If I could give BCS a zero star I would. If anybody realizes... all of the high reviews are from Adoptive Parents. Don't get me wrong... I'm glad for their experience. That is most likely not the case if you were a birth mother dealing with Bethany Christian Services.
I was a young woman that lost her virginity and got pregnant... to spare details I called BCS to talk. From the second the picked up the phone their motive was to get that baby out of me and sold. I called to get council... I was scared and the minute I had second thoughts about adoption I had the "district manager" from Bethany Christian services at my apartment telling me how badly I would be destroying the families that I picked. Really? no I would be losing them a sale. After the birth... I was in severe depression and they refused to help me with the counselling that was promised.
Couples pay 35000 dollars and you can't pay a few hours for a counselling session or support group for the birth mother. Where does that money go?? I'm not trying to sound angry... I'm very hurt that people can put up a name "Christian Services" and treat people the way they do. For the adoptive parents on here that gave bad reviews because even though they treated you well... but didn't do anything for the birth parents.... Thank You. I could only wish for that support from my daughters new parents.
Nobody will ever understand the pain of a mother giving her child away... unless she goes thru it. To have somebody who was supposed to hold your hand thru that situation... just take that baby and run... is even worse. I have not heard from BCS since a week after the birth of my daughter over 5 years ago. I'm supposed to get picture updates... nothing. I can only hope that she is well and happy.
Went to Bethany early in my pregnancy. Made it VERY clear, multiple times (before I even walked in the door, in fact) that I was not sure what I wanted to do--parenting or adoption--and that I needed help and information on both options. They promised to walk me through both options and help me no matter which I chose.
When I had attended several appointments and finally asked for help in putting together a parenting plan, finding community resources to help me parent, and so on, they refused.
They have refused to provide the life-long post-placement counseling they promised.
When I returned to them post-relinquishment and asked for information on support groups, books to help a post-relinquishment mother, etc., they could not provide me with a single resource... I ended up telling THEM about the closest CUB meeting. (And later found out they don't support CUB, anyway, because it's too radical... which is absurd--Google CUB.)
Bethany has individual people who do a good job, but the organization as a whole is corrupt, in my opinion. It is a huge supporter of the NCFA, which lobbies for closed records, closed adoptions, and which put out the booklet "Birth Mother, Good Mother" as a way to market infant adoption--to make women feel that in order to be good mothers, they need to relinquish their children.
Bethany's pamphlets and website alone should be enough to make people RUN in the other direction--there are lies and half-truths and pro-relinquishment spin all over the place. (Check out the "Options" pages on the Unplanned Pregnancy section of the website. Notice how under "Parenting," the NEGATIVES are listed first... and under "Adoption," the POSITIVES are listed first.) There is no mention that open adoptions aren't legally enforceable, either--website makes it sound like it's all up to the natural mom how much contact she has. And no mention of increased risk of depression, PTSD, substance abuse, etc etc after relinquishing a child. Basically... everything is whitewashed.
I could go on and on and on about individual horror stories, about the brainwashing and subtly coercive methods, but I'll stop and just say this:
No mother should relinquish her child through this agency--period. And no adoptive parent should adopt through this agency--period. Unless you are comfortable with a portion of your fees going to SUPPORT denying adoptees their original birth certificates and their own records--then do NOT use this agency, even if you have found an individual office that isn't too bad.
We adopted a little girl through bethany services. I won't use the "Christian" in their name since they are primarily concerned with money and not with Jesus.
They treated our daughters birthmother like crap and like they were trying to sell a perfect caucasian baby. They refused to give her counseling after the baby was six weeks old, even though we paid for lifetime post-placement counseling.
They have denied many women I know this same thing. They also are the largest funders of the NCFA which proposes that women who place their babies for adoption don't love their children.
Jesus has no place in their agency, at all.
In 2002, I went through a divorce. After filing for the divorce, I found out my soon to be ex-wife was pregnant. In the divorce I was granted full custody of our 6 month old daughter. In October of 2002 I was contacted by a S/W at Bethany named Joy Valentine. She let me know that my ex was looking into an adoption, and as the legal father they would need my consent. I told them in person, on the phone, and in writing, NO! I allerted them to the fact that I had custody of the other child, and that I would be taking custody of this baby, and caring for him myself. I did say that if a DNA test disproved me to be the father that I would consider consenting at that point. There was a doubt to paternity. Infidelity was the reason for my filing for a divorce. However, I had cared for our daughter, and had every capability of being a father to my son. In January of 2003 my son was born. However I was never permitted to be in any part of his life.
