As reported previously, Bethany Adoption Services was involved in the Rebecca Kyrie debacle in the state of Indiana. I came across an adoptive parent that doesn't have a positive word to say either. For those prospective adoptive parents, this is a buyer's beware. Things that you need to be concerned with ~ they don't want adoptees to have access to their own records. This will be your children whose rights they are violating. I know quite a few natural parents that they have screwed over. I don't think nearly as bad as LDS Social Services. So without further delay.
AGENCIES: TURNING A DREAM INTO A NIGHTMARE
When my husband and I first married we knew we wanted a family and children. We longed to hear the little pitter patter of tiny feet in our home. Maybe it was stupid ignorance or our desire clouding our brains we both figured "any dumb fool can get pregnant". We were wrong. After trying and trying with no results we turned our thoughts to adopting a child. Any child. Our quest began. We started researching what adoption involved and what exactly took place in most adoptive practices. Feeling we had researched our sources and findings to the end of infinity we began to research agencies. We didn't even realize that things like foster adoption or independent adoption even existed. We figured that everyone who adopted used an agency, but which one. There were MANY out there and each specialize in some area of adoption to bring about a supposed common result- families for children. After we decided what was important to us as a potential adoptive family (Christian based ethics in the agency, domestic adoption, preferrable infant but would consider older children for the right situation etc..), we contacted an agency that seemed to look proper and good on paper. We contacted Bethany Christian Services that was near our home town and were soon told to come in and talk with a social worker (case worker) at their offices.
When we first made contact with the case worker she seemed agitated and eager to just get us to sign a contract with them and pay the NON REFUNDABLE $600 fee to do so. We kept telling her that we wanted a chance to think over their paper work and read through it before signing it. She seemed annoyed at this but finally agreed to let us take the paper work home,discuss and review it. Had we been smarter at that point in adoption and had our desire to be parents with whatever it took not clouded our sight we never would have signed the paperwork, but, we did, believing that this would be the best way to start the journey.
A month passed and we never heard from that case worker again. We had called the offices at least twenty or thirty times before someone finally told us "oh, she quit three weeks ago and we don't have anyone to handle her cases anymore. Sorry." Irate we explained the situation we had been signed up for and we were told that there was nothing they could do from that office. It was A FULL YEAR LATER when someone contacted us from the agency and said we'd finally been reassigned and they would like to send someone to do our homestudy if we were still interested in pursuing adoption. We agreed to meet with the new caseworker and they came and dropped off the homestudy papers at the home visit and we were told it was up to us to fill out the homestudy forms OURSELVES. We never heard from that person again, even after sending things in and making inquiries through the office. It took two months after that to finally be assigned to a caseworker.
We'd now been back and forth for 18 months with BCS and NO RESULTS in moving forward. When we finally met with the case worker that was assigned to us she acted as though we somehow needed to impress her in order for us to be worthy of her representation. We paid our fees for the homestudy and it was finally completed. I completed a profile of our home and us as a couple and submitted it with my husband to let her know we wanted our profile shown to ALL available situations for adoption and we would consider any referrals and matches in turn to make the best choice. We were promised that this would be done and even told that music was a high priority many mom's were looking for. Since I was a music teacher they were hopeful that someone would match with us right away. We waited. For fun we waited more. After a couple months of hearing NOTHING I finally made a phone call to the case worker who told us that they were seeing up to 30 birth parents over the last couple months and that our profile had been shown. We waited some more. After nearly 8 months of this we finally called to get an update on our case and were told that out of 50 potential birth parents that their office had seen about placing a child our profile had been shown 4 times. WE WERE LIVID. It is not what we wanted and definitely NOT what we were guaranteed in having our availability and profile info. shared with these birth parents. It was then that we finally said "we are leaving your agency and going elsewhere". At this time we were married for 3 1/2 years. Six months later we were getting ready to move across country and two weeks before our departure date to our new home the caseworker called demanding a large sum of money over $1000 from us to close our case. NOTHING in their contracts ever stipulated this. A few days later she called us SCREAMING and demanding the money telling us we were unfit and that we would never be parents because we were dishonorable by moving to a different location and not telling them and that we were going to be marked as delinquent in their agency. Angry, hurt and disappointed could not begin to describe the way we felt after the poor services and treatments we received from this agency.
After our move we were settled in. A year later we moved to a neighboring town where we took on a bigger home and better neighborhood. We gave up on adoption completely because of the horrible experience we had. We were now facing 4 1/2 years of childlessness and the pain and depression I was feeling from it was unbearable. It was tearing us apart to hear about people we knew being pregnant. Eventually we received a phone call that year from someone we knew who knew someone that wanted to place her infant son into an adoptive family, were we still interested? The rest they say is history as we dove into parenthood through independent adoption. Our legal team was WONDERFUL to work with, their fees were anything but up to the thousands of dollars that the "agency" was going to charge us. Within eight months of bringing our son home, updating our homestudy and filing the paperwork with the courts we were approved, filed and adoptive parents. That little boy is going to 1 in just a couple of short weeks. He is the joy of our life and the bright spot in every day.
As they say 20-20 hindsight is always clearer than when you face something the first time. Looking back I can realize how much of a scam that agency seemed. We do not recommend them to anyone as we do not wish anyone to receive the lousy treatment and hurtful disappointments we went through. It is because of this that agencies need some set of firmer controls placed on them and a way to report the bad ones who are unethical, unprofessional and who do wrong by the families and people they represent for adoption situations. It is my hope that in sharing this information not to discourage anyone from entering the process but to let you know a part of my adoption story that brought me my son. I want people to know some of the things that some agencies are doing to adoptive hopefuls who desire a family and can not possibly have one through other ways for whatever reason. It is wrong that these agencies are allowed to bully, demand and control families who seek to adopt they way they do. It is wrong that social workers are as negligent as they are in dealing with cases and families by not representing them in the way they should and then have nerve to accept payment from as if they had done their job. If this saves at least one family from the heartaches that we experienced before realizing the joy of parenthood using a different avenue then I'm glad it helped.
** Adoptive parent in the Southeast USA who did NOT use an agency