• A Must Read List for Adoption Truths

    • In many states across the USA including New York, Adoptee Rights bills are introduced to state legislators year after year. Due to lack of public support and misinformation based outdated beliefs about the adoption process, year after year, this bills fail to become laws.

    • I am a product of this experiment. I was born on December 24th, 1988 and I was soon transferred from one mother to another because my first mother, known throughout my life as my birth mother, wasn’t married to my birth father. She was 16 years old and still in high school.

    • I was 14 when I learned I was pregnant and my life changed forever. Once I’d gotten that fateful news, I tried to imagine what it would be like to have a baby; I wondered if I’d be able to finish school, would I be able to give my baby the life she deserved?

    • So How Do We Fix Adoption in the USA? Domestic Voluntary Infant Adoption is what we are discussing here. Women facing and unplanned pregnancy and “choose” adoption rather than parenting. If you aren’t aware of adoption facts, then you might not be aware of the need for reform.

    • There are some facts about adoption that, really, you cannot dispute unless you are just trying to purposely to stay ignorant regarding the facts of infant adoption in this country. Adoption is, in its perfect form, suppose to be about finding homes for children that need them, not about finding children for parents that want them.

    • What Happens to the Numbers of Adoptable Infants in the USA if We Compare to Australia? IF the USA had similar adoption practices to Australia and supported mothers, in the US we would have only 539 Voluntary Domestic Infant relinquishments annually give or take.

    • The relinquishment and subsequent adoption of my son was actually picture perfect. I am a perfect example of exactly what adoption is when it works just as it is suppose to.The adoption of my son was perfect, I did everything the “right” way and still; the adoption of my son caused unnecessary pain and was wrong. This is way I speak out against adoption today.

    • Adoption was almost more like a crack that happened in my soul. A crack that that I thought and was encouraged to believe that would be temporary or always below the surface. Over time, the rest of life worked it’s way in, like water in cement and caused the very foundation of myself to crumble.

    • When I relinquished Max, it was suppose to be something that affected ME. Like so many things in adoption, the professionals were wrong. The “gift of adoption” just keep on giving and giving.. the pain has a huge ripple effect that touches every aspect of a woman’s lives including ALL our children.

    • Secondary adoptee rejection is a very real reality in adoption reunions. We all have a different skill set and experiences to handle a reunion.There are many mothers who were simply told to “never speak of this again” and that has proven to be a real unhealthy bit of advice.

    • The simple fact is that it is less than 1% of all relinquishing mothers desire to never set eyes on their children again. So because these 1% mothers another 6 to 8 million people and their children and their children’s children get denied medical histories, get denied their identity, get denied their truth..

    • Most adoption agencies will offer free “birthmother” counseling as part of their adoption services. A true counselor is supposed to advocate for their client, not the organization for which they work. Often adoption counseling is “in agency” and therefore, not really nonpartisan. There is no guarantee that the “counselor” is neutral and actually has the expectant mothers’ best interests at heart.

    • I figured that I would write a post that makes it easier for women to become birthmothers. Hence, here’s a handy guide on how to become more appealing to adoption agencies and ways to ensure that you will place your baby.

The Non Profit Adoption Agency Myth

My Adoption Agency is a Non Profit so They Are Good

It seems that many people want to believe that because many adoption agencies and adoption service professionals have the words ” non-profit” in their name, that they must somehow be exempt from any from of monetary corruption.  While I am still hunting down the most recent report claiming  the 13 billion dollars in profits in the adoption industry, to even see if the nonprofit numbers are included in the actual 13 billion, I decided to share a quick bit about nonprofit adoption services.

The Difference between a Profit Driven Business and a Non Profit

So first let’s make sure that we all understand the difference between the two.

  • When you start a business, it is for the financial benefit of its owners and/or shareholders. Profit is the goal and the business pays taxes on that profit.
  • A nonprofit entity has a mission that benefits the “greater good” of the community, society, or the world, like adoption you know, because it ‘saves’ children. It does not pay taxes, but it also cannot use its funds for anything other than the mission for which it was formed. So to be clear, money made from adoption can go back into anything they think will further adoption.
  • Nonprofit organizations can and do make a profit, but it must be used solely for the operation of the organization or, in the case of a foundation, granted to other nonprofit organizations. So, one nonprofit can donate to another adoption nonprofit. Also expense acceptable for a non profit would include payrolls, offices, travel, adoption advertising, etc.
  • When a for-profit organization goes out of business, its assets can be liquidated and the proceeds distributed to the owners or the shareholders. When a nonprofit goes out of business, its remaining assets must be given to another nonprofit like another adoption agency.

Nonprofit Adoption Agencies;  Follow the Money!

Below is a rather extensive list that I pulled from a charitable watch group.  I did a quick search using the keyword “adoption” and then, because there were over 100 search results nationally, I ran the same search for a handful of states. Now, mind you, not EVERY adoption agency has the word “adoption” in it, so not every agency will be there! For instance, Bethany Christian Services was not, so I pulled  Bethany’s reach separately and then added them in. I also pulled out any adoption non profits that were to do with animals not children. So I repeat again, THIS IS NOT NEARLY A FULL LIST, but just enough to give you an idea.

