Adoption scams are crimes that involve misrepresentation. In general, misrepresentation is an untrue statement of fact that is material to the contract and is intended to deceive or mislead.
Specific to adoption scams, alleged misrepresentations may include the birth mother accepting money for expenses from more than one prospective adoptive parent. In other cases, the birth mother has no intention of going through with the adoption process. Additionally, an organization that promotes itself as an adoption agency may take money and not deliver the services contracted for, may charge exorbitant fees or perhaps misrepresent the adoptive child’s background or physical or emotional health. These are the most commonly alleged adoption scams.
Should you be accused of such misrepresentation under an adoption scam criminal prosecution, what are your options? Initially, the facts as can be proved are fundamental to the case against you. More often than not, “facts” are not so clear cut.
Furthermore, “intent” is always an issue in a criminal case. For instance, what you as the birth mother may have said may be interpreted by the prospective parent(s) differently. Also, if an adoption, despite the best efforts of the parties, does not result in the desired outcome for the prospective parent(s), that alone may not be sufficient proof of intent to deceive or mislead.
Adoptions are legally complicated and emotionally charged and are always best handled under the guidance of a San Francisco white collar criminal attorney with experience in these matters.