Ways to pursue adoption

There are two main ways to pursue an adoption - through an agency or independently without an agency. We have chosen to pursue independent or private domestic adoption. This means that we do not use an agency and are trying to make a private connection with an expectant mother who would like to place her child for adoption. Domestic adoption simply means that we are licensed to adopt anywhere in the United States as opposed to International Adoption.

Agencies can be a really good resource and option for both expectant parents and adoptive parents but are extremely expensive. Many people choose the private route but need to make sure that they still make sure that they find good case workers, attorneys, etc. to help them do it in an ethical way that makes sure that expectant parents get all of the resources and care that they need. They also need to do much of the leg work that an agency would do. This means advertising yourself, putting your self out there on social media, a personal website, word of mouth with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc.

No matter which route you choose you will need to complete a home study either through the agency an independent caseworker. 

Adoption Education

Education is extremely important. Adoption is a whole new complex world and it is important to educate yourself on terminology, best practices, and more. 

As part of any good home study and even more so outside of a home study you need to learn all that you can about adoption. Follow accounts on social media, read books, attend courses, talk with people who are involved.

We had to have at least 10 hours in actual training and were able to get certification credits on this website. Your provider may or may not accept this site so be sure to check:

Adoption Scammers

We were approached by several adoption scammers during our adoption journey. Normal relationships shouldn't have red flags but sometimes there are one or two. If the red flags start piling up though...take a step back and assess the situation.

There are two main types of scammers but there are a million different ways to go about it. Financial scammers will do anything to get money out of you and emotional scammers will do anything to get (and keep) your time and attention.

Joining with other hopeful adoptive parents in groups like Ending Adoption Scams can help you spot scammers who are preying on multiple people at once.

Some red flags that we encountered:

🚩Choosing to place with you, "Matching", very early in your relationship, maybe even the first time you talk. Normal relationships take time to develop. Even with adoption, hopeful adoptive parents and expectant mothers take time to get to know each other to make sure they are are both comfortable with each other. This person is entrusting you with their child, that shouldn't be a snap decision. Scammers love to get you hooked as early as possible so you stay engaged with them.

🚩Asking for money early on in the relationship, especially before verification through case workers or attorneys have been involved. NEVER give money directly to a person - always go through your agency, your caseworker, or your attorney.

🚩Contact very early in the pregnancy. Things get hard to verify when a prospective expectant mother hasn't even seen a doctor yet and there are no visible signs of pregnancy. This also gives them a long time to play on your emotions before they are found out and move on to their next victim.

🚩Using a Voice Over Internet Provider (VOIP) phone number. Rather than using a cell phone company like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc. this is a solely internet based phone number. For example - Google Voice. Many adoptive couples do choose to use this option to protect their privacy from adoption (and other) scammers. Legitimate expectant mothers may use this option to protect their privacy as well. BUT BE CAREFUL. While it is occasional for legitimate people, it is nearly always used by scammers who don't want you to have a way to track them down. These services are only internet based and not many of us stay tied to WiFi 24/7 to make our calls. Scammers can also fake where they are living. They can set up the number to be based in an entirely different location than where they actually are. is a great option to find out if they are using a cell phone, a landline or a VOIP number. Again, this is not definitive that someone is a scammer but can be a piece to the puzzle if you are already seeing other major red flags. i.e. if an expectant mother tells you she is living in Texas but her number is registered in Maine AND it is a VOIP number, etc.

🚩Lots of crisis, chaos and/or drama. Especially if it is one thing after another, constantly. Every one has some chaos and drama in their lives and occasional crises, but having it everyday for weeks and months at at time is a major red flag. Mentions of frequent hospital trips, dying loved ones, cancers, problems with the pregnancy or baby, a need for you to take immediate action financially, emotionally, or otherwise, etc. are major red flags. Again these can be legitimate situations but be careful. Scammers prey on your emotions. 

🚩Threats. Threatening to end the relationship. Threatening to harm the baby. Threatening to harm themselves. Threats to find someone else. If you feel like someone is in danger, do report it to the proper authorities, but don't be bullied and threatened by someone else just because they have chosen you to adopt their child in a real situation or as part of an elaborate scam. Normal, healthy relationships aren't based on threats and bullying and even if you are working with a legitimate expectant mother, and they act this way, you may need to think twice if you are willing to be threatened and bullied indefinitely.

🚩Refusing to involve anyone but you - no caseworkers, no attorneys, no agencies. This is a sign that you are being isolated and they are stringing you along. If they refuse to verify their pregnancy and go through the proper, legal channels - chances are they are not actually pregnant or if they are they have no intentions on placing with you. 

🚩Refusing to show ultrasounds or provide medical verifications. Various excuses can made why these cannot be shown to you but legitimate expectant mothers don't have a problem going through a normal and natural process that involves you.

🚩Mentions of twins, triplets or more. Scammers know that hopeful adoptive parents can be desperate to add to their families.

🚩Contact on behalf of someone else. "I am contacting you for a friend who isn't on social media". Normally expectant mothers would like to talk with you themselves as they make this life altering decision.

🚩 First contact on a major holiday - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's etc. Scammers prey on emotions which can be high at times like holidays when families may be emotional about not being able to add to their family yet.

🚩Contact from a brand new social media account, especially with zero identifying information on it.

🚩Taking hours of your time in a day or a week and making you feel guilty if you need to get off the phone or take care of yourself.

🚩Abnormally personal conversations that you wouldn't have with other people in your life.