I had a great experience with this agency. Sue was responsive and everything went smoothly.
This agency has a very scary past!
Many adoptive parents, myself included, entered international adoption with blinders on. Though we think we know everything there is to know once we start the process, we sometimes assume ethical practices are taking place behind the scenes with birth families. Even if YOUR process was smooth, I really urge families to do their research. When you dig deeper than the happy posts about the awesome communication and smooth processes, you may unravel the secrets of how many unethical agencies do business - including Celebrate Children. In the adoption world to parents who have traveled around this block a time or two, I can tell you this agency and director has THE WORST reputation.
After reading Finding Fernanda, I will never, ever adopt a baby girl with non-special needs. We, as adoptive parents, feed DIRECTLY into the corruption. To be honest, it amazes me that Celebrate Children is even allowed to still exist in the adoption business. What you see on the surface may not what you choose not to see on the "other side" of adoption, the birth parents side. I was very surprised to see such strong ratings. It scares me to think that APs haven't really taken the time to learn more about their agency's past.
Happy mom of 2(soon to be 3) with CCI's help!
My husband and I are in the end of our process to bring our baby girl home from DRC with CCI. A little over 2 years ago we started our family with a bang and brought home two infant sons from Ethiopia with CCI! The entire process took 7 1/2 months and our boys were around 8 months when we brought them home.
Sue was very thorough and professional, but she was also there for us when we needed answers or help with the process. We were lucky enough to travel to ET at the same time Sue was there and even though she was SUPER busy she made time to give us a tour of the Transition Home and went with a big group of adoptive families out to eat. She loves all the kids there, and KNEW them! You can't say that of most International Adoption agencies.
Our daughter's adoption has taken longer, but we knew it would, since we are one of the pilot families and they are still learning the process, and figuring out all the communication issues(Congolese people are not known for being open and forthcoming) We are expecting to travel in a couple of months if the passport gets processed quickly!
It is very rare that an adoption goes through without a hitch. Our first adoption(s) went so smoothly I automatically said "We are due for a few hiccups next time around!". We started our journey to our daughter in January of 2011. We lost 3 referrals while they were doing background checks, due to them finding living extended relatives(in DRC the Mother's Brother has more legal authority over the child than the biological father in the area the first two came from). Even though I was heartbroken over those 3 precious children, I KNEW the moment I saw our daughter's face that she was the one meant for our family. I was also SO very thankful that CCI's in country people were doing their jobs so well! I would not be able to sleep at night if I thought CCI was corrupt and adopted out 'stolen children'. I know CCI is a honest, aboveboard agency, and Sue has great integrity.
We received our daughter's official referral about 10 months ago. She has passed all of the court dates with flying colors(there are 4 court appearences) and is now oficially our daughter!
I believe that most of(if not all of) the negative comments/votes are from when CCI was still doing Guatemala adoptions. Guatemala was in the process of shutting down adoptions and things were hairy for ALL agencies doing adoptions through there at that time. I am sorry for those families who had to go through that, and I know one personally(did not adopt through CCI, but had a rough time and ultimately did not adopt from Guatemala, after the baby they were referred, passed away).
My husband and I also got the chance to meet Sue's daughter, Julie, and she has stayed with us several times. She had been with Sue on her 2nd trip to the DRC and actually got to hold my baby girl while there! I was slightly jealous, but extremely thankful to know that while they were there my daughter was loved on.
Really none of the issues we have run into have been because of CCI, but the Congolese not being prompt about sharing information(even though Sue and Cherie are in almost daily contact with the lawyer).
I highly reccomend CCI, and we have several family members and close friends who would say the same about their adoption experience with them!
Becky Jo Gerber
anyoumous complaints made in FL
Seriously ...who takes seriously anyomous complaints....bogus and bah..................
mom of 11, 5 through CCI and g.ma to 3 through CCI
above news reporter
By the way all the above news reporter email is non exsistent. There is no such email. Please pay attention to the fact that any reputable news reporter would seek info from both sides of a story. The fact that this 'said reporter" is only seeking negatives can only lead us to confirm the pure bogusness of the reporters work and the reporter her self.
we have adotped 5
chidlren through Sue at CCI and 3 of our grandchildren came through Sue at CCI.........I call that a very good track record!
all I can say
is the many testimonies of successful cases lead one to believe that CCI should be trusted. just a thought...read up on the positives. CCI works very hard to do the right and good thing for children. The evil in this world would seek to steal, kill and destroy.....CCI often works an uphill and against the tide battle but they do their best for families and for children. Sue loved our older boys when no one else gave a hoot about them, she advocated for them and brought them to our attention. We would not trade them for anything, fought like a mad dog for them and can't imagine life without them....and CCI was with us every single step of the way. And we have the most incredible boys, brought home as young teens, that any one could ever hope for.
