“Professionals” Should Know Better

Can you get sued for libel/slander/defamation/anything by outing an organization’s ickiness on a blog?  Because I want to take the time to do just that (but really don’t want to get sued).  A website for a certain adoption advertising service, was brought to my attention recently by someone who was actually thinking of using them.  As a social service worker and as an adoptive parent myself, I’m left feeling a little ill.  Well, a lot ill. 

The following quotes from their site (in my humble opinion, of course!) illustrate blatant manipulation tactics towards adoptive parents and by extension to expecting parents, show their true aim at using said parties to simply make money (even though they state this work is their “mission”), include some pretty insulting comments about minority placement/children, and basically for those prospective adoptive parents who haven’t done their research, feeds into that “baby at any cost” and trivialization of expectant mother mentality that we who consider ourselves a little sane try so hard to avoid.  But don’t let me tell you any more, read for yourself.  And by the way, these are certainly not ALL the excerpts I find objectionable, but just some highlights.  Make note that I never saw ANYTHING even mentioned about fathers in all this, either, just “birthmothers.”  The italics are mine.

  • “We strive to be most ethical.”  read on…
  • “…advertising is expensive, stressful, and time consuming.  You also need to know that there are a lot of scammers out there–and I mean good ones–who will break your heart and take your money without blinking an eye.”  (Insert fear and stereotypes here.)
  • (This company) has “been playing the adoption game successfully for over a dozen years–both for ourselves and our clients.”  It’s all a game.  Granted, sometimes for everyone involved triad-wise, it does all feel like a game, but come on, these guys are paid professionals.
  • Regarding “Afro-American” adoptions:  “There are many minority infants that need permanent loving homes.” “…but as hard as it is to find AA birthmothers committed to adoption, adoptive families willing to take black children are more difficult to find.”  hmmmm…why go FINDING mothers at all??  Sounds like a weird circular process to me.
  • Continuing on with AA adoptions:  “Remember that it is your birthmother’s mother or aunt who is most likely to step in and claim the baby at the hospital.  Often they will tell us that they are leaving the choice to your birthmother, in reality, they mean they are keeping their cards close and only playing them at the last minute.”  What cards are those?  Again, putting fear and suspicion into the hearts and minds of adoptive parents everywhere.
  • Continuing with minority adoptions:  “From experience we have found that biracial situations have an unusually high placement percentage.  Biracial children are awful cute, too.” Because that’s all people need to know about transracial adoption, right, that their kids will be cute?
  • From the FAQ page:  “What are the odds of getting our baby?  If you cooperate with us and don’t give up, the odds are 100%.  Everyone that has worked with us and not quit has gotten a baby.  The overall likelihood of any given situation going through is about 80%.  We have instituted a few new procedures and hope to get that percentage up over 85%.”  I shudder to think what they will be doing to boost their percentage…maybe it has to do with the quality attorneys they mention next:
  • “We have one attorney we work with that gets surrenders on almost every birthmother he works with whether its in his backyard or across the country.” I wonder how he does that??
  • Regarding open adoption, they start off making positive comments about its importance, but then go on to give a “don’t sweat it, the birthparents will go away eventually” message:  “Some adoptive parents have heard stories of birthmothers showing up unexpectedly on the doorstep of the couple that adopted their baby or asking for money months after placement.  The reality is this rarely if ever happens.  In general, birthmothers go on with their lives and it gets increasingly harder to keep contact with them.  Of the seven completely open adoptions we have offered to the children we have adopted, we have regular contact (3 or 4 phone calls a year) with only one.  Even though we have an 800 number, and they can call whenever they want, we no longer know where the others are.”  Yes, they just “move on,” forget about their children, and you never have to worry about them again.  So really, open adoption isn’t a risk at all…

Let me know what you think…I’m off to go write an email to help educate the “professionals”.  And to take a shower, because I feel a little slimy after reading all this…

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21 Comments

Filed under adoption, Eewwww!!

21 responses to ““Professionals” Should Know Better

  1. Yuck. The part about the attorney who “gets surrenders on almost every birthmother” felt especially vile. It’s hard to believe this kind of thing would pass any prospective adoptive parent’s internal “ick” test, no matter how uneducated they were at that point. But it must, or they wouldn’t still be in business.

  2. You are absolutely right – it is frightening. In addition to all of the things you describe above, I was struck by two other things: the amateurish nature of the website (grammatical errors, inappropriate slang) and the lack of last names in their staff list. To me, that’s a HUGE red flag.

    As to the risk of lawsuit – libel is always a risk, but I guess first they’d need to find you. That in itself infuriates me, because what it means is that they are allowed to get away with the garbage in their website, but people who are trying to make adoption just can’t point it out.

    Just plain stupid. And thank you for having the courage to point it out.

