Avoiding Adoption Scams with PairTree

By PairTree

November 24, 2022

4m read

“She seemed to fit the criteria.”

“By all accounts, she seemed legitimate.”

“I saw pictures of an ultrasound.”

“It won’t happen to me…”

Adoption scams are all too common

Sadly, we’ve heard these scam stories over and over from families hoping to adopt. And before we go on, we are so incredibly sorry if you’ve experienced this. It’s emotionally exhausting and confidence rattling. We hope, after reading, you regain confidence in the systems we’ve created to ensure this doesn’t happen to families who work with PairTree.

It’s an unfortunate reality that there are people who prey on families looking to adopt, gaining trust through emails and phone calls filled with intimate knowledge. These people are more than likely not pregnant and have no plans to be. Or if they are, they have no plans to place for adoption. Believe it or not, they aren’t always looking to scam money. Many are just looking for emotional attention and support. Scammers will make contact with a potential adoptive family through adoption agencies, but most target families through private adoption, reaching out via social media. The scary part is, they are smart and really convincing, sending pictures of their pregnant belly, ultrasound images and reports from doctor visits.

How to identify adoption scams

They’ve gathered this info through identity theft or forgery and send it with all sorts of emotion, convincing you that the situation is real. A few red flags to look for are:

  • The Expectant Mom selecting you right away – even surprising you at how fast!
  • Extreme situations in the first 1-3 messages – look for key words like jail, rape, abuse…
  • Reluctance to provide proof of pregnancy, or use an agency or lawyer
  • Direct requests for money – do not send any money, ever!
  • An ever-changing story…names, situations, dates, etc.

As a hopeful parent, it’s easy to be convinced by scammers. All you want is positive news, so when you find yourself in conversation with a woman who has all the answers, and seems too good to be true, it’s so very, very easy to believe. Our Founder, Erin Quick, was the victim of an adoption scammer. She shares her story so you won’t feel so alone, and hopefully, won’t fall victim to the same scam. 

You’re not gullible. You’re not. You’re hopeful and human, and you really, really want to build a family.

We’ve been there. PairTree can help.

Erin’s experience became a driving force behind PairTree’s advanced identity verification process. There are enough stumbling blocks in this journey. PairTree removes uncertainties so members can focus 100% on building an honest and direct relationship with expectant moms.

Our proprietary verification system is the most comprehensive identity verification software across all of adoption:

  • It tracks the four major markers of scams, and flags suspicious behavior and notifies you within 48 hours with actionable next steps.

We want your adoption journey to be a positive experience, full of hope and joy. So, we’re doing all we can on our end to ensure safety and maximize security. Our system is on the lookout for the bad apples so they don’t spoil the whole bunch.

“PairTree notified me that I’d been contacted by a scammer before I’d even been able to read the message. It feels really good to know they are watching out for you.”
– Adopting Parent

PairTree PairTree is an adoption enablement platform that provides connections to the services families need to healthily navigate private adoption.