I have to admit over the course of our adoption and networking on our own we were contacted by a few girls/women. I know I should be calling them expectant mom's but I don't really know if they are. The contact never went any where other than emails and stuff. I also know we were very lucky that we were not asked for money or even lost any. We were very blessed that our son's birth mother found us through our networking and it worked out.
A few days ago I joined a group on facebook that was formed to try to stop scammers. It was formed by a hopefully adoptive parent. I am not sure where they are all in the adoption process. I know several are waiting and have been contacted by people. I also have to say are first I was oh my these women are just on a which hunt for people. They are just really need to find something else to do while they are in the waiting process. They really need a hobby!
That was until yesterday! I was poking around on facebook while Noah was napping and I was resting my foot (another story for another day) and I saw a update on a post that they had all been commenting on. One of the members had been for lack of better word baiting a scammer. I think it could be dangerous to do that. Not that they could find you but just putting yourself out there. I mean I guess if you know they are scammers you are not emotionally invested but still it has to be hard to deal with it all the time. Anyway back to the story. She had been emailing with a lady that was working for an orphanage over seas someplace. She pretended to be interested in adopting a little girl she had told her about and asked for pictures. I thought when I saw she asked for that it would be the end of it. Then she posted an update with the pictures they lady had sent her. I am not nearly as computer savy as these women to be honest and I am shocked you can do what they knew how to do. Next thing you know they have tracked these pictures to a blog of a lady in Florida. An unsuspecting mother who had posted pictures of her daughter on her blog, I am sure that was a way of staying in touch with family and friends. I instantly got sick in the stomach and lost my breath for a second. First thought was oh my God this poor mother, then it was oh my God I need to pull down every single picture of my son. As they debated on if they should email her to let her know I was screaming yes tell her. They did email her and tell her what was going on. I do not know if she has gotten back to the person who did contact her. I started this blog for the same reason to stay in touch with family and friends while we were in the adoption process. I continued after to let them be a part of Noah's life since they had supported us during. Now I want to use it as a support to waiting families in the adoption process. To help birth mothers know not all families are just out to get their baby. I NEVER thought it could be used to scam people who are putting all their hope and trust into the adoption process and God and a birth mother out there. Not that my personal information has been used, that I know of anyway, I would hope is someone that knows how to see where they are from and puts it together would contact me!
I know there are many pros to having the Internet available to network on. More so than 15 or 20 years ago when people were adopting. I also know that you open yourself to having these type of things happen and these type of people preying on us. I am smart enough to know that it isn't just kept to families looking on-line. We had been contacted during our wait by a place we had networked with that we had been matched. We had sent up a meeting to speak with the mother on the phone and everything. In the mean time of waiting for the call to take place another agency we had networked with contacted us about the exact same mother. It threw up a big red flag and we pulled the plug on the entire situation. I am not sure if it was the places we were in contact with or what, we didn't stick around to find out. I can't speak from fact but I am sure that states that allow living expenses have birth mothers using several agencies without anyone knowing. I also think that they match with families with no intention of placing their baby and just using people for the living expenses and that is totally within the laws. I am in no way saying if you pay living expenses that a birth mother is required to place their baby with you. There are good women out there who just can't go through with it after the fact and that is totally fine. It is the women who do it all the time. I also have a major problem with someone using another person's children's pictures to scam people out of money. Are there not laws to protect people from this? Is there nothing that can be done once it is found? I know I personally will be looking into it so I can be armed and ready if or when it happens to me or someone I know. So please protect yourself as well! I am sure this won't be the last time I talk about this topic.