Now I left all the links intact, so you can go to the full list for that organization and pull up the details or go straight to the #990 IRS forms to see the breakdowns.

A few things I have learned to look for when investigating an adoption agencies financials:

  • Some organizations seem to be doubles, but you will note that it’s the same name operating in two different states with separate tax ID numbers. It usually means that they are licensed and operating n both or more states. Sometimes the “officers’ in the different branches have different roles. So a president in one state can draw a salary, but in another state she is non paid and visa versa.
  • Some organizations have names close to the actual agency name, but not exactly the same.  This is because many adoption agencies work as both a nonprofit and a profit arm. They take donations as the nonprofit and then use the business to write off expenses as a loss. Remember, they do not have to play taxes on their profits!  The non profits returns are public, but it’s hard to see the real financials when they do both! Look up the website, Google the “other name” and see if the state they are in lists the “owners” of that incorporation.
  • Make sure you look at the “assets”. If an adoption agency has a large number of “assets” then they are essentially reinvesting in swanky posh surroundings, etc.
  • Also look at what the board members are making. Some do not, but some do pull a nice profit! The Directors/ presidents/founders often have a role on the BOD as well as a paid salary. The regular paid employees will be not listed separately later on.

Our Non Profit Loading in Dough Adoption STAR Example

For instance, I shall look at Adoption STAR for fun as an example. You can see the whole IRS form here: http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/161/161584581/161584581_201112_990.pdf

 $1,487, 094.00  in total revenue

 43 babies at about 30K each!

Just what can we see from the first two pages of this adoption agencies non profit tax return for 2011, they are telling us that 43 babies were placed for adoption in 2011.  They brought in $1,487, 094.00  in total revenue ( line 12) for their services in placing those 43 babies. Now granted, they could have had been paying for say “birthmother expenses” for babies that were NOT placed, but.. if we do the math, each of the 43 babies brought in $31,170.37 if we just look at the line 9, the program services revenue and divide THAT by 43.

Thirty Thousand a Baby

Also to note that there are 15 individuals employed per line 5 and per line 15, there was $561, 576.00 paid out in salaries, benefits etc. for the 15 paid employees of Adoption STAR. More quick math and that’s $37,438.40 a year.. including everything;  but… let’s look at the officers first!

 Director of Adoption Star makes over 160K a year!

I LOVE the BOD lists. So the real head of the organization is always the one who says they work 40 hours a week and have a real “reportable compensation” . In this case, it is the founder/ chair, Michele Fried, who is married to the treasure, Chuck Fried. I am also very intrigued by the HONORABLE (as in DC Family court judge)  Alec Haniford Deull also serving on the board. Anyway, Michele brings in $168.947.00 in 2011. That is a pretty sweet salary if you ask me! But she is very busy. Now really, I ONLY choose to look at this one 990 for an example of what to look at, but I couldn’t help to see a bit more. So here’s what the site says about how Michele earns her big bucks:

“Founder and CEO of Adoption STAR. Her foremost responsibilities are the implementation of strategic plans and agency growth/expansion, financial management, board partnerships and supervision of the staff. Michele has her hands full with these responsibilities as well as initiating marketing and public relation campaigns and executing and implementing policies developed by the Board of Directors.”

Now, also worth a look at is this section that breaks down the revenues.

Please note  $99,219.00 in GOVERNMENT GRANTS. It is pretty safe to assume that we are talking about moneys that originated at one time as taxes. As in you paid that and it paid about half of Michele’s salary, but only half! Meanwhile, remember they do NOT pay taxes on what they make at Adoption STAR as profits, though the employees DO get taxed on what they make.

$99,219.00 in GOVERNMENT GRANTS

And they have investment incomes.  I don’t, do you??

How an Adoption Agency Spends its Money

Part nine of 990’s are one of my favorites. It can really show so much about an adoption agency and what they invest in as far as a business and their priorities!

Remember those 15 people that were employees at Adoption STAR?  And how we gave them a yearly salary of about 37K with benefits and all? Well, now we know that we have to break out Michele’s hearty piece of the pie, so really we only have $339,413.00 to share between them. Guess how much they make. The social workers, the clinical case managers?  Less than 25K a year.  Michele makes almost 7 times the amount of money of her staff. They spend twice as much as one annual salary in travel.

Don't Know why the Adoption STAR staff is smiling, they live on peanuts.

Also one MUST note the “advertising” expenses which also should be grouped in with “information technology”  aka the websites, and printing, as well. There’s over $200,000.00 in those buckets.   Let’s also think here for a second about what we know about how adoption agencies work. Yes, they do A LOT of printing. They have to make all those beautiful “parent profiles” and I bet they do spend a ton in ink and pretty bindings. But I bet they go ahead and charge the “waiting parents” for those printing fees as well, yet the same printing is listed as an “expense” which comes off their profits, which they don’t pay taxes on anyway. Double dipping?