Bethany simply figured that they would keep my name off of the birth certificate, place my son anyway, and deal with me post-placement. THEY WENT AHEAD AND PLACED MY SON FOR ADOPTION WITHOUT MY CONSENT! Ironically, the couple works in highly lucritive positions at the hospital where he was born and the birth certificate was filed fraudulently!
We later were able to find and prve a very elaborate scheme, that included two very unscrupulous wanna-be parents woman definitely has a bit of obsessive/compulsive disorder), a corrupt judge, and one horrible adoption agency! We were able to find out that my ex had been targeted and bullied into this placement. She was very confused, angry, and didn't fully understand what she was doing. These people, however, knew exactly what they were doing to her, my son, and in the end, even my daughter! Even though the law requires it here in Michigan, Bethany provided no post-placement counseling, the legal counseling, nothing. Everyone at Bethany was to concerned with the fact that they had two very wealthy people that obsessively wanted a baby, and were determined to do whatever that took and to anyone they had to. When everything went bad, they're official position (Bill Gallagher - FOX2 News), was that now that an adoption could not be completed, they were washing their hands of the whole thing, and were then calling it a "private" adoption. Mysteriously, the three S/W that were involved were very quickly transferred to other offices.
My son was put through 5 years of hell! These people tried to give him one name at birth, but that adoption aplication was found fraudulent by the state due to a clash of the aplication with my ex's name and our marraige certificate. When I contacted the state, not only did they immediately recognize my paternity due to this, but they allowed me to give him his official and legal name. When I filed in court for custody, I was given the run around for nearly a year. At one point I was ordered to pay THEM child support, and the order was for the name they had given him! I was ordered to pay support for a child that did not legally exist! Yet for three years (I saw my son three times in his first two years), he spent 3 1/2 days with his birth family and 3 1/2 days with these people. Out of animosity, they refused to call him by anything other than the name they tried to give him, even though he hated it, and the other three and a half days by his legal name. These people emotionally, and mentally abused my son. They tried to brainwash him that we were all no good. (other words were used!) A judge, upon meeting with him, had even determined he had been coached even for that meeting!
One of the things that just made me sick was that the woman had friends at the hospital where she worked, overload her on hormones so that her breasts could lactate. This 57 year old woman was breast feeding MY son! Where were my choices as his father? How could any of these people just sit back, do this, collect money, and not have any ramifications whatsoever!
These people and Bethany have committed fraud, perjury, and, most of all, kidnapping, and they are all going to get away with it. What a load of crap! I have NO sympathy for this couple. From day one they knew My daughter and I existed. Yet, they were so obsessed with having our child they were willing to do whatever it took to anyone they had to! They had money and were willing to fight. I believe they have spent close to $5 million trying to keep my son. What they could have done for children that needed it with that money makes me sick. My son had a family and didn't need these people! My feelings about the entire adoption system in this country are completely negative. What I have read about and seen, is disgusting. Some of you should really question who you are doing this for! Yourself? or a child that NEEDS a home? If it is for your own selfish desires and fullfilling your own needs than hang it up!
It took 5 years of court battles to bring my son home and have all of my children united and together. We are all very happy. This is where my son belongs. "Adoption was created so that children without homes could be provided with one. NOT, so that barren couples could be provided babys at anyones expense!" Jennifer Granholm
Bethany is just BAD! BAD! BAD! They have anhialated families left and right, and all in the name of the all mighty dollar. They couldn't care less who they trample on, even the children.
This site will not allow me to assign zero or negative stars. As a mother who relinquished through Bethany, I can say it no better than an article published recently in The Nation. (Google it) The coercive tactics described in the article echo my experience with Bethany in a way that is uncanny ... and quite sad upon reflection. Worst of all, I found out later that my child was physically and emotionally abused in his adoptive home.
We chose Bethany Christian Services because we are committed Christians, and they claimed to be. We wanted to be able to adopt through the foster system to be able to apply on children nation wide, not just in our State, because we can't afford the cost of adopting privately. Bethany did our Home Study and helped us get set up and then we did all the online research and application on children, until we found a match in another State.
