This list was updated on October 9, 2019 using IAAME’s 10/07/2019 substantiated claims report.
If you see the name of your agency or one that you are considering, the COA reminds people that “It’s not uncommon for programs to have an occasional state licensing or Hague Accreditation/Approval regulatory violation. However, serious or regular on-going violations are reasons for concern.” You might still consider using an agency that is on this list. You can see that some complaints are more concerning than others. I also noted the year so you can see how long ago the claims were. Remember that an agency not being on this list doesn’t guarantee that they have no unethical practices. It’s simply one more tool you can use to evaluate your options.
Adopt International– Failed to provide evidence of an independent audit and annual internal financial review. July 2019
ATWA– July 2018 Did not respond to a written complaint within 30 days, practices did not sufficiently ensure oversight of foreign provider, and did not provided fee schedule, requested receipts or itemizations to a family when requested.
Agency failed to demonstrate that it was financially stable throughout fiscal year 2013 and completed voluntary corrective action.
In Nov 2019 ATWA’s accreditation was canceled for serious ethics violations.
Adoption Associates (MI)- In 2010, the agency had multiple violations for charging additional fees and expenses beyond those disclosed in the contract.
America World Adoptions– In 2012, the agency failed to report a complaint filed with licensing. In 2016, the agency did not provide sufficient individualized counseling and preparation for the adoptive family in light of the particular child’s special needs.
Bay Area Adoption Services– August 2019 failed to provide evidence of annual internal financial review to IAAME.
In 2014, the agency did not follow state licensing which required a court report be immediately submitted when there is a serious question concerning the suitability of a petition or the care to the child. They did not follow regulatory requirements regarding the finalization of an adoption by not notifying appropriate entities of the circumstances of the case. BAAS did not sufficiently monitor or supervise the child’s placement in the post placement phase.
In 2017, the agency failed to take appropriate steps to assess the child’s safety and ensure the proper process was follow after learning of a plan for an unauthorized custody transfer (the adoptive parents were dissolving the adoption and another family adopting the child). They also failed to submit the dissolution of adoption self-report within 30 days of the occurrence and instead filed it with COA 9 months late.
Barker Foundation– August 2019 Barker failed to be in compliance for oversight of their foreign providers. Services were reinstated in September 2019 for China and Colombia programs but cessation of services in India is still in effect Oct 2019.
Bethany Christian Services– In 2010, the agency failed to include information about an additional adult household member in a home study and RFE response.
CAWLI– November 2017 failed to submit a self-reporting compliance report.
August 2019 failed to provide evidence of an annual internal financial review.
Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI)- October 2019 has a lengthy list, so I’m just going to post a screenshot.
July 2018, CCAI failed to share a file with prospective adoptive parents, telling them they would need to transfer to their agency. They also provided adoption services during an accreditation suspension period.
In November 2017, CCAI was found to have failed to provide post adoption services as outlined in their contract, as well as failing to report a serious injury to a child within 48 hours of learning of the occurrence.
In December 2017, CCAI had the information to know that information was missing from a child’s referral and medical records. While they made an attempt to obtain the missing information, they did not continue to use reasonable efforts to secure that information.
These findings are vaguely worded in order to preserve family privacy and as a result make the claims seem minor. According to the family involved in this case, CCAI knew that several adolescent boys from a particular SWI were living outside the orphanage being used for prostitution because they had been informed of this by families who had previously adopted boys from this orphanage. CCAI allegedly did not inform the family of this likelihood or make a strong effort to verify whether the boy they were adopting was actually living in the orphanage. He was in fact being trafficked outside of the orphanage for prostitution and after the adoption raped another son in their home. This is the “serious injury” referenced in the report. You may choose to believe or not believe this information, but I wanted to provide the background so that people may make an informed decision.
Children’s House International– March 2018 it was found that CHI was paying one foreign service provider significantly more than another, both of which they used in their Hungary program. They also did not collect receipts and track expenditures of their employee.
