A downside to putting yourself out there when you’re adopting is you open yourself up to people who would like nothing more than to take advantage of you. They want to tug on your heart strings, and pretend to be a person in need. Since going live online we’ve been getting a lot of adoption scam emails. Some even with pictures. Luckily they’ve all been very easy to spot. I would say with 99% of these emails, there is likely no actual child.
With one email we received, it contained two pictures which James traced back to another person’s blog post, that it was stolen from, which was over two years old. The baby was also actually a girl, not a boy like the email stated. The latest email included a set of three pictures that didn’t show up on a search, but I informed the person that two month old babies cannot easily stand assisted, or hold themselves up effortlessly on their forearms while laying down. I ended by saying if they were legit (though I know they were not), they could contact an agency in their state to find a loving family. Their reply was “thank you” (no denial about the fact there was no way the baby in the pictures was two months old like she had written).
Unfortunately these people are preying on the couples who are part of the profile marketing sites we’re signed with.
I’ve been asked who would do that sort of thing, and for what gain. I’ve never let it get that far, so I’m really not sure. I have had at least one offer to come here to have the baby, so maybe a way to get into Canada. I’m guessing that trying to get money is involved, though that would never happen as its illegal to exchange any money here. I guess scammers haven’t researched Canadian adoption laws. It’s frustrating that people are willing to prey on people’s vulnerability, and an insult to birth families and expectant mother’s looking to place.
Do you still need a baby to adopt?
Some red flags are that none of them have been from Canada, despite the profile sites being clearly marked as Canadian. Most of the emails have been in broken English (a few you can tell were put into a translator). That in itself isn’t a red flag, but more when you add it to the formula they all follow. In all but one, the children they were offering were already born. They do not introduce themselves or give their name. Many of the emails have started with, “Are you still looking for a baby?”…”Do you still need a baby to adopt?” Most are willing to give us their child without any conversation between us.
The last email did ask questions, but they were all things that could have been answered by reading our profile (like if we had kids already). They didn’t seem very concerned with the answers, and were insistent and pushing to “send the baby though delivery” immediately (at least I did get a chuckle at that one, because I got a mental image of that Fed Ex request).
We know at least one family that has matched with an expectant mother online, and they now have a beautiful baby boy in arms. It’s a big reason we haven’t toned down our online presence yet. There is still a chance we could find a match, and for now that possibility outweighs all the spam.