How Adoption Scams Can Really Hurt

Adoption scams can be particularly heinous as they are often extremely emotive.

Wrongly or rightly, the internet has become one of the biggest venues for adoption over the last ten years or so.

Irrespective of whether you believe that to be a positive step towards integrating children into loving families, or a debasement of how the adoption procedure should work, it is a fact that you can discover just about anything you need to know about adoption simply by surfing the web.

Unfortunately, this means scammers are also able to do the same thing.

Whilst there are many adoption scams that are all about money, there is also an alarming increase in the number of scammers that choose to play games, solely for the purpose of messing around with other people’s emotions.


Adoption scammers come in all shapes, and sizes, colours and religious beliefs.

There is no discrimination.

Such people play many different roles.

They may appear as the hopeful adoptive parent, the expectant mother thinking of giving up their baby, or even the adopted child who has located their biological family, often after many years of separation.

Ultimately, the outcome is always the same.

They end up attaching themselves to those who are emotionally fragile and then tear into those emotions like a knife.


Whilst unfortunate, much like paternity fraud, it is, perhaps, easy to comprehend why someone would start an adoption scam in order to profit financially.

People have, since the dawn of time, found more and more elaborate ways to part a fool from his money so it should come as no surprise to know that scammers have found ways to profit through an adoption con.

However, there are also many adoption scams do not involve money.


What do such emotive scammers hope to gain?

As mentioned above, an adoption scammer can be just about anyone –


By definition, this means they also exploit hopeful parents, either on the financial or emotional level.

Such people will often prey upon the emotions of the whole adoption community by joining mailing lists, forums, message boards, leaving their comments on blogs and engaging in support groups online.

This just encourages others to buy into their emotional game.

The scammer, for whatever reasons, will keep toying with them for as long as they can before suddenly disappearing, often when they suspect they are about to be found out.


This person will prey upon the emotions of others, both on the individual level and en mass, with the sole intention of scamming them emotionally.

This type of person, for whatever reason, pretends to be an adoptee who has found their real family.

Unless the victim is willing to spend a small fortune on DNA testing, then there may be no way to be sure of the scammer’s claims.

If a victim doesn’t spend thousands of dollars on a DNA test, or is unwilling to do so, then a scammer could convince them that they are their child and keep the ruse going for many years, often at very little risk to themselves.


The adoptive parent scammer can either pretend to be an adoptive parent, or someone who hopes to become one.

At first glance, this may not appear to be a financially motivated scam.

However, it often can be.

For example, the scammer who appears to be looking to adopt may be easily spotted by those who are established in the adoption community.

However, there are many less experienced people who may give their story some credibility.

Such people will often engage in the adoption community and will often refer to their hopes of adopting one day.

They will tell their story about how they have always hoped to adopt a child but have have never been able to do so because of their financial constrains.

This is, of course, a blatant attempt to get others to send them money to help out.

Money that will never really be used to help a child out in any way whatsoever.

Such scammers are hard to catch because the real cost of adopting a child is extremely high, such that even potential adoptive parents who are totally legitimate often seek assistance.


Financial scams definitely hurt people, especially in the wallet.

However, emotional scams, especially those involving children, can leave their mark for many, many years.

Quite why some people feel the need to prey on other’s emotions is too hard for me to comprehend.

If you are looking to adopt a child, are someone who wishes to give a child up, have a child you gave up who may be looking for you, or are an adopted child looking for their natural parents then stay alert – there are people out there who would hurt you, either for the financial benefit or simply for fun.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. Any scam that involves children is utterly despicable. It is bad enough that these people steal others money but the emotional distress must be far more damaging.

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