Cradle of Hope Adoption Center– In October 2017, the agency failed to thoroughly evaluate a family’s motivation for adopting at both the application and home study stage, and later when specific concerns regarding the family’s intentions surfaced. Cradle of Hope failed to submit the dissolution of adoption self-report within 30 days of the occurrence, instead filing it 9 months late. Finally, the agency did not verify the adoptive parents eligibility and suitability to adopt nor did it disclose to the home study agency critical information which would have been pertinent in assessing the parents eligibility and suitability to adopt.
This claim involves an unusual and rather bizarre situation. When potential adoptive parents inquired about a waiting child, they were informed they were too young to adopt from China. The parents of this couple were eligible, however, and decided to adopt the child for them. Both couples posted publicly on Facebook as if the younger couple were adopting the child, causing several individuals in the adoption community to report the situation to Cradle of Hope. When the agency did not intervene, the situation was reported to the US consulate in Guangzhou where the family was denied a visa because of fraud when the couples involved confessed after questioning (both couples traveled). The adoption was subsequently dissolved.
Dillon– September 2017 Dillon’s balance sheets failed to prove they were operating on a sound financial basis.
October 2017- Dillon failed to submit two disruption/dissolution self-reports for Vietnam
European Adoption Consultants– In April 2016, the COA found a substantiated violation in requiring families take the foreign program fee in cash to China. In December 2016, this agency was disbarred for three years causing them to close permanently.
Faith International Adoptions– In 2013, the agency was found to have failed to investigate serious allegations that their contact in India was fraudulently facilitating adoptions in their agency’s name. Faith then provided false and conflicting information to COA during the investigation. They also failed to inform COA that an individual in a senior management position had two felony convictions for acts involving financial irregularities. Faith’s COA accreditation was suspended for a time as a result.
On April 2, 2018 Faith’s accreditation renewal was refused by the COA because their accreditation expired while their renewal application was still pending. It was reinstated in December 2018. This lapse in accreditation was due to the change from COA to IAAME as an accrediting entity and was not due to any fault of Faith International.
Great Wall– In 2012, Great Wall allowed someone to apply and pay fees to adopt from Rwanda despite adoptions from Rwanda being closed. There was also a memo which gave the appearance that Great Wall would buy their accreditation in Rwanda.
In September 2019 Great Wall was found to not comply with a request to transfer a file to another agency, requiring the family to transfer to Great Wall.
Heartsent Adoptions– In 2010, The agency did not report safety concerns to the appropriate authorities in a timely manner.
Holt International– In November 2018, Holt did not ensure the information provided in a home study was accurate. When a significant amount of information was missing from a referral, Holt reported that they had made an effort to obtain but could not show proof of that. Holt did not report the complaints filed to the accrediting entity.
Lifeline– In 2014, the agency did not provide sufficient individualized counseling and preparation to meet the needs of prospective adoptive parents in light of the particular child’s special needs.
In 2017, Lifeline’s foreign supervised provider agreement was insufficient for requirements. They also failed to demonstrate that they were financially stable through fiscal years 2014-2016.
In October 2018, Lifeline was found to not be in compliance with standards related to their adoption service contract.
Living Hope– In 2013, The agency’s orientation training did not comply with standards.
Nightlight– In January 2019, IAAME found Nightlight to not be in compliance on a number of standards.
WACAP– No longer operating.
Wasatch International Adoptions– In 2012, The agency failed to properly oversee their contractor’s work. The CCCWA’s procedures were violated and the placing order of children was disrupted. They referred a special focus child to a family who did not complete a home study or dossier causing the child to have a prolonged time where the child was not available to be adopted.
In a different complaint in 2012, Wasatch failed to follow-up on parents concerns about a child whose eligibility for international adoption was in question.
In 2013, they failed to provide sufficient individualized counseling and preparation to meet the needs of prospective adoptive parents in light of the particular child’s special needs.
Wide Horizons For Children– In 2012, the agency’s grievance procedures were misleading.