in our State, but advertise (stating on their websites that they spend 1 to 2 million a year on advertising alone) heavily here--then use local social workers and agencies to do the "legal" stuff (home studies, birth parent counseling, post-placement: basically the vast requirements we must follow regulated by CYFD, that they are not licensed to do). They "look" like a local agency, and if you type in New Mexico Adoptions, you get them. Most adoptive parents have no idea that after sending these guys a ton of money, they still have to work with local agencies for the required services. All they do is match birth parents with adoptive parents. They charge Adoptive Parents outrageous fees for a Caucasian child versus lower fees for an African American. To us that is human trafficking--any time a value of monetary worth is placed on one human over another it is wrong on every level. They have caused infant adoptions to be almost non-existent in NM--- except through them. The normal NM family could never afford their rates of $35,000 to $50,000-- not including the necessary local services mentioned above.

In addition, Birth Parents are often left to fend for themselves--without the emotional support so necessary when making a difficult and sacrificial plan to choose adoption for their baby. Adoptive parents are also left to fend for themselves. One adoptive couple I worked with spent 4 days in North Carolina with a birth mom and her family without ANY mediation or support from a professional. It was distressing and uncomfortable for them and the birth mom changed her mind. They were alone to handle all of it. Prior to that this same couple was chosen by another birth mother. The facilitator gave their phone number to her and she called them constantly--she was mentally unstable and needy (to put it mildly). The adoptive mom felt like she was responsible for this girls life, heart and well-being. Then the girls grandmother began calling them with threats because she didn't agree with the adoption plan.

Neither of these situations would occur with any local and ethical agency, as we intercede between birth parents and adoptive parents, working to protect and care for each side. Those stories are just the tip of the iceberg about how negligent and unethical the facilitators practice is. They are nothing more than a money making greed induced business--making thousands for a match.

I've attached a letter that Sharon sent out to all the adoption professionals, because many of them were working with facilitators without realizing or acknowledging how outrageously unethical they are. Also -- below is a "blurb" about the difference between a facilitator and a legitimate agency:

A facilitator is not licensed or authorized by the U.S. or foreign government, which means there are no legal standards they must meet and no oversight of their activities. If there are problems, there’s no licensing authority to complain to. Facilitators work on a per-case basis and receive a commission per child. Hence they have an incentive to place as many children as possible. This creates a conflict of interest between protecting the rights of children and birth parents on one hand and maximizing profits on the other.

A reputable adoption agency, by contrast, is fully authorized and accountable for its actions:

Reputable agencies are licensed and accredited, both in the United States and in the countries placing children for adoption.

Reputable agencies abide by ethical standards. They take no shortcuts, pay no bribes, work directly with the responsible authorities and document every step of the adoption process.

Reputable agencies serve children first and parents second.

Reputable agencies pay their domestic and foreign staff a fixed salary, no matter how many children they place. They provide support to institutions and agencies in the child's birth country to serve children who cannot be adopted.

Reputable agencies work before, during and after the adoption to evaluate the parents' readiness to adopt, help family members adjust to each other, and track the child's progress after the adoption.

Reputable agencies provide training and education to prepare families for the challenges of adoption.

The reason they have put NM infant adoptions to a near stand-still (unless working with them) is primarily because they have the money to come up first on Google searches--- young people do not use the phone book anymore......

They have been outlawed in Colorado, NY and NJ.

Hope this clears up some of the confusion!!



RB said...

Unfortunately, the bad facilitators have given them all a bad name. We used a facilitator and had an excellent experience.

birthmothertalks said...

How scary!!

Adoption Assistance Agency said...

Hey Tracey! It's Lisa with Adoption Assistance Agency. We have not closed! AAA is doing great. We are working out of our homes for a time, but have been blessed and are definitely still in business!
Much love to you! We miss you guys!