A Foreign Affair (company)
|Industry||International Marriage Broker, Romance Tour Company|
|Russia, Ukraine, Latin America, Thailand, Philippines, China|
|John Adams (Owner), Ron Redburn (Owner), Ken Agee (CTO), Bud Patterson (Sales Manager)|
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A Foreign Affair (AFA) is an international dating and marriage agency that promotes romance tours to Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, Russia, and other CIS countries. The company was founded in 1995 and according to its website has since arranged 523 romance tours and 1,245 'romance socials' (as of February 11, 2016).
AFA founders testified at court hearings in Washington when Senator Cantwell first pushed for the implementation of the 2005 International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA), which, along with the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, is designed to protect women from potential abuse. Officially, the company is an international marriage agency/broker under IMBRA.
A feature on ABC's Nightline covered an AFA meetup in Odessa, Ukraine and found that while many of the women who attended the meetup were genuinely interested in finding an ideal match with an American man, others seemed to be taking advantage of the men by attempting to convince them to buy expensive gifts. In the segment, owner John Adams does not dispute the fact that some men may fall victim to scamming, though he notes that such instances are rare.
A BBC reporter also attended a meetup in Ukraine and interviewed several attendees, finding that many of the men attended because they were frustrated about the prospects of finding an ideal match in the US, while many women attended in search of a partner who was responsible and could provide them with a better life.
A 2011 The Today Show segment featured AFA and one of its founders in light of the mail-order bride industry's success after the 2008 recession. The segment explored some common negative perceptions about the mail-order bride industry, along with concerns that relationships precipitated by websites like AFA might not be completely equal; for instance, the host was concerned that women might be pushed into such relationships due to socioeconomic factors out of their control.
As in many dating services AFA can't give guarantee that customers are corresponding with sincere persons only. AFA is not responsible for customers' choices.
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