The problems we have are with our Case Worker from Bethany. She has her own agenda and has made it clear that she does not work for us. Her Director made it clear that she has the same attitude. They sure don't tell you that up front when you come to them! Our Bethany Case Worker made this clear AFTER the kids were placed in our home. BEWARE that Bethany or any other agency sees themselves this way - ask about it up front. Don't assume they want a quick adoption process if they are getting paid their fees from the State.
Bethany sets and negotiates for their own fees when you finally find the child or children you want, and if the children's State can't pay the amount they want (which is high) Bethany will drop the adoption request on the children. We nearly had that situation and it was horrible to go through. Our children came from a very poor rural community, and their Country didn't have the funds Bethany required. Their County had to go to the State for the additional funds and find ways to get the money together. They did this because the children were a large sibling group with undesirable problems and medical conditions.
It is a terrible thing to realize that Bethany does not care what YOU want, they have their own agenda in the adoption process. Bethany gets paid each month to monitor the children and family until the adoption process becomes legalized. We have found that our Case Worker at Bethany is stalling the adoption process and will not give reasons. We must assume it is because of collecting the maximum amount of monthly fees. One should be allowed to adopt at 6 months at the latest, but she is continuing the drag it out. She states she is very happy with how the kids are doing with us, yet she will not provide the attorney with the needed paperwork to finalize the adoption.
We want to tell you all to BEWARE of being used by Bethany Christian Services to collect fees and do what they want, versus see to a prompt adoption process when it concerns the foster system.
My wife and I had been a year and a half into the Russian program when we received our referal. Going into this we were expecting the cost to run around $30,000. After receiving our referral, Bethany sent us a 12 page document stating the traveling expenses/additional adoption costs we could expect (in addition to the cost they gave us in the beginning) which added up to $23,000 more than we were expecting. The total adoption costs involved would have been approximately $53,000 total (not $30,000). When they sent us this document Bethany was pressuring us to make a decision but we were in shock from the surprise cost.
How could an agency wait til the referral to give us the total cost of the adoption, after so much time, effort, and emotions invested. I felt that we were getting caught up in a scam and declined to take the referal.
We currently have invested $16,000 in this adoption and have asked Bethany to refund $10,000 back to us and we would accept the $6,000 loss. The most Bethany will agree to refund to us is $3,000.
Has anybody out there run into this situation or am I the only one ? Please respond with your comments and thoughts on how to handle.
And if it werent for the natural mother you wouldn't have her. I cringed how you called it an "obligation". You should be happy to provide pictures and an update. It's the least you could do. It' s not a chore.
I placed my daughter into a closed adoption through Bethany in 1990. My social worker was wonderful. I do not think that I asked all of the questions I should have or could have and wish I had been exposed more to the options of open or semi-open adoption.
As my daughter grew, I attempted to add medical information to the file, and the handling of these requests was inept and inconsistent. I later tried to send an update to the adoptive parents, was told by Bethany staff that the adoptive mom had agreed to send me an update letter (which was well outside of what was agreed to in the closed adoption) and I waited anxiously for this letter for months. Finally got an answer from Bethany that the adoptive mother would not even accept the photograph I had sent of myself and my children as she felt that would put them in a position of having to send pictures to me.
Now, I certainly don't fault the adoptive parents, as this was outside of the original agreement. My frustration was with the agency that gave me false information and caused over a year of depression as I dealt with the reality that I would not be getting any information, after celebrating the information I was told was forthcoming.
My initial relief that the agency was able to contact the family so quickly, has changed to doubt if contact was ever even made. My daughter will turn 18 this year and I plan to send a letter for the file at the agency, but have little faith it will wind up where it is supposed to go or be available should the family be ready for the information.
I would NOT recommend this agency.
They lie, presure, and mislead any and all to get what they want. That is money. They truely are just a business, they do not care at all.
This place deserves a negative rating for the way they treat birthmothers!!!
