Beacon House Adoption Services Inc
Total disaster, do NOT use
My husband and I opted to use Beacon House for our domestic adoption because how wonderful Linda Partain (no longer with Beacon House) was on the international side of things. Unfortunately, our experience with the domestic side of Beacon House could not have been more frustrating, unprofessional, inconsiderate, and borders on fraud. Twice we were given referrals for birth mothers who we were told were "squeaky clean, no red flags" and both times turned out to be drug addicts, liars, and the second one was simultaneously taking money from another couple through another agency. With the first match, the information we were receiving from Beacon House was just plain wrong, for example, we were told that everything was fine, that the agent had been grocery shopping with the birth mother on a specific day when the birth mother in fact had been in jail for over a week at that point for drug distribution. Anne Hughes, the head of the Beacon House, is unfeeling, uncaring, and doesn't have her finger on the pulse of what is actually happening with the birth mothers. We had specifically put on our non-negotiables list that we are not interested in a baby who has a parent with either schizophrenia and/or bipolar and this birth father in fact was hospitalized in a psych unit for schizophrenic behaviors. Not only does the birth mother use cocaine but she also has had an addiction to painkillers for 8 years!!!!!! How does the agency not know this? It is their job, in fact we had pain them thousands of dollars, to be our advocate and our voice and to check out these birth mothers on an ongoing basis, not just initially but all the way through. We are especially disappointed because after the first failed adoption with Beacon House we thought they would go out of their way to screen the birth mothers a bit better the second go round and it actually turned out to be even worse the second time. They broke our trust, kept our $20,000 and then told me to "go read my contract". As a pediatrician and someone who has dedicated her life to the care of child, I implore you to choose another agency. I would trust the devil himself to find me a child before I would give another dime to Beacon House. The ONLY good thing about this agency was Linda and when they lost her and shut down their international program, they should have closed entirely.
Agreed - unresponsive - domestic
We'd go weeks or longer before hearing back from this agency. A couple times we'd call and the lady wouldn't even know who we were, and this was months down the road and after we'd completed the homestudy and had been in the waiting process.
No response to emails
Ms. Margie is great to work with and the sweetest lady. However, the BH staff are horrible at responding to e-mails, phone calls, and keeping you updated. When we worked with them we would go weeks with no response to e-mails or response to phone calls. It was unacceptable.
Great experience with Domestic
We adopted our daughter through Beacon House and the experience was great. Things went smoothly, there were no surprises, and everything was handled professionally. I would not hesitate to recommend them.
Happy this Agency is working Again
Good experience with our adoption on the US and Russian Side. They took a very bad situation we were in with a defunct agency and helped us bring our child home. We will always be grateful.
Beacon House = AMREX
Beacon House allowed so many agencies umbrella (use their Russian accreditation). Beacon House required everyone to sign THEIR contracts stating they were Beacon House clients. If you were so lucky to get on your first trip to Russia, you were a client of Beacon House-no one in Russia knew who AMREX or Genesis or any of the other agencies were-only that you were a Beacon House client. They even went so far as before Genesis was closing their door-took out all of their contracts and paperwork out of client files.
They left many of the THEIR clients without returned phone calls or hope. And there are many more than just a handfull of "burned" ex-Beacon House clients out here on the net trying to warn of the dangers of using this agency.
First Hand Experience
Let me tell you first hand what happened to my family. We did contract with Genesis, whose selling motive at the time was "Believe." We even have a nice little CD that will rip your heart out, because it is what potential adoptive parents dream about everynight anyway - and that is their forever child - whoever made the CD did an excellent job. However, our adoption was not handled in an excellent way. When I was researching agencies, I did not find much about Genesis. Had no idea who Amrex was and never heard of Beacon House. We had the sweetest little social worker named Beth and we trusted her implicitly. She told us to stay out of chat rooms and off the internet because it could hurt our adoption. Guess what, we did what she said. Because, surely people who were so concerned about orphaned children wouldn't lie, would they????
After we decided to travel blind because no referrals were coming through the system, we paid our remaining fees (which at this time totaled $50k). Beth and Lauren even encouraged us that this was definitely the way to go to get our children. Then, Beth called back and said there was one more form we needed to sign. We said sure. What we received was an adoption contract with Beacon House stamped all over it. Beth's explanation, "oh, this is the agency Russia recognizes so everything you have has Beacon House stamped on it. Genesis' name is not anywhere except on your home study."
Okay, we are very trusting and stupid people and we went with it. We signed the iron clad contract. I must say that whatever lawyer Beacon uses is very crafty with her words. She knows the type of contract to write that has you bound in all sense of the word... I've seen it on the net somewhere recemtly....
Then, we were waiting and waiting and waiting with a promise from Beth everyday that we would soon be traveling.
Genesis closes their doors, Amrex is gone, 8.8 million dollars at Amrex is missing and guess who is penniless and childless - yep - my family - two people who poured their life savings into this adoption, and many other couples.
Then I have a conversation with someone at Beacon House named Ann. She promises to help us - she is familiar with our file. She knows all about us. We are paper-ready to go! All documents are in order! We even told her that if she could help us go forward and not have to start over, our family would lend us the money because we knew that our money given to Genesis was gone. She promises to help. She tells us that our dossier is currently in a region. Even tells me she is coming to the Genesis office to meet with the director at the time, Lindsay.
Talked with Lindsay after the meeting with Ann. She informs me that Ann goes through every families file and removes any documentation with the name Beacon House on it. Contracts were taken - Emails were removed - Anything with Beacon House. Never heard from Ann again. She wouldn't answer my emails nor return my phone calls.
2 weeks pass and I receive a FedEx box in the mail. Guess what is in it? Our entire file from the adoption.. including interoffice emails, etc. Nothing with Beacon House is in it. Not even the Beacon House contract. Every document that apostilled, the apostilles, the homestudy, everything... our entire DOSSIER in a nice, big box. It had never left the country.
So... before you start saying that BH did the only thing they could do at the time because they had only received $1000 of the money we gave Genesis and before you say that we were only repeating what was posted somewhere else, you better get your facts straight. I have lived this hellish nightmare. I have sat at the Federal courthouse in Atlanta across the table from Sergey. I have watched document after document appear that would appear to be damning evidence about the morals and scruples of many adoption agencies, including this one.
Like, a business card brought back from Russia with Val'
This site is a place for adoptive parents to REVIEW agencies they have actually worked with. From what I can tell, this "review" is based solely on hearsay and internet "gab", rather than personal knowledge. Perhaps Beacon House did not use good judgment at one time, but there are many families who have actually brought children home from Russia and who, but for this agency (BH), would have been left stranded. Perhaps it would be better to hear from them than the ones that sit in judgment and post inaccurate information, who evidently have nothing better to do with their time than to defame and accuse without ascertaining the facts. What a world we live in, where people are free to disparage without foundation...
Beautiful baby girl home!
Our dreams came true with Beacon House! We have a healthy beautiful baby girl and our adoption went very smoothly.
how Beacon House failed tons of would be parents
Beacon House left me and hundreds of other would be parents out in the cold with their Russian adoptions. How? They let other agencies use their Russian accreditation to umbrella under their agency and had the would be parents sign their unconscionable contracts-leaving the would be parents with no legal rights. So when AMREX-their Russian facilator- went bankrupt-anyone who umbrelled under them-was left with no return phone calls or help to finish their adoption. They took the money and left the parents with out children or hope to complete their adoption. Run fast away from them.
Here is a copy of the awefull contract: http://www.frontiernet.net/~dancase/PPR%20and%20Beacon%20House%20contract.htm