But the social workers and counselors are making 25K. Wouldn’t we think that the “real” work is the hands on working with the adoptive parents and the poor expectant parents? Isn’t that level of professional care what makes an adoption agency a beneficial “good for society” type of place? Isn’t THAT worth a bit more money??? Or are they paying straight out of college beat down salaries?

How adoption agencies spend their profits

I do wonder what the $84, 972.00 in “other” expenses is!

Over 1.3 Million in Investment Funds

Now please look at the assets, and in particular, I wanted to break down and make note of this:

Over 1 .3 million in investment funds for Adoption STAR

Money markets and mutual funds? Can anyone please explain to me what a nonprofit adoption agency needs mutual funds for? Like why are they putting money in there? Why do they even have money in there?  Am I wrong to think that at a certain point Michele and her hubbie might dissolve the “work” part of this “agency” and live off the profits for a nice comfy retirement? I know I am guessing, but wow.

Read the Financials for the Adoption Agency Nonprofits

So that’s what I look at when I read an adoption agencies nonprofit 990 IRS return. Some have more details on them and some have less. But if you read as much into it as you can and do a little math, it’s really plain to see that somehow it’s not all about helping poor homeless babies. Please feel free to peruse this list and do your own examination of other adoption agencies.

You can also go to the source site here http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/PubApps/search.php  and look up more. The code for adoption agencies in particular is P02.02 – Adoption. Again, if you click on the agency name, you will get access to all the 990’s on file. If you click on the 990 link, you see the most recent year.

Have fun and you happen to desire to break down any like I have for Adoption STAR, please send me over you findings and I will be thrilled to publish it with full credit to you of course!

And please, do NOT tell me ever again that a nonprofit adoption agency is not in it for the money. And if anyone does tell you that, feel free to link them here!

Oh,  and the total revenues listed for the non profits just here? $266,471,066.00 and their assets for just these non profit adoption agencies another $201,870,454.00 and because I just love grand totals:

Four Hundred sixty eight million, three hundred forty one thousand, five hundred and twenty dollars in revenue and assets in non profit adoption agencies for this list alone!!! May I just remind you this is NOT NEARLY ALL THE ADOPTION AGENCIES WHO ARE NON PROFIT!

