Ask AF: Adoption Fraud

If your adoption attorney or agency commits fraud, you may need to turn to the Attorney General for recourse.

Q: A local adoption agency referred us to an attorney for an adoption from Romania while the moratorium was in place, assuring us that the attorney would be able to get around it. We paid thousands in fees, and, eventually, received a referral. Romania has since shut down its international adoption program completely, halting all adoptions. The attorney refused to return our money, so we reported her to the police. What else can we do? Are there any federal agencies that can intervene?

 

A: Since you have already contacted the police and the attorney to no avail, I suggest that you consult a consumer fraud attorney now. I suspect you will have to sue the attorney to get your money back.

You should file a complaint with your local bar association, the state Attorney General's office, and the state adoption supervisor. The Attorney General will likely have the most clout toward getting your money back, and will pursue the case more vigorously if you are also a resident of the same state. If not, ask your state's Attorney General to put pressure on the one in the attorney's state.

I think you should also file complaints against the agency, to hold it accountable for putting families at risk through misinformation.

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