‘Catfish’ Adoption Scams: One Couple Shares Their Story

It is becoming more popular with the growing social media sites: private, or “identified,” adoption. Families wanting to adopt will post their adoption information on social media pages hoping that an expectant mother will see it and contact them.  It does not mean that an adoption agency will not be used, but they become “matched” without the use of the agency.

Use of social media for identified adoption is becoming more popular, but not without concerns.  Kim and Brandon Anderson are warning people of possible dangers that may occur. Prior to adopting their now two-year-old daughter, they were deceived by an adoption scammer. Fortunately, they discovered the truth before it snowballed.

Kim and Brandon had created an adoption page and posted it on Facebook.  A woman messaged them and they communicated for a while. She even sent them pictures, including an ultrasound. However, something about the picture didn’t look right to Kim and Brandon. They googled “ultrasound” and found an identical ultrasound online. Revealing this information to the woman, she apologized and said she just needed someone to talk to. The relationship ended immediately.

Unfortunately, this type of scam is becoming more commonplace. Women pose as pregnant and even send ultrasound pictures to waiting couples. Some women do this to get living expense money from waiting families; others, as in this case, are looking to fill emotional gaps in their lives. No matter the reason, it is exploitation of a family that wants to adopt a child.  Waiting for a child is hard and to get conned is crushing.

Has this ever happened to you? What advice do you give waiting families who are putting their adoption information online to find a match?

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