Name State Total Revenue Total Assets 990 Image
A Bond of Love Adoption Agency Inc FL 384,157 134,318 990
A Lifetime Adoption Foundation CA 0 58,696 990
Aaa Friends in Adoption Inc Fia Friends in Adoption VT 1,054,672 371,242 990
Aaa Partners in Adoption Inc GA 635,651 53,192 990
Aac Adoption and Family Network Inc CO 791,826 1,066,473 990
Aba Adoption Services Inc FL 17,060 20,098
Academy of California Adoption Lawyers CA 38,225 25,925 990
Adoption Advocates Inc FL 830,023 1,015,185 990
Adoption Advocates Inc TX 678,169 50,273 990
Adoption Advocates International WA 2,818,767 695,370 990
Adoption Alliance TX 633,225 731,100 990
Adoption Alliance CO 603,552 117,498 990
Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring Inc MA 652,329 528,878 990
Adoption and Foster Care Specialist Inc MI 838,771 419,944 990
Adoption Associates Inc MI 2,990,789 2,004,636 990
Adoption at Adoption Circle Inc OH 983,099 372,037 990
Adoption Avenues OR 883,345 218,542 990
Adoption Center for Family Building IL 619,977 200,027 990
Adoption Center of San Diego CA 246,312 251,024 990
Adoption Choices Inc Adoption Choices of Colorado CO 862,651 364,141 990
Adoption Connection PA PA 612,712 287,780 990
Adoption Covenant TX 805,696 141,749 990
Adoption Exchange Association Inc MD 4,263,891 709,102 990
Adoption Guild of Southern Orange County CA 73,922 8,877 990
Adoption Guild Valencia Valley CA 0 0
Adoption Horizons CA 71,905 30,200 990
Adoption Information Center CA 94,521 54,455 990
Adoption Learning Connection Inc FL 0 0 990
Adoption Ministry of Youth With A Mission WA 827,564 366,158 990
Adoption Options CO 541,242 443,420 990
Adoption Options Inc CA 448,442 210,754 990
Adoption Priorities Inc TX 583,757 470,482 990
Adoption Related Services of Pinellas Inc FL 599,230 62,409 990
Adoption Resource Center Adoption A R C PA 1,170,029 296,970 990
Adoption Resources of Wisconsin Inc WI 1,344,427 606,271 990
Adoption Rhode Island RI 1,090,743 654,682 990
Adoption S T A R Inc NY 1,487,094 2,402,163 990
Adoption Services Associates TX 1,230,957 553,971 990
Adoption Support and Consultationservices of Florida Incorporated FL 38,713 3,841 990
Agape Adoption Agency of Arizona Inc AZ 566,644 185,015 990
Aid To Adoption of Special Kids Aask Arizona AZ 8,059,413 14,107,634 990
Amara Parenting and Adoption Services WA 1,573,679 958,404 990
America World Adoption Association VA 6,992,235 3,956,740 990
America World Adoption Association Group Return VA 6,359,278 3,875,039 990
Americans for International Aid and Adoption MI 1,551,071 564,685 990
Anaheim Adoption Committee CA 60,001 8,846 990
Associated Services for International Adoption Asia OR 860,535 237,986 990
Bay Area Adoption Services CA 630,583 718,488 990
Beacon House Adoption Services Inc FL 932,891 24,432 990
Bethany Christian Services Inc MI 13,702,248 31,594,714 990
Bethany Christian Services Inc Group Return MI 74,717,810 17,476,814 990
Bethany Christian Services North Carolina MI 1,299,446 1,046,330 990
Bethany Christian Services Northwest Iowa MI 1,194,278 463,601 990
Bethany Christian Services West Tennessee MI 602,970 190,047 990
Black Adoption Placement and Research Center CA 658,011 120,397 990
Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services Inc TX 791,220 337,460 990
California Association of Adoption Agencies CA 0 0 990
Carolina Adoption Services Inc NC 1,039,530 823,203 990
Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services Inc PA 2,746,347 1,110,164 990
Ccai dba Chinese Children Adoption Intl CO 3,932,907 24,097,648 990
Center for Adoption Support and Education Inc C A S E MD 1,997,912 761,507 990
China Adoption With Love Inc MA 674,355 5,710,937 990
Christian Adoption Services Inc NC 1,290,442 744,065 990
Christian World Adoption NC 2,964,964 427,045 990
Common Sense Adoption Services PA 727,295 192,602 990
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute DC 1,643,616 587,059 990
Cradle of Hope Adoption Center Inc dba Adoptions By Cradle of Hope MD 1,155,884 1,396,858 990
Cross Cultural Adoption and Foster Parent CA 0 0
Crossroads Christian Adoption Services Inc CA 36,503 47,274 990
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption OH 13,472,413 14,387,267 990
Destiny Adoption Services and Consulting Inc FL 48,349 4,499 990
European Adoption Consultants Inc OH 4,126,665 1,203,272 990
Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute Inc NY 928,969 753,761 990
Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption AK 1,332,371 336,212 990
Family Adoption Consultants MI 717,468 51,129 990
Family Builders By Adoption CA 2,631,761 1,193,807 990
Florida Home Studies and Adoption Inc FL 100,874 97,887 990
Frank Adoption Center MD 537,916 125,083 990
Gentle Care Adoption Services Inc Adoption By Gentle Care OH 1,310,939 1,236,792 990
Gift of Adoption Fund Inc IL 705,641 569,375 990
Gift of Life Adoption Services MA Inc FL 0 0 990
Gladney Center for Adoption TX 12,142,115 14,658,875 990
Global Adoption Services Inc MD 1,677,515 675,842 990
Gods Children International Adoption Agency CA 92,192 241,506 990
Gods Grace Adoption Ministry Inc CA 118,460 232,982 990
Grace International Adoption Agency FL 280,998 412,088 990
Great Wall China Adoption Inc TX 4,481,098 17,552,249 990
Heart of Adoption Alliance Inc FL 89,764 51,361 990
Heritage Adoption Services CA 69,383 5,115 990
Holy Family Services Adoption and Foster Care CA 921,506 146,882 990
Home at Last Adoption Agency Inc FL 1,029,036 364,034 990
Hope Adoption and Family Services International Inc MN 749,702 901,995 990
Humboldt County Council on Adoptable Children Inc Post Adoption Services Project CA 126,300 115,345 990
Independent Adoption Center CA 4,645,866 1,858,288 990
Infant of Prague Adoption Service Inc CA 508,747 614,873 990
Institute for Adoption Information FL 0 0
International Adoption Guides Inc GA 1,174,732 171,172 990
Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options Inc FL 4,734,820 540,872 990
Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options Inc FL 4,734,820 540,872 990
Joint Council on International Childrens Services dba Adoption International Jcics VA 743,979 182,828 990
Journeys of the Heart Journeys of the Heart Adoption Srvs OR 1,632,203 542,641 990
Life Adoption Services Inc CA 393,737 8,792 990
Lutheran Adoption Services Inc MI 2,282,506 912,067 990
Madison Adoption Associates Ltd DE 1,309,498 756,359 990
Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange Inc MA 1,286,195 183,680 990
Midwest Adoption Center Inc IL 954,573 546,496 990
Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association MO 736,123 229,346 990
Minnesota Adoption Resource Network MN 1,154,328 128,996 990
National Adoption Center Adoption Center PA 1,199,256 1,332,985 990
National Council for Adoption Adoption National Council for VA 1,258,798 1,508,529 990
National Embryo Adoption Center TN 1,037,378 47,624 990
Northeast Ohio Adoption Services OH 859,737 184,159 990
One World Adoption Services Inc GA 1,392,263 263,279 990
Open Adoption and Family Services Inc OR 1,498,451 1,296,855 990
Open Door Adoption Agency Inc GA 1,489,724 1,668,084 990
Oxford Adoption Foundation Inc FL 0 510,191 990
Parents Adoption Lifeline Inc FL 0 0
Partners for Adoption CA 469,885 101,976 990
Post Adoption Center for Education and Research CA 0 0
Premier Adoption Agency NV 958,209 553,195 990
Rescued Pet Adoption League R Pal TX 757,527 10,804 990
Shepherd Care Ministries Inc Adoption By Shepherd Care FL 1,791,569 279,705 990
Small World Adoption Foundation of Missouri Inc MO 625,402 75,641 990
Student Adoption Network Development Foundation Inc Sand Foundation CA 36,011 14,919 990
Sunshine State Adoption and Home Study Services FL 112,035 18,287 990
The Adoption Exchange CO 4,519,762 1,663,790 990
Three Rivers Adoption Council PA 1,757,092 793,505 990
Wellspring Adoption Agency Inc MN 613,864 539,867 990
Westminster Adoption Group and Services Inc CA 120,882 94,275 990
You Gotta Believe the Older Child Adoption and Permanency Movement Y G B NY 1,380,146 611,267 990
Share on Facebook
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Claudia Corrigan DArcy