Great agency...no issues with our two adoptions
I dont typically write reviews on boards like this but after seeing some of what has been said I feel it is only fair to take a couple minutes and write a review.
We were originally going to adopt through another agency but became frustrated with how difficult they were to work with. This is a very well known agency but I am not here to complain about anyone. I think it was just not a fit as opposed to a bad agency.
After talking to some friends that were adopting through CCI we called Sue to get more information. Our friends were so happy with their experience. After talking to Sue my wife and I took a little bit of time and decided to leave the current agency and move forward with CCI. We are so happy we did.
We brought home a baby girl in December and started right away again and were able to bring home a 6yr old boy in April. Through both of the adoptions the communication was very good between Sue and her staff. It could not have been easier. It is clear that Sue and the staff at CCI care about the children they are trying to help.
I have lived in a few different 3rd world countries and understand how frustrating it can be for us in America to work in a 3rd world countries process's. It boggles your mind sometimes how they do things.
I would highly recommend CCI to anyone. I know that some people have had problems and with a process like adoption in a 3rd world country that is bound to happen. It seems that some people on this board are more concerned with sharing hatred than reality. Whenever someone posts something good someone posts something bad. Probably the same person that can't move on.
Our experience was great and if we were to adopt again would definately look first at CCI.
now momma of1
We are back on board for the 3rd time with CCI! My first rating of celebrate children was when we were in process of bringing home our first 2. We had them home only 2 months before we started the the process to bring 2 more home. We would not trust any other agency. CCI works very hard and is constantly working to keep abreast of the frequent changes and requirements. so much do we trust them that we are adding our 3rd adoption, 5th son, from Ethiopia through CCI again.
As I said in my last post over a year ago. There are stressors in this journey. Huge ones and no adoption experience is without them. I feel very badly for those whose experience was "bad" and yet they have their children home with them and adore them. A bit of an oxymoron I think.
those who complain bout falling in love with a child only to find out that some random circumstance halted the proceedings need to remember how many couples experiences this same thing when they encounter miscarriages and other pregnancy related complications that prevent them from parenting the child they have have never actually seen yet but fell in love with. The emotional roller coaster is tough I will admit. But CCI understands this and will be there with you all the way.
this agency is excellent and works tirelessly to unite families. If I coudl give them a 20 I would!
Go for it with Celebrate Children!
Congratulations on your decision to adopt. I hope you don't mind my suggesting that you consider a couple of things before you become too tied to one particular agency. CCI has an F rating on the BBB. http://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/adoption-services/celebrate-children-international-in-oviedo-fl-62845800. Also, if you are new to the process of adopting, you should research the Hague Convention and understand what it means to be denied Hague accreditation. "The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) is an international treaty created to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of children and to prevent abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children. Hundreds of adoption agencies have achieved Hague accreditation, and only a handful have been denied. CCI is one of those few who were denied. If I'm not mistaken, they have been denied twice.
If you contact the COA they will tell you confidentiality prevents them from disclosing reasons for an agency's Hague denial. If you ask CCI about their Hague denial, they will either tell you that the allegations were false, or they will tell you they do not know. But many adoptive parents will tell you they have run into serious ethical and problematic situations as clients of CCI, including being lied to, threatened or mistreated. Many clients have had their referrals yanked out from under them, or have been forced to undergo psychological exams for questioning the adoption process. I learned first hand that you don't talk to other CCI clients about your case, compare notes or express concerns, or you will be kicked off their yahoo group and your password will be disabled.
Nicole, you should also know that as of last spring, there had been nineteen formal complaints made against CCI. There have been several investigations into CCI's practices. As you probably read in a previous article posted, it is only because Florida's adoption laws are so antiquated that CCI's license hasn't already been revoked.
I would highly recommend that you take a week or so to really study and research before you take the plunge. Join the Adoption Agency Research Yahoo group, where adoptive parents can freely share their adoption experiences without fear of retaliation. Please ask about CCI there. Or look at the archives. Ask about some other agencies. Holt, for example, is known for being highly ethical. Perhaps you will find that proximity of location doesn't matter so much (It is just as easy if not easier to mail documents than to drive to your local office ten minutes away!) And you might find that after hours meetings are not as important to you as ensuring that your adoption is completed ethically and that you and your family are treated respectfully.
Good luck, and congratulations!