Adoption fraud

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Adoption fraud also known as illegal adoption can be defined as when a person or institute attempts to either illegally adopt a child or illegally give up a child for adoption.[1] Common ways in which this can be done include dishonesty and bribes.[1][2]

Prevalence and statistics[edit]

It can be quite difficult to obtain accurate statistics concerning adoption fraud. However, below is a sample "603 adoptions were recorded by Greece's courts in 2005, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year, according to government statistics. But fewer than 60 of these adoptions were carried out through state channels",[3] meaning that in some regions of the world up to 90% of adoptions share the potential of being illegal.

Prevention and variants[edit]

Genetics and other forms of identification may help in convicting and catching those who do adoption fraud. This field also has the potential to block potential criminals from committing this crime beforehand.[4][5]


In addition to being an offense that carries a felony in many nations (including the United States) adoption fraud is also illegal on an international scale. Perpetrators of this felony may face imprisonment and fines if they are convicted.[4][5][6][7]

Famous cases[edit]

  • The Adoption of Case No. 6815 Michael Edward Chalek Circuit Court of the 8th Judicial Circuit in and for Alachua County Florida
  • Scott and Karen Banks - Focus on Children, Utah-Samoa
  • Others involved: Dan Wakefield
  • The Tennessee Children's Home Society, an unlicensed adoption agency used by its longtime director Georgia Tann as a front for black market adoptions. An investigation in 1950 revealed the illegal activities of the Society; Tann died that year before she could be prosecuted. Many celebrities, among them Joan Crawford and the husband-wife pair of Dick Powell and June Allyson, used the Society for their adoptions, but were unaware of the means Tann used to obtain children. Professional wrestling legend Ric Flair was one of the last children adopted through the Society.


The Dr. Phil Show made an episode revolving around an adoption scam between a couple and single mother. The couple placed an ad on craiglist which the scammer immediately replied to. The couple was sent fake ultrasounds, fake medical reports, and received money from the couple. With the use of technology the scammer was able to keep this lie about giving the child to them for 9 months and longer. This episode informs people about signs to look out for when adopting a child, especially when it is not through an adoption agency. [8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Yes, You Can Adopt!: A Comprehensive Guide to Adoption. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  2. ^ Bernardo, Sanford M. (31 December 2012). "Internet Adoption Scams and the Russian Adoption Ban". Adoptimist. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Child Trafficking". Child Trafficking. 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  4. ^ a b Whitney L.J. Howell (2010-11-10). "Adoption Fraud, Forensics and Genetics | Duke Today". Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  5. ^ a b "Fact Sheet on Focus On Children Adoption Fraud Case" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  6. ^ "Legal Protection Of Women S Rights In China". Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  7. ^ "U" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  8. ^ ""Where Are Our Newborn Twins?" Is This an Adoption Scam?". Dr. Phil. August 20, 2014.