A couple who were the victims of a pregnancy scam.
I spoken a lot about the whys of not adopting but it’s going to happen. The internet has changed the way so many people do all kinds of business and do it yourself adoptions have become a thing by leveraging social media. It is not without pitfalls.
When US couples want to adopt a baby they often post ads online and search social media for women pregnant with a child they aren’t planning to keep. Sometimes it works – but there are dangers. One young scammer has tricked countless couples, just for fun, by stealing the identity of a pregnant woman.
In many countries, social media would be the last place anyone would look for a baby to adopt. In the US, though, most states allow something called private adoption, where couples hoping to adopt and birth mothers find each other independently. The arrangement is then formalized by an attorney or an adoption agency.
When a couple signs up at their adoption agency, they are placed on a list of prospective adoptive parents. They are told to expect a long wait. Some agencies even suggest the internet for quicker results.
Pregnant women who don’t intend to keep their child have the same choice – to approach adoption agencies, or search for adoptive parents online. Many mothers intending to relinquish a baby to adoption feel that by making contact with prospective parents directly, they have more control. My youngest sister didn’t use the internet but she did use an attorney and vetted several couples who sent her packets. I reviewed these with her and she did make a choice from that group. My nephew got lucky with a very devoted adoptive mother who helped him reconnect with our family.
Consider this – recent statistics indicated that #hopingtoadopt is hashtagged 44,892 times on Instagram; #waitingtoadopt is mentioned 18,844 times and #hopefuladoptiveparents 10,758. Images of letter boards jostle for the attention of birth mothers: No Bump, Still Pumped, We’re Adopting; Share This Photo and Help Our Family Grow; We are Officially a Waiting Family.
The internet is the wild west and it is a buyer beware situation at this time.