Wow, an adoption agency person who made America's Most Wanted!
As we reported a while back, Orson Mozes has been on the run. I can't say how but they got him. Here's the AMW story: http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=56499
Historical footage on YouTube:
I believe this is the first time the headline of a Guatadopt story was also a tongue twister...
LIsa Novak waas found guilty yesterday of fraud and faces the possibility of quite a long time begind bars. You can read a story on it here:
A civil RICO suit has been filed against Porject Oz adoptions. The families involved in that case are hoping that the suit will lead to criminal charges in the future.
Here is a newspaper story about it: http://www.mddailyrecord.com/article.cfm?id=8855&type=UTTM
Here is a link to the complaint filed: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6111162/POZ-Civil-RICO-Complaint-Filed
A new website has been launched which allows families to rate adoption service providers. The URL is http://www.adoptionagencyratings.com/.
This agency ratings site is not affiliated with Guatadopt.com. We do support the effort being made in creating such a tool.
Typically, we try to give very generic information about what is going on in Guatemala in the hopes that adoptive parents will feel a little better informed and can make educated decisions when dealing with their agency...along with a number of other reasons. Unfortunately, agencies, attorneys and parental personalities are NOT created equal. There is a complicated recipe to determine what is absolutely necessary and what can be plain interference. This all stems back to the agency and how you chose them and since many of our readers are IN PROCESS, its no use beating a dead horse.
So are we wondering about our agency??
Lets back up....last year, I was a bit frustrated to see a number of agencies open up a Guatemalan program without having a clue as to the necessary involvement. Sorry folks, this isn't China nor Russia! Its my personal belief that a DECENT Guatemala program requires SIGNIFICANTLY more knowledge and involvement that some other programs. That is not to say that it is necessarily harder or more complex than other country programs. But so many agencies new to Guatemala get a false sense of security as soon as they find an attorney to work with. So, in the fashion of David Letterman's top 10...we'll do the top ten "When to wonder"....before we get serious...
10 - The Guatemala Program Coordinator has never been to Guatemala and doesn't own a passport
9 - Nobody in the Agency has ever adopted a child
8 - They ask you whats next in the process
7 - The agency doesn't KNOW the email address or phone number of your attorney
6 - When you talk about fostering in Antigua, they think you are talking about the island
5 - Nobody at the agency can speak Spanish and your attorney doesn't speak English
4 - You can't reach them because the entire office is on a month long cruise 3 days after receiving your referral check.
3 - Guatemala is spelled incorrectly on their webpage
2 - They describe adoption finalization as when they receive the final payment
1 - The door on their office reads "Joe's Adoption Agency and Crisis Management"
NOW LETS GET SERIOUS.... I can't even count how many parents have said they "thought" they researched their agency thoroughly, only to find that they were not at all what they expected.
* Your agency has a brand new Guatemala program.
OK, so that is not necessarily bad....but it is a reoccurring theme to several agencies who had no idea what they were getting into and picked the first attorney they met.
* They don't routinely travel to Guatemala
In my opinion, this is a big red flag! How can an agency keep tabs on the process without visiting their attorneys? Granted some experienced agencies have established a set of TRUSTED attorneys whom need no micro-management. But still, having your finger on the pulse of Guatemala really means visiting!
* They don't have a clear explanation of the process available to you
If they can't explain the process, then how can you feel comfortable that THEY understand the process?
* Their knowledge of Guatemala and the culture seems to be lacking
Again, I can't seem to muster much confidence in people that are trying to run a Guatemala program, but are culturally ignorant.
* They are NOT licensed in their state
Keep in mind that there are some states like TEXAS that do not license international adoption programs. So, THAT is a notable exception. Otherwise, why are they not licensed??
* Their information CLEARLY contradicts what we are posting...
Reality check: Not all opinions are the same and there are CERTAINLY some agencies that know much more than I do about events in Guatemala. But if things consistently don't jive...its time to wonder.
I'm leaving out a number of redflags, but I think you get the point. Now remember, that all along we have been reporting legitimate hangups at the Embassy and now, PGN and this affects the very efficient/good agencies as well. If you are confident with your agency (and remember that none of them could have predicted these slowdowns)...then micro-managing is probably not going to help you or your case.
BUT if there are OTHER redflags OUTSIDE the PGN holdup.....OR.....you have been in PGN for more than say...4 months, you probably should ask more questions, request receipts and research outside assistance. Visiting often gives you a clearer picture of what is going on...but stay humble and listen. I'll even go as far to say that a visit sometimes sparks a little action:-)
Reality Check: It's really not easy for me to post blanket statements when all cases and situations are unique. So when talking about your own experiences, please remember that not all parents have the same situation....and always take advice with a grain of salt....
FYI: If you would like to add David Letterman style "when to wonder..." feel free. But please keep it light, non-agency specific, and non-offensive. If I'm not comfortable posting it....I won't ;-) THANKS!
Here is the article about the transfer of cases:
Unfortunately, DFC has not returned my calls. I am disturbed that there may be a loophole for the executive director to continue to work on cases as a consultant as she is the one named in the license suspension of IAR. However, I am hopeful that this gives parents another option for their case.
I would think there are still other options for parents that do not want to work through Family Creations. I can't imagine legally requiring parents to work with an agency with which they have no binding contract.
My disclaimer here: I am not a lawyer...so, I hope you will take my comments with a grain of salt.
For parents searching for an agency: RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!!! Go beyond a few referrals. Ask on adoption groups, check licensing, find out how they handle difficult cases!!! Don't be surprised if it takes you a couple of months to get a realistic glimpse. A less-than-ethical agency/lawyer cannot continue to function without clients!!!!
Since a number of posts were lost when the hard-drive crashed on our server, I am reposting this information.
I had several parents contacting me for more information about their options. I would ask that you please email me AGAIN. Most of my email for the last 2 weeks disappeared as well.
I have contacted the Broward DFC to verify information that has been posted in the news.
If you are an IAR client and would like to contact me about options, please include your name, child's name, lawyers name and where you are in the process (or at least where you think you are). None of this information will be disclosed to ANYONE without your permission.
Here are the articles about the situation and the suspension:
Dec. 11 Coral Springs adoption agency contests shutdown order from state
Dec. 10th Inquiry won't halt adoptions
Dec. 9th Interpol hunts baby-smuggling suspect
Dec. 8th Costa Rica seeking Springs man in adoption scam
Dec. 6th Adoption agency shut by state
Costa Rican Article (the start) - Discovery of Babies Sparks Probe
7/2006 - We have moved the Agency List to: http://www.guatadopt.com/pages/AgencyListing.html