Red Flags for Unethical Adoption Agencies


During your interview with an adoption agency, be on the lookout for red flags. If a potential agency does any of the following things, it’s a sign that they don’t have your or the child’s best interest in mind.

  1. They don’t require parental pre-adoption education.
  2. They don’t provide humanitarian aid in the countries where they work.
  3. They require the bulk of your payment before services are provided.
  4. They aren’t readily available by phone or don’t return your phone calls promptly.
  5. They offer to “hold” a child for you while you get your paperwork ready.
  6. They are hesitant to give you their financial statements.
  7. They discourage you from getting an independent medical review of the referral or match.
  8. They downplay potential problems with the child. They say things like, “Love will take care of everything.”
  9. They create a sense of urgency. “If you don’t decide by today or tomorrow, you’ll lose out.” (Of course, it is reasonable to ask you to decide within a week or so.)
  10. They promise waiting times or costs that sound too good to be true. When things sound too good to be true, they usually are.
  11. They don’t provide birth mother counseling or post-adoption services such as family counseling.