My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Americans For African Adoptions, Inc., Indianapolis, IN, USA
My husband and I started working with AFAA in 2007. We started in the Lesotho program and were very excited. We had heard that AFAA tended to be slow, but that was the only negative feedback we had heard. About four months into the process, Cheryl contacted us and told us that there was a hold on the Lesotho adoptions and we would be better off switching to Ethiopia. We agreed to switch. Several months later she contacted us regarding a girl available for adoption in Uganda. We jumped at the opportunity to adopt her. The months of waiting started. We heard over and over again that our court date was coming soon and that our lawyer and country rep were working on the paperwork. In the mean time we added a second Ugandan girl. During this period we received a letter from a women in Uganda claiming to be our child's birth mother. We had been told by Cheryl that both of her parents had passed. We asked Cheryl to look into it and she assured us that it was a scam and the women was just looking for money. A year and a half after the referral and following many empty promises we finally received a court date. We traveled to Uganda and received guardianship. I spent 6 weeks living with both girls while we struggled to get the paperwork done. We had to complete most of the tasks in country on our own, with advice from another family that was going through the process. AFAA did not inform us of what we needed for the embassy. The embassy stated at our interview that they suspected fraud in our case (and other AFAA cases), and they were escalating the AFAA cases to USCIS. We traveled home and waited months for an answer from USCIS. Two months later we received a "Notice of Intent to Deny" the case from USCIS, based upon their determination that AFAA knowingly committed fraud in obtaining death certificates for birth parents who were not related to the children involved in our case and the other AFAA cases. We then did our own investigation into the girls' backgrounds. We found out that both girls had fraudulent birth certificates. The women who had wrote the letter was in fact one of our girl's birth mother. The other girl had living parents. We were forced to give up the adoption of one of the girls and start the adoption for the other all over again at our own expense. We are now three years into the process and still have brought no children home. I hope my experience helps others in making their decision. It is hard to put your trust in another and I recommend looking long and hard at the processes that the agency you choose has in place. Make sure they have a strong set of checks and balances in place and have completed many successful adoptions from your chosen country.
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