About Claudia Corrigan DArcy

Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine, Adopt-a-tude.com, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.
Tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Non Profit Adoption Agency Myth

  1. Marylee says:

    That baby selling sure is a good business!

  2. Natural Mom says:

    As per the IRS, non-profit organizations are supposed to list their 990 form on their websites. I’m shocked at the number that do not. Also, why are there 31 people in the picture and they placed 43 babies? Geez-o-mickey, no wonder women don’t stand a chance at these agencies. And, 85,000 for contract labor? Those must be the big coercive guns – you know, bring in the professionals…………yikes

  3. Barbara Thavis says:

    Good work, Claudia!! Thank you!! Expose, expose, expose! Which one did Veronica’s captors use?

  4. Greg says:

    One thing to keep in mind as well with regards to compensation is that because “non profits” pay less than “for profit” businesses that the benefits they offer are better than those who work for profit businesses. So you have to factor the value of the benefits they have as well as their salaries. I’m guessing these employees have rich benefits to go along with their salaries. This is my assumption based off working in employee benefits and having clients in the past who were non profit companies. Though none of them were adoption agency type companies.

  5. A says:

    “Rescued Pet Adoption League R-Pal” Fairly certain that one doesn’t deal in human trafficking, I mean baby selling, I mean child adoption. Though I suppose one can never be sure…

    • adminadmin says:

      Alas, I did not vet (lol) them all, so there might be a some animal ones of the list. It’s amazing how hard it can be to peer over these spreedsheets

  6. JM says:

    This is a great analysis. I wonder what will happen with the $1.3m in investments. It has to stay in the not for profit, right? Or be transferred to another not for profit? Any thoughts? Like you say follow the money.
    I am slightly troubled by some of the comments though. “Captors” “baby selling” etc. Seriously? You catch more flies with honey than vinegar and this wont help any adoption reform.

  7. Steve says:

    There are some misplaced criticisms here. It’s not uncommon for larger non-profits to have investments & assets. Many use those to generate revenue to fund operations or as a reserve for years when donations and other revenue are lean.

    My wife and I are working with the IAC and I took a look at their 990. Their #1 expense is employees – over half their revenue goes to their staff. Not directors. Not the board. Their Executive Director makes 130k according to the 990. Depending on your perspective that might sound like a lot, but it’s quite modest compared to the CEO of a similarly sized for-profit company.

    Anyway, are people making money off adoptions? Absolutely. If they’re scamming people, and some are, shame on them. We’ve certainly receive lots of emails from shady agencies and lawyers with too-good-to-be-true promises. I’m sure some of the agencies on this list are questionable too,

    That said, as much as I’d love the adoption process to be faster and less costly, the legitimate agencies and workers who help people deal with difficult situations and complex legal issues deserve to be compensated for their work just like anyone else.

    • adminadmin says:

      Yikes.IAC has a pretty bad reputation on their ethics in regards to birthmothers. There are some real horror stories out there. Though, I’m glad to see that you looked at their financials. Keep digging.

      However, I disagree that things should be made faster. Profits out, yes, but not easier.and I don’t have issue with people getting paid for the work they do. If it was better quality work, then we’d all be in better shape.

      • Greg says:

        If my wife and I decide to pursue adoption, I would rather have the right situation that may take longer to happen than the wrong one that would have a shorter wait time.

        Best of luck Steve on your journey.

        • Claudette says:

          I have to disagree with making things “easier” and “shorter”. First of all, as a woman that has had 3 daughters, evening leaving the hospital (with them) was difficult and a bit scary. Now I can only speak from my experience’s with my daughter’s birth. Your body and mind is in no way ready to make any type of life altering decisions in the first 48 hrs of birth. Now I’m not a “Birthmother” nor was adoption ever even considered when my husband and I conceived our children. But I do know that I suffered from depression and anxiety after my children’s birth. So to me facing someone in a hospital bed with paperwork is not cool! Especially if that person is young. It’s taking advantage of a situation. If anyone is a potential adoptive parent you would think, in my opinion, want this mother to at least have the opportunity to receive counseling after birth. Sometimes the effects of child birth don’t even set in until a week or more later. So why hurry and rush someone? If its meant to be for all parties involved and the “child’s and mothers” best interests are truly cared about and matter, why rush it? I think it opens up a huge can of worms, if some poor woman is sitting with paperwork hours after birth, being forced to make such a HUGE DECISION. The laws in my state are a good example,Michigan on how cruel I feel things can be!

