(KLFY) The wait for adoptive parents can seem endless and some have used social media to advertise they’re open to adoption.

At first, this may seem like a good way to appeal to a wider audience. However, con artists are taking advantage of this.

Nicole Witt, Executive Director of The Adoption Consultancy, said, “With the pandemic and as in all parts of our lives so many things went more virtual… That enabled a lot of people to perpetuate scams across a lot of different areas. Adoption being one of them because it is much easier for somebody to hide behind a computer, maybe they’re not even pregnant, maybe they’re not even a woman versus if they have to go and have in person meetings with attorneys and adoption agencies and that kind of thing.”

The prospective parents post and advertise on social media that they are looking to adopt. Here’s when the scammer will step in by sending a message to them saying they’re a pregnant teenager or with an adoption agency.

Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, added, “Social media has grown so much over the years and it continues to be a primary way for scammers and or unethical people to try to take advantage of consumers and recently, we’ve come across some reports of families looking to adopt a child and being scammed out of money by people who have nothing to do with being able to offer up a child up for adoption.”

In some cases, there are arrangements for financial compensation for either the mother or for the person who will help arrange the adoption.

“In regards to adoption, if somebody messages you knowing that you’re looking to adopt a child, and of course, the story sounds too great or too good to be true and they have the perfect child up and ready for adoption, maybe verify some of those things. Try to meet this person in person, obviously, safely. Verify that they are actually really pregnant, or they have a child on the way,” Babin explained.

Witt said, “There are really two types of scams. The one that most people think of is the financial scammer. She’s trying to get pregnancy related expenses covered and so on, but there are also what we refer to as emotional scammers and they really are just trying to be the center of attention. It’s really quite sad.”
The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana has these tips to protect families seeking to adopt:

  • Do your research. 
  • Check licensing as most states require agencies and facilitators to have licensing.
  • Meet in person or have your adoption agency interview the mother.
  • Do an image search to see if the images have been used in other locations.

For more on Eye on Scams, download our Eye on Scams podcast on 10 Talks Acadiana. It’s available anywhere you listen to podcasts. https://tentalksacadiana.podbean.com/e/eye-on-scams-may-2021-tutor-scams-vaccine-scams-electrical-company-cons/.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.