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Nebraska couples sue adoption agency over alleged scam

Several couples in Nebraska and other states have filed a lawsuit over disputes with an adoption center, alleging the agency had engaged in mishandling the process to adopt. Their charges include failure to keep accurate financial records regarding how costs of adoption were spent.

The couples' complaint accuses the center of betrayal of the trust the prospective adoptive parents had for its processes, and alleges negligence that led to mental anguish. Further allegations include accusations that the agency took thousands of dollars from the prospective parents based on falsehoods and promises of exclusive infant matches, when the infants had already been promised to other couples.

The couples are seeking awards between $200,000 to a million dollars in damages. The charges are aimed at the private adoption company and two of its operators. The administrator of the private adoption center agreed to a six-month suspension of her license following the voluntary closure of the Sans Pareil Center for Children & Family Services. She claimed her actions were not based on any wrongdoing, but felt a need to escape the accusations leveled against her. She stated the center would reopen at a later date. Attempts to contact the director at the center were unsuccessful.

A sizable group of prospective parents is filing criminal charges with the Montgomery County sheriff's office against adoption officials from the center. The couples all recited a litany of alleged fraudulent actions. One county prosecutor stated that the investigation will continue pending FBI reports into the reported wrongdoings at the center. So far, allegations of "double matching" of infants have been disputed by the adoption agency. The agency cited Texas state law that permits birth mothers to change their minds about giving up their babies as reason that the couples couldn't adopt.

Adopting a child can be a lengthy and agonizing process. While couples who cannot have children languish on lengthy waiting lists, they also can spend thousands of dollars for the right to become parents. If you live in Nebraska and are embroiled in an adoption dispute, there are resources available to help you. It is in your best interest and in the best interest of the adoptive child to confer with a professional who can advise you at all steps of the process during your quest to become a parent.

Source: The Houston Chronicle, "Six couples sue shuttered private adoption center in The Woodlands, alleging scam" Cindy Horswell, Jun. 24, 2014

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