I am an adoptee and now, also, a birthmother. I wish I'd never heard of this place and I'm appauled they can call themselves a 'Christian' agency. Of course, while I was pregnant, they were so nice - then I had my daughter 6 months ago. The last time I heard from Bethany was the day of court in which I relinquished my rights. Counseling, what counseling? They don't do counseling there - they just try to sell you on giving up your baby and it's the best thing for the child - they aren't worried if it's a good decision for you or not! They promise gold and silver - and then all you get in the end is a BIG HUGE bucket of greif, sadness, hopelessness, and depression - lots n lots of pain for absolutely nothing. They promised to help with some of my bills - but in the end - I had to pay them $2000!!!!!!!!! Basically, they made a ton of money off my baby - and provided nothing in return. Now I'm only left with heartache.
PLEASE - DO NOT TRUST THEM!!!!
DON'T GIVE THEM YOUR CHILD...........
I want to mimic what another reviewer said. Bethany does not care what YOU want, they have their own agenda in the adoption process in the older child program. The staff are not adequately trained to complete paperwork. Without getting into details, beware. We were told upfront that the matching process could take a long time (expected) and that Bethany was not a very active agency in placing children that are legally free or legal at risk placements.
There are too many good adoption agencies out there!
To hell with Bethany! After 6 years of court battles and a published Michigancourtofappeals decision, my son is home for good. I will be lobbying Michigan legislature to put an end to abusive gaurdianship tactics used by Bethany to force biological parents to give up or to try to terminaterights to good parents. You people a crooked, unscrupulous, child abusers. These people do not care what they do to families or children. All they care about is making a buck.
See the story;
DO NOT TRUST BETHANY HELL SERVICES WITH ANYTHING!!! ESPECIALLY YOUR LIVES OR YOUR CHILDREN!!!!
Donna Nicholson was the name of the agent from Bethany visited my brother telling him hey guess what your twins were born in November (today's date is 1/13/08) and they have a 50/50 chance of making it, they having been fighting for their lives everyday, oh and by the way sign here because the mom wants to give them up for adoption. First of all-Donna-that is no way you tell someone that their kids were born, second my brother had registered himself as the father with the state just in case the mother did not put him on the birth certificate, and Donna knows she can not do anything without my brother's permission regardless of the mother. Donna visited my brother at 11:15 and told him he needed to have the matter resolved by 12 or the kids would be gone forever. When my brother called me crying and confused I called the agency myself asking for Donna Nicholson and the lady on the phone told me she had never heard of anyone by that name, after explaining what had occured and could someone just let me know what we need to do we will do anything for the twins, etc. the lady got mad and said look I am Donna and I don't have to tell you anything, i said I wasn't looking for any trouble, contacted our attorney and he was furious that the lady had lied about who she was and saying my brother had a 45 minute time limit trying to scare him into signing papers. There was nothing Christian about the treatment Donna gave my brother, and myself, and I only pray for any damage they may be causing the mother, if any. I also called their 1-800number to ask for a supervisor for that office and the lady on that line wouldn't give me any information, basically just covering for Donna, I don't understand these people, they need to change their name
We adopted a domestic infant child (trans-racial) in one state and 2 international girls in another state all through Bethany. We thought the agency was very ethical and clear in their communication. Their hearts and concern for putting the needs of children first was great. Some social workers are better than others in terms of communication, so you never know who you're going to get. I'd still strongly recommend them as a good Christian agency with excellent experience.
Social worker turnover rate was horrible in the office we used. It got down to a single employee for a while. During our process, we had 3 different social workers and had only met 1 of them (until placement day when we finally met our final SW). Paperwork got lost at least 5 different times. The day after placement we got a phone call telling us we owed 4 days worth of medical while in the hospital because of an error they had done.
Not happy at all with the agency in how they handled our adoption. Would not recommend them to anybody, and have told people locally not to use them.
I adopted a Russian special needs toddler from an adoptive family that was unable to keep him due to his needs. Bethany placed the child in my care as a foster placement. Soon I decided I would like to adopt him, but this information was never given to the adoptive family. They were continually told that they had leads, but no family had yet said they were interested. Unwilling to leave the baby in foster care indefinitely, and not knowing about my interest, they asked Bethany to return the child to their home until a suitable family could be found. Bethany then threatened (and did) to turn them into social services and take away their biological daughter. The family sought legal advise and, through their attorney, were able to have the baby returned to them. Social services found absolutely nothing wrong and questioned the complaint. I was able to talk with the parents when bringing the child back to them. Apparently Bethany had not only been lying to them about prospective families, but about results of medical tests, etc. while the child was in my care. In the end we became good friends and I successfully adopted the baby privately. While our story had a happy ending, Bethany, at least in Nashville, can not be trusted to uphold ethical adoption practices. I am thankful that my son's first family had the spirit to put his needs first and fight for him. It seems as though the money Bethany was receiving for having a special needs child in their care was more important than finding him a home. Adoptive parents and birthmothers, please beware.