          • Steve says:

            Claudette, I agree with you that there shouldn’t be undue pressure. And from our experience, that’s not how it works either.

            Most matches occur when the mother is still only ~ 7 months pregnant. Plans are discussed, but nothing is finalized until relinquishment papers are signed (and in the case of CA, filed by the state.) Agencies, at least not ours, don’t pressure anyone to sign right away. Most sign about 2 weeks later.

            We had a match about this time last year and things were looking great. The day before she was due, her on again/off again boyfriend decided he wanted to keep the baby and threatened all sorts of things (including kidnapping the baby and leaving the country) if she tried to proceed with the adoption. About a week after birth she finally decided to keep the baby and try to parent with him.

            During this time, the counselors at the agency were impartial. No pressure, no trying to convince her to go through with the adoption. Just “here are your options, your choice…”

            We were (and still are) very sincere about including her and whoever we ultimately match with in our lives. We still keep in touch with her, and my wife just had lunch with her and her daughter (now almost a year old) the other day. As for the boyfriend, he’s out of the picture now. Turns out he wasn’t too keen on being a dad after all…

            Point is, the adoption process doesn’t have to be and often isn’t a high pressure exploitation of birth mothers. It’s quite deliberate and for good reason. It’s an incredibly difficult decision to make, and we understand that.

            That said, the entire process is excruciatingly long. It takes several months of prep work to be approved, and the constant marketing of ourselves we have to do is incredibly awkward. Even after birth, adoptions aren’t finalized for at least 6 months. Prospective adoptive parents literally spend *years* trying to start their families.

  8. Claudette Trahan-Garman says:

    Very well done Claudia! As some of this is fairly “new” to me, I now totally understand why Michigan is screwed…it’s not only the current politicians, Bethany is totally based out of Michigan, if I am reading this correctly?? I knew that they were and have been one of the issues concerning bills here, but they are or if not, one of the largest “non profit” (sarcasm fully inserted) agencies out there!!! I really would like the “barf bucket”!
    I am just a “beginner” so to speak, but now I am totally in understanding when I speak to someone about the OBC issues here in Michigan, and they mention Bethany, and say we are screwed!!!! I am utterly speechless, and if there is anyone that is willing to send me an email and totally explain to me what the hell we are up against, and is there ever anything that we can do here, besides continue to educate people, I welcome any and all responses! I refuse to ever feel “hopeless”, but right now, after reading what you just posted, I feel more sadness for all of us here! Please help to inform me on what I can take to people! These numbers are outrageous!
    Thank you,
    Claudette G
    garmaclaudette@yahoo.com

  9. Claudette Trahan-Garman says:

    Steve, I would just like to say something. I totally believe that you and your wife are sincere in what you say, and I do also know first hand how the system works.
    Adoption has effected my life in many ways! I lost a sister to adoption, which I found 3 years ago, and at the same time, I became an aunt to a niece. My step sister and her husband were unable to conceive, and so forth, and as I battled feelings and issues that I had with adoption, and what I had just became aware of with my sister…all of a sudden I had this very special addition! Now, I don’t ever share the details of this very often, but my niece was born addicted to many substances, and was also left in the hospital, with my step-sister and cps. I want to make this very clear, because this weighed very heavy on me for a long time….Now, first when I came to terms with what I argued so much against, I found myself understanding a different aspect. My step sister, came into the situation with my niece, in a very strange way. Also she has a master’s in social work and she also “secured my niece’s OBC”, especially which my insistence. My step sister and her husband had their “portfolio” at an agency. My niece’s mother never contacted the agency, but her family were neighbor’s of other family member’s. The Mother wanted to abort my niece, but she was too far along. Now when the Mother found out that my step sister was looking into fostering or adopting, she contacted her. My step sister had one conversation with her, and it basically was a “very complicated” one. The Mother of my niece wanted to know information about how she would raise her daughter, and asked few questions about extended family. Months went by with no contact, and at about 2am, my step sister received a phone call, stating, “I just had the baby, do you want her?” My step sister went to the hospital and was met by CPS as my niece was premature and also severely addicted. The Mother wanted my step sister to use an attorney, which was basically an avenue to get money. My step sister, knowing the system, said that if she was going to adopt this child, she would always know who and what and where she came from. So against the Mother’s wishes, my step sister used an agency. Attorney’s die and lose records….agencies are always there! Also, there was not ONE family member that wanted anything to do with this poor child. So the next day, (Nothing was signed or anything), the mother literally ran out of the hospital to escape child endangerment charges. My step sister sat over 2 months in the peds icu, with this beautiful child, that was detoxing something fierce and almost died. When everything was finally settled down and there was a court date, ect…my step sister wanted an open adoption. Well, my niece will be 4 soon, and each month pictures are emailed to various family member’s, and also the agency. They have set up meetings at McDonald’s and other places, and sometimes she shows and more than showing, she has been “high” or just not shown! I remember about 2 years ago, my step sister received a call from her and she asked her if she got pregnant, would they give her money!!!! My step sister said NO, but I will pay for rehab for you! I know all sides of adoption now! I trust that my niece’s adoption will always be open, as my step sister has promised me. But, again this is not the normal situation! All of this hit me at a time when I just became familiar with even the term adoption, because of the sister that I lost! I wasn’t close with my step sister. But, I when speaking thru the years with my step sister now, as she does know and agree with my views….if things would have been different in her families journey’s, she would have definitely taken a different approach. Especially with the whole “portfolio” issue! That has to be degrading! I hope I didn’t ramble!