  3. You can’t be sued for libel/slander if it’s true. 😉

  4. OH THE TYPOS!! You’re right, Margie. That bothers me almost as much as the other stuff…

  5. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!

    That is one of the most awful ones I’ve come across. Those poor women who use them to place their child, or god forbid for”counseling”

  6. This grossed me out. Remind me again why any one person in this country can put a sign on their window and call themselves an adoption agency?

    The racial remarks in particular really got to me. Generalizations all over the place.

    Good God.

    Jamie

  7. That’s horrible.

    You know what, Em? If you put, “in my opinion,” you can’t be sued. Even if you put “In my professional opinion.”

  8. Oh my. This really offends me:

    “If at birth you find out that there is a problem with the baby (i.e. it is biracial instead of Caucasian or there was heavy, unexpected drug use or other unanticipated medical issues)”

    Ummmmm — I don’t see a child being biracial as “a problem with the baby.” Nor do I see unanticipated medical issues, for that matter. If someone gave birth to a baby with medical issues, would she be able to say “no” to the baby?

    That really makes me ill.

  9. Is it okay if I barf on your blog? I’m really dying to know WHO this is. DYING. Because I’m willing to out them for the slimes they are. Remember, I’m not censored for no good reason. I’m willing to take chances! To hell with propriety!

  10. Here’s a barf bag everyone. And kudos to those of you who read between the lines to get the the right place. Its not hard to find, is it?

    Funny, they say they’re just an advertising service, not an adoption agency. If that’s true, why all the advice and “information”?

  11. Jen,

    Let me put it this way:
    as an academic librarian, I veer students away from google for actual research; however, Google does have it’s place. Just put quotes around a phrase and don’t make the phrase too long.

  12. trixieintransit

    And these remarks are suppose to convince to do business with this firm? Maybe we are more over educated on the subject than some people – but please – what were they thinking?

    We are working with an agency that is soooo very different than this one and it makes me feel good about it. My husband was a bit unhappy (as you can imagine) after the first situation ended with the BM deciding to parent. He grumbled about how the agency should have done more to get the BM to decide in our favor. I was horrified and then he quickly apologized. It was his hurt feelings speaking not his normally big heart and wise mind. So this advertisement got me thinking about how this attorney gets 100% surrenders. Even with decades of experience and a great screening method, you can’t possibly get 100%. Can you? It makes me wonder what pressure they are placing on their BMs. We don’t support pressuring BM or BF into adoption but I guess if you aren’t willing to explore to deeply…then you might be comfortable with such a high surrender rate.

  13. I can’t comment. I feel too sick.

    This is horrifying.

    Sherri

  14. My daughter and this constant crawling thing is causing me serious brain fog ~smacks self on forehead in serious disbelief that self can be so incredibly dim…~IT’S GETTING REALLY HARD TO READ FOR CONTENT when you’re worried your kid is going to eat dog food or take a walk by herself to the basement. (Kidding, ladies, I HAVE babyproofed.)

    Holy shipsters! Can you hand out bags for diarrhea, too? My neurons finally connected…

  15. Oh, and this isn’t highly coercive to a PAP?!?

    “It has been our experience that god is a big fan of adoption. Ask Him for help. Answering prayers is one of his specialties.”

    Did they answer you?!?!?

  16. Actually, Jen, because I also have a baby with a “crawling/walking/getting into everything” thing, I haven’t emailed them yet…

  17. Yeah, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. The comments about the multi-ethnic babies sickens me. Yeah…hey everyone, they’re cute…(READ: Not SO dark….)

    I agree with your comments….what are they doing to get those results? Why is it taken as ‘proof’ of a mother ‘getting on with her life’ that she hasn’t called in awhile? One doesn’t mean the other.

    In general….I just feel gross.

  18. Found it. This really grabbed my attention:

    *We like to get medical paperwork but few doctors readily cooperate and almost no clinic will. A local agency or attorney will have more luck with this than we will. The birthmother then fills out a preliminary intake. This gives us the basics of the situation. It also helps us screen out girls that don’t know their own mind or that might be scammers.*

    There is such a condescending tone to this, is there not? It’s not copy, it’s running commentary about how everyone makes it so hard for them to get those babies. Damn that clinic and their privacy!!

    Also, ‘girls that don’t know their own mind’ I don’t even know where to begin with that one. What? Only the ones who are willing to be manipulated are the ones we’ll take!!!

    GAH!

  19. Christine2

    THIS is what I find particulary gruesome-

    “Caucasian: $12K to $25K……Min. Budget of $15K

    Biracial: $8K to $15K……..Min. Budget of $10K

    AA: $6K to $10K…………..Min. Budget of $7K”

    Like ordering a pizza. ‘I’ll take one Caucasion but nix the birthmother please.’ It’s hard to comprehend that this organization is for real.

  20. dannersgirl

    I feel sick after reading that…really really sick…

  21. There are some real sick folks in this world. Disgusting.

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