Bethany Christian Foster Care/Adoption Agency preys on children that are placed in foster care; malicious intent and non ethical tactics to prevent the reunification of child and birth family. If this site would allow me to give a negative star, there would be many... Keeping a child in foster care placement for 22 months, allows by law, the right of the foster care agency to recommend to the court, the termination of parental rights. The termination of parental rights then allows Bethany Christian Foster Care/Adoption Agency to adopt that child out. If you are thinking of adopting a child through Bethany Christian there is the probability that the child has been stolen from the birth family. The Bethany Christian Foster Care/Adoption Agency opt out of being an organization for profit, listing the organization as a non profit organization, but require money from adoptive parents and from the State. When they have achieved intended goal of breaking the bond between child and birth family, time limit of 22 months of placement of child in foster care, a termination of parental rights, the adoption can take place. The money than required by Bethany Christian for this process is considered a donation. I would call it illegal child trafficking, and seems to be the choice of State. Instead of helping a family keep together, it is big business to tear the family apart. It is wrong, and needs to be addressed at Supreme Court level.
I hope all of these people rot in hell
My experience has been bitter sweet with Bethany Christian Services. I am the grandmother of 4 children that were removed from my daughter last year. The oldest two were court ordered in my care..which Bethany has been fighting since they were brought onto the case. Karla Rought is a foster care worker w/Bethany and she has made allegations that are dishonest and her intentions have always been deceitful. The agency will sabotage the mothers to prevent them from following through with the courts orders for them, will make it seem as though they are helping the mother find housing and sign up for classes while they say the mother is non compliant in court. They seek to gain all 4 of my grandchildren for their list of adoptive parents. DO NOT adopt a child from this agency because many of these children have families that have fought and continue to fight for them...but the agency makes no money if the children are returned home...if you do not care how the children became permament wards of the state then proceed. You should know that there is someone somewhere that is missing that child terribly. Im sorry that you and your families cannot have children of your own...this process of adoption should be a natural one or one that would in effect save the life of a child..it should not encompass families that fight endlessly for the children and are never deemed fit enough to gain custody. As long as family memebrs are found unfit, then the agency can adopt them out for a very extensive fee and the government then gives them a sum of around a quarter of a million dollars for these adoption..this is what I call blood money. You may be a wonderful family looking to adopt...but many times the children are removed from families that need help, not their children taken away. If you want to really adopt based on the basis of true christian principles, Im sorry..this agency fails tremendously. This agency is currently being investigsted for their corrupt behavior, MI CPS is being investigsted for their cruelty and corruption of african american children. This is laundering children on the foster care blsck market...it is illegal and inhumane!
We had been with BCS for 3 years and got nowhere. The only calls we ever got from our SW was if we were open to a certain type of mental health issues. We filled out paperwork every year to what we were open to, why do you have to call? We finally did adopt outside the agency! Never again! It seems to us that they were after the money, and helped people with money. Why would you need to know our financial situation? If we couldn't afford adoption we wouldn't have applied there! They are all about the money! They should drop "Christian" from their name!
I was born February 25, 1990 in Pittsburgh Pa. I was giving up for adoption with Bethany Christian service. I knew about being adopted since i grew up. I have my own file with all the information that Bethany gave my parents when i was little. When I was 16 I got a letter in the mail that said that my birth mothers apartment burnt down and that she wanted new pictures of me.. that’s when I found out that my parents have been sending pictures of me throughout my whole life. And it is a closed adoption.
So i called bethany and asked them if i could write to my birth mother and send my own pictures and write to my mom.. The lady told me i could. I wrote a bunch of letters to my mom and never heard anything so a year later i called bethany again and the lady told me that they didnt send any of the letters or pictures because they lost track of where she was and that they really couldnt do anything more until i was 18. So my 18th birthday came around I started writing and calling bethany again.. They set me up with an agent ( case worker).. So things started normal that i thought were normal. i gave her all my personal info and the conversations were good. Then things kept getting stretched out she kept breaking bones, being sick, tones of vacations. So i asked her if she could give me to another person to talk to.. And then she told me that she would send some letters out to some address that could be hers but i woud have to pay her $100.. So i did that and she said that it would probably take awhile for my bmother to get it.. Later on she told me that they were really old addresses and they came back saying it was a wrong address. I asked her if they had info on when she moved and all that good stuff and she said they didnt. but she would keep working on it...
