38 McGeorge L. Rev. 136 (2007)
Chapter 754: California's Response to Adoption Facilitator Fraud

handle is hein.journals/mcglr38 and id is 156 raw text is: Chapter 754: California's Response to Adoption Facilitator
Kara Beth Stein
Code Sections Affected
Family Code § 8632.5 (new), §§ 8625, 8636, 8638 (amended), § 8635
SB 1758 (Figueroa); 2006 STAT. Ch. 754.
In 2005, police began investigating a Napa adoption facilitator' that
professed to coordinate adoptions of children from several foreign countries.2 An
investigation of suspected fraud revealed devastated families who were shown
videos of foreign children, only to later find out that those children ... were not
available for adoption.3 Some of the prospective parents spent over $30,000 in
fees and travel costs to visit the specific children with whom they were
beginning to feel a bond.4 After expending vast sums of money and receiving
strong assurances of uniting with a particular child, [m]any families were either
told the child was not available or [were] presented with alternate children to
adopt. ,5
Americans who turn to intercountry adoption are oftentimes emotionally and
financially drained from their failed infertility treatments, [or] attempts at
domestic adoption,6 and just want to         bring home a child.7 Frequently
overwhelmed by their desire for a child, prospective adoptive parents are
generally not well positioned to identify and avoid fraudulent practices in the
adoption industry This desire to create the traditional, American, nuclear family
drives them to great lengths to bring children into their lives and leaves them
1. See CAL. FAM. CODE § 8623 (West 2004) (defining an adoption facilitator as a person or organization
not licensed as an adoption agency by the State of California that either: (1) [aldvertises for the purpose of
soliciting parties to an adoption or locating children for an adoption or acting as an intermediary between the
parties to an adoption or (2) [charges a fee or other valuable consideration for services rendered relating to an
3. Id.
4. Id.
5. Id.
6. See Nicole Bartner Graff, Intercountry Adoption and the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Can
the Free Market in Children Be Controlled?, 27 SYRACUSE J. INT'L L. & COM. 405, 409 (2000) (noting that
Americans annually spend between one and two billion dollars on infertility treatments).
7. Id.
8. Id.

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