Recently, the FBI raided an international adoption agency in Ohio as part of a larger, ongoing criminal investigation of the agency. Two months before the raid, the United States State Department had barred European Adoption Consultants from conducting any international adoption services for three years. The agency had been operating programs in twelve nations before being barred.
The investigation revealed that the agency had done things like soliciting bribes, using falsified documents, and lying, all for the purposes of influencing domestic and international government decisions. Also, the company was found to have not properly supervised its providers overseas to ensure that international laws were upheld. The investigation also revealed that one or more children were harmed by the agency’s conduct, which included failing to seek accurate information about children. The agency plans to appeal the decision to bar it from operating or pursue other options for contesting the allegations that have been made against it.
This situation serves as a reminder that not all adoption agencies serve children and families with the level of care and concern that one would expect from an organization that purports to serve the noble purpose of uniting children who are available for adoption with the families who want to adopt them. Adoption agencies can close for reasons other than misconduct, as well. Financial woes can cause adoption agencies to close suddenly, and families that are working with agencies when they close do not often get much notice of the impending closure. One California agency that went bankrupt affected over three thousand individuals who were in various stages of the adoption process with its closure.
One reason that some adoption agencies are closing is a decline in international adoptions. This trend affects agencies that specialize in international adoptions, but there has also been a decrease in the number of domestic adoptions that are taking place. Agencies that handle mostly or only domestic adoption are not immune from the threat of closure, either for financial reasons or because of misconduct.
Some adoption agencies that encounter difficulties can help their clients transition over to another agency, lessening the impact of the original agency’s closure. For example, if an agency finds that it is having financial trouble, it can stop taking on new clients and focus its resources on doing whatever it can for its existing clients, including helping them find another agency to work with if their agency is not able to help them complete their adoption by the time that they close their doors.
Many adoption agencies exist which do provide excellent help and support for the families and children that they serve. Working with a Kansas adoption attorney throughout the adoption process, even if you are also working with an adoption agency, can offer additional protection for you and the children that you are adopting. If you have questions about Kansas adoption, Kansas Adoption Attorney Thomas McDowell may be able to help you. Please call us today, at (316) 633-4322 to schedule an initial consultation.