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Avoiding adoption fraud

Arizona residents may benefit from learning more about how adoption fraud occurs and what actions can be taken to avoid it. People who fall victim to adoption fraud typically suffer emotional and financial hardships. Anyone who suspects fraudulent activity to be present in the adoption process is advised to contact authorities with the local police, the state attorney general office, the FBI or the National Fraud Information Center.

There are several factors that may serve as warning indicators or red flags of illicit adoption activity. However, aspiring parents should note that red flags do not always mean that fraud is taking place. Potential red flags concerning adoption agencies may include staff members who pressure parents to sign documents they do not fully understand or staff members who fail to return calls or act professionally. Aspiring parents may also be wary of anyone willing to make promises or guarantees relating to the adoption process.

In many cases, birthmothers who fail to return calls or provide proof of pregnancy may also be considered red flags indicating fraudulent activity. Additionally, birthmothers who are more preoccupied with the financial reward or refuse to meet with legal counsel or an adoption agency may be viewed as a risk. In order to avoid potential adoption fraud, aspiring parents are advised to learn about common scams, be forthright with questions and obtain legal representation when appropriate.

People who need more information about the adoption process may benefit from confiding in a family law lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to investigate the birthmother and the adoption agency in an attempt to minimize the risk of fraud. These lawyers may also be effective in providing assistance with other aspects of family law, such as negotiating a divorce, terms of a parenting plan and spousal maintenance.

Source: Findlaw, "Adoption Fraud", November 25, 2014

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