  10. etropic1 says:

    The agency I used survives on donations from the adoptive couples. They don’t charge them a dime, nor the birthparents. The only thing NCHS asks for from the adoptive parents, is that NCHS become the parent’s favorite charity to donate to; whether it be time(as when they moved from a smaller building into a larger one; some of the couples donated new furniture while others provided free labor by actually building the new center) or money or volunteering. My son’s family promptly moved out of state once they adopted him..shocker. And they have nothing but bad things to say about the agency(shocker # 2) Because receiving a child to raise as your own with no string attached is so bad! {snark}

    NCHS use to have their budget on their website and a breakdown of where their money went & for what. I’d be interested to see that now as I have seen them increase their advertising over the years..something my caseworker told me they didn’t think was appropriate.{snort}

  11. Pingback: bodycrimes

  12. Pingback: What's Wrong with Selling Your Baby for an IPhone? | Musings of the Lame

  13. Pingback: Paying Birthmother Expenses; How Many Adoption Agencies Are Defrauding us ALL Taxpayers & Expectant Adoptive Parents | Musings of the Lame

  14. Pingback: Birthmother Gaslighting Manipulation by the Adoption Industry | Musings of the Lame

  15. Pingback: Adoption Advocates International Shuts Down! | Musings of the Lame

  16. viking gunner says:

    This is a poor and incredibly misleading article.
    I am not writing to protect adoption non-profits individually, or as a group, as I do not know enough about all of them and I am sure there are a number of bad actors- organizations that take financial advantage of individuals who are desperately looking to adopt. And certainly, non-profit status does not guarantee ethical behavior or fiscal responsibility but your analyses and criticisms of STAR are ignorant and show basically NO understanding of financial disclosures or how non-profit foundations and organizations function.
    First off, having investment income or mutual fund holdings is in no way a strange thing for a non-profit. Non-profits frequently have endowments and more broadly, why would any organization, profit or non-profit, not maintain a financial cushion in case their year to year income fails to meet their financial projections. Many non-profit foundations have large endowments to support their own going work. Harvard has nearly 33 billion in funds that are invested in cash, stocks, bonds, hedge funds, private equity, etc- earning an approximate return of 12% in 2013 – or about $ 4 billions. None of this raises any questions regarding the non-profit status of Harvard or the thousands of other non-profits that engage in similar or identical activities one bit.
    Also you claim regarding $37,000 per adopted child in the previous year is a combination of false and deceptive. First of all, you miscalculate the amount Adoption STAR spent last year as they earned a profit of $350,000 into their reserve fund.
    The more accurate number to look at would be their expenses which came in at 1.1 million for the year- which is obviously significantly lower then the $1.5 million figure you used- but still leaves a relatively number per adoption. The $350,000 profit is not gone. It is part of the organization’s reserves and can be used for the organizations mission in upcoming year.
    However the second part that you completely fail to understand is that many costs for an organization like this are fixed regardless of the number of adoptions performed. Their employees have fixed salaries and benefits and are still going to get paid even if no adoptions occurred. The fact is that it cost money to maintain an organization such as this, basic overhead and the like, regardless of adoption amounts So though salaries may have been somewhat lower if they performed 0 adoptions I would wager it would not be much lower. So if you really want to make a true estimate of cost per adoption you would have to eliminate the fixed costs, like salary, rent, internet, phones, outside counsel possibly, etc- which are not broken down in this financial disclosure. The fact is that many factors drive the number of adoptions and are completely out of these Organization’s hands. The State Dept has been increasing their overall scrutiny over adoptions, greatly reducing international adoptions in recent years. So not only might
    Finally, you treat all the expenses as if they go entirely towards the 32 adoption that occured which they obviously do not. Obviously STAR is going to work with a great number of families looking to adopt who for whatever reason either decide not to adopt or are deemed unfit to adopt. Additionally, not every potential adoptee child that STAR works with will end being paired with on of their parents. However expenses were still dedicated towards those efforts.
    Aditionally, STAR has a large number of efforts not dedicated to the actual adoption. They provide a wide range of additional services including training, education, advocacy, resources, and support to families both before and after an adoption. This involves significant expense but you assume all expenses are going towards the adoptions that occurred in this single calendar year.

    I do not know enough about Adoption Star to recommend it or condemn it.
    However after reading your critique I was just incredibly disturbed by how ignorant, misguided, and misinformed your analysis was of them. They may have issues and non-profits certainly can but this critique is so flawed that I hope nobody has been led astray. Adoption agencies have problems but this article sets a necessary discourse backward.

