Adoption fraud in Nevada is also referred to as “wrongful adoption.” This occurs when intentional misrepresentation or an illegal act is committed by another party during an adoption process for the purpose of personal or financial gain.
This is a very serious and malicious form of fraud. Those who perpetrate this type of fraud may include adoption agencies, facilitators, birth mothers and fathers, as well as potential adoptive parents.
In most cases of adoption fraud, the wronged party (typically the adoptive parents) will claim that they were injured when another party failed to provide them with the child's complete background information. When adoptive parents are deprived of access to this kind of information, they have lost the ability to make an informed decision as to whether to adopt.
Another type of adoption fraud occurs when potential adoptive parents are conned by birth mothers they find online. These birth mothers will promise the adoption of their child to multiple parties in order to receive financial support, medical and travel expenses, and other pregnancy-related costs. In some cases, the “birth mother” was never pregnant or ends up suffering a miscarriage, but continues the scam.
Warning Signs of Adoption Fraud in Nevada
There are certain warning signs that an adoptive parent should be aware of when working with birth parents or adoption agencies. Keep in mind that the following warning signs do not automatically imply fraud, but they should be taken as reasons to conduct further research. Potential warning signs associated with adoption agencies include:
- Pressure to sign documents you do not completely understand;
- Failure on the part of the agency to return phone calls and/or emails;
- Making guarantees related to the adoption process and how quick or easy it will be;
- Referring to the child as “yours.” This is a tactic used by some adoption agencies in the hopes that it will compel you to create an emotional connection before the adoption is completely finalized; and
- Making unsolicited contact with you to register you as a prospective adoptive parent or birth mother.
Potential warning signs associated with birth mothers:
- She does not show you proof of her pregnancy;
- She does not return phone calls, texts, or emails;
- She does not provide you with a phone number at which you can reach her (she insists on calling you);
- She is quick to discuss financial compensation and payment of her expenses; and
- She refuses to meet with or work with an adoption agency, counselor, or lawyer.
How to Protect Yourself from Adoption Fraud in Nevada
It is important to become educated on adoption policies as well as the fraudulent practices associated with adoption. Joining online forums or similar groups is one way to gather information. It is also important to ask questions and meet with a lawyer early in the process.
If you have questions or concerns related to adoption fraud, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation. Adoption is a very serious matter and it is in your best interest to work with a skilled legal professional who understands the law and can answer your questions.
See our article on Nevada adoption laws.