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's name as the Beacon House representative when Val was all tied in with Amrex.
When you have time, read this site: http://www.frontiernet.net/~dancase/... talk to these people, they contain a wealth of information about who's who in the world of adoption.
I'm just telling you first hand what happened to me. So, if you have 50,000 to give to someone and dream everynight of a child, then go ahead.... get involved with the kind of people who associates with the people who did this to us, and to many other families. I'm sure BH has completed many adoptions, maybe even yours. But, you know what, so did Genesis and Amrex..... But, how many more people were hurt? How many people were taken advantage of? If the answer is 1, then that is one too many.
IF BH cares so much about the children they are trying to help, they had a perfect opportunity to step in when Genesis folded, take every family who was paper ready and get them to a child. Yes, we would have paid more money. But, a little more is better than starting over from scratch. No other agency would even consider helping us with a homestudy from Genesis. By the way, none of our paperwork was expired when we received all of our files back.....
Since all of this happened to us, I have learned so much about adoption and the greed that can be involved. I know I live a sheltered life... but, at night, I am able to sleep peacefully because I know that I have not taken advantage of people where they are most vulnerable - and that is their desire to have children...
So, in terms of BH... yes, I'm sure they have completed many adoptions. But, if it was me and knowing what I know now, I would choose an ETHICAL, MORAL agency out there - and yes, there are a few.... Make sure you research and research and research. Keep asking questions before money is given to any agency. So, then at night, maybe you will be wrapping your arms around your children and telling them how they came to be yours, instead of staring at empty rooms and thinking of what could have been.....
Post by same user added to this post:
I found it... Here is the link to BH's contract posted on the web... If you are thinking of this agency, ask if this is still the contract they use. If not, see if you can have your personal lawyer look over the contract before you exchange money.
Then, if your lawyer tells you to go ahead, then do it. So far, I haven't found one decent lawyer who would advise even their worst enemy to sign the following contract...
Post by same user added to this post:
We were also one of the families who were scammed by Genesis/Amrex/Beacon House. Stay away from Beacon House!! Adoptive Parents: Don't be fooled by anyone who has partnered with corrupt adoption agencies. Please, please do your research. You have already suffered enough. You can't imagine the horror of losing $50,000 and your dreams of adoption. We signed a Beacon House contract and they chose not to honor their contract. They allowed other agencies to use their accreditation and umbrella under them - this will only hurt you. Adoptive parents - please realize that the agency can post on this site just as I can. Don't be fooled into thinking they are above that. If I can post above, so can they. They do not want bad press. They will post as false "happy" parents. Don't just stay away from Beacon House. Run as quickly as you can. BEWARE!!!
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%20contrac...
our adoption with beacon house went very smoothly and quickly - just six months start to finish. i felt they were weakest in their written material/information.... and very strong in phone communication.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Our dreams came true with Beacon House! We have a healthy beautiful baby girl and our adoption went very smoothly.
I adopted 2 healthy 12 month old children (boy and girl) over a year ago with Beacon House. Our experience was wonderful. The director was honest and accessible. The in-country representative was the best in the business. My children are healthy happy and sooo smart. I will use them again!
We had an excellent experience especially on the Russian side. The Russian facilitators associated with Beacon House are very experienced, and we always felt like we were in great hands. Our daughter is healthy, beautiful, and a dream come true. Our adoption was about 6 months start to finish and the fees were what were expected (no surprises.) The only suggestion I would make would be to have clearer instructions for dossier prep according to regions. Every region is different, so knowing that information before starting a dossier would be helpful, but the Beacon House staff always returned calls immediately to answer questions.
My husband and I recently completed an international adoption through Beacon House. Our process went very smoothly and quickly and we now have a beautiful baby girl. We found them to be very helpful and supportive. Of course, we had to do a lot of work and educational activities on our own. But, the agency did see to it that their work was done expediently and they worked with very good counterparts abroad. We would recommend them.
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.