    • adminadmin says:

      I find your comment terribly amusing. I always wonder about folks who claim to have “no connection” at all to a organization that I am looking at and are so personally upset by the very questioning that they choose to invest so much time explaining. I really expected the IP address ( 74.71.28.228) for you comment to be a bit closer to the Adoption STAR addresses than just Syracuse, NY, but it IS Time Warner Cable territory, so I might just keep wondering your true motives.
      So, really, being that I am looking at ONE document and trying to ascertain as much information form that without having any knowledge of the interior workings, I’ll stand by my post. I mean seriously, can ANYONE do a full forensic analysis of financials based off a 1099? Obvioulsy, no.

      I guess you were blinded by your need to defend the good folks at STAR, but the point of this whole post was to point out that one must not be placated by the “non-profit” heading and SHOULD look deeper into the ethical concerns. Whether of not my observations were one sided or 100% correct, it was to give folks an idea of what to look at and to be aware. My strong guess is that most folks still have NO idea what kind of money comes into an adoption agency and this is ONE tool that they can employ to provide more information for themselves. Hence; here’s what to look at, what I look at. I think they call that knowledge and it’s supposed to be empowering or something.

      Hence, your comment will stand because, while I chuckle, I won’t say that you are incorrect in adding additional points that can also assist others in finding the truth. The one thing I just have GOT to ask? I noticed, because I did double check just to make sure that I made it clear enough in the post that I was ‘rough” enough in my math..and I was. You accuse me of “not taking into consideration” but I planly state that I don’t SEE all the inner workers. ( geez)

      “They brought in $1,487, 094.00 in total revenue ( line 12) for their services in placing those 43 babies. Now granted, they could have had been paying for say “birthmother expenses” for babies that were NOT placed, but.. if we do the math, each of the 43 babies brought in $31,170.37 if we just look at the line 9, the program services revenue and divide THAT by 43.”

      So YOUR comment goes on about 32 adoptions! My post mentions 43. Typo? Confuse your numbers or is the 32 an ACCURATE number of recent adoptions? hmmm… Perhpas you do know much more than you are saying.. no connections? really??

    • adminadmin says:

      I find your comment terribly amusing. I always wonder about folks who claim to have “no connection” at all to a organization that I am looking at and are so personally upset by the very questioning that they choose to invest so much time explaining. I really expected the IP address ( 74.71.28.228) for you comment to be a bit closer to the Adoption STAR addresses than just Syracuse, NY, but it IS Time Warner Cable territory, so I might just keep wondering your true motives.
      So, really, being that I am looking at ONE document and trying to ascertain as much information form that without having any knowledge of the interior workings, I’ll stand by my post. I mean seriously, can ANYONE do a full forensic analysis of financials based off a 1099? Obvioulsy, no.

      I guess you were blinded by your need to defend the good folks at STAR, but the point of this whole post was to point out that one must not be placated by the “non-profit” heading and SHOULD look deeper into the ethical concerns. Whether of not my observations were one sided or 100% correct, it was to give folks an idea of what to look at and to be aware. My strong guess is that most folks still have NO idea what kind of money comes into an adoption agency and this is ONE tool that they can employ to provide more information for themselves. Hence; here’s what to look at, what I look at. I think they call that knowledge and it’s supposed to be empowering or something.

      Hence, your comment will stand because, while I chuckle, I won’t say that you are incorrect in adding additional points that can also assist others in finding the truth. The one thing I just have GOT to ask? I noticed, because I did double check just to make sure that I made it clear enough in the post that I was ‘rough” enough in my math..and I was. You accuse me of “not taking into consideration” but I planly state that I don’t SEE all the inner workers. ( geez)

      “They brought in $1,487, 094.00 in total revenue ( line 12) for their services in placing those 43 babies. Now granted, they could have had been paying for say “birthmother expenses” for babies that were NOT placed, but.. if we do the math, each of the 43 babies brought in $31,170.37 if we just look at the line 9, the program services revenue and divide THAT by 43.”

      So YOUR comment goes on about 32 adoptions! My post mentions 43. Typo? Confuse your numbers or is the 32 an ACCURATE number of recent adoptions? hmmm… Perhaps you do know much more than you are saying.. no connections? really??

      • Claudette says:

        Amusing is an extremely disturbing word to describe this! It’s the truth, based upon facts. It’s disturbing to me that you don’t recognize that?!

  17. Pingback: 15 solutions to fix adoption in America | Advocating for Adoption Reform

  18. claudette says:

    Claude, my comment was actually meant in regards to “Viking”. I apologize if there was any confusing. What I meant by it was that it is actually extremely disturbing that you can lay the facts on the table for someone, yet they don’t see the truth. You have it written extremely accurate, yet “Viking” seems to still want to ignore the facts and make up he/she’s own conclusions!!!!! I apologize for actually using this term as I don’t want to someone feel like I am attacking them, but at the same time…seriously…is this person that ignorant that they can’t read the “black and white”???

Leave a Reply

Or

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>