Well I am 21 now and the last time i talked to this lady was my birthday this year. And still nothing..
And this year it has really been bugging at me to find her. And so i called the court house and they are sending me info. And i called another person at bethany and she said that they had a bunch of places she moved to and her last move was in 2010.. Such a mixed up storyyy..
Anyways i still havent her. So if someone thinks they can help me plzz help.. Info back in 1990 ~
My Birth mother was born on July 28, 1970. She is 5ft. 5in tall medium build, reddish-brown hair, hazel eyes and a medium complexion. she wears glasses and she was adopted and does not know her national background. She was currently living in an apartment with her fiancée. She was a medical assistance throughout her pregnancy. She attended special education classes, for a learning disability, in high school and maintained a 2.0 grade average. She also has had vocational training in food services. During high school she was involved in SADS ( students against drunk drivers) and a member of the Vocational Industrial Club of America. She attended youth groups and was active in sports and received several track and field awards in the special Olympics. she attended youth on computers and writing. she has had no work experience. some comes from a Pentecostal background and attends an assembly of God Church. she was in counseling with Bethany in January 1990. She had been adopted, but had a negative foster care experience so she was quite hesitant about placing her child into foster care with Bethany. but since Bethany wasn’t a long tern program she decided to put me there....
In 1989 her adoptive parents decided to move back to Ohio. since the birth mother did not want to leave she decided to stay behind and find her own apartment. she only knew a few people from their local church and she did not have enough support to get her through this difficult and lonely time. She found herself going to a lot of parties and having alot of casual acquaintances. During the spring and summer of 1989 she attended several parties and became sexually active with several relatively unknown partners. As a result the birth father is unknown. It was through counseling that she came to realize that she was going through many changes in her life and was especially vulnerable in her relationships of meeting new people. AND i could go on..
****My birth mother sent me two birthday cards.. And Bethany whited out her last name on the one and on the other one looks like they whited it out and then photo copied it.. since the one was whited out I scratched it off. So the full name looks like Christina Lynn Petti.. And my name before my birth parents changed it was Margaret lynn.** My Name before i was married was Joanna Michelle Ilyes.
So if anyone can PLEASEEE help me out that would be amazing.. for 5 years I have been searching and let down. I want to know if I look like her and what our similarities really are. I even paid Bethany to find her and yet they still haven’t gotten any answers.
If you need any more info I can try to help out more.
We were excited about working with Bethany Christian Services and filled out an application. We were told they would not be able to work with us because of our debt to income ratio was 1% higher than the accepted amount. We had no idea they had this requirement. Our debt to income ratio is very healthy and we can show that we pay our bills every month. Bethany charges fees based on a percentage of the family's income and we feel they did not want to work with us because our income is not as high as other families. While their staff seemed nice, we would not recommend using them if you are in the lower middle class to middle class as they seem to only want to work with wealthy upper middle class or upper class families.
i was a young mother and was forced by my christian parents to give my child up for adoption. i dont blame my parents, they thought they were doing the right thing for me and the baby. my parents were born in the late 30's and early 40's where it was shameful to be pregnant out of wedlock. they decided to choose bethany because of the "christian" part in there name. my parents are baptist and raised me the same. anyway even thou i didnt want to give up my child. even up to the last moment. i was told things that i thought were true. my counselor whom i still refer to as a friend to this day.(she no longer works for bethany). told me what was told to her. so she even thought it was truthfull. i was told that i could name her, and that the parents whom adopted her would not be able to change her name. (they did). i was told that i would get monthy progress reports , and pictures. (i never did). i had to bother bethany every month for 15 years to get one picture. when i did get the picture i got a very short letter from the adoptive mother , telling me how happy my daughter was. it almost felt like she wrote what she was told to write. i was also told that as soon as my daughter turned 18, all i had to do was call bethany and get her information. (i called and they told me, that i am not allowed to know where she is. they said that it was my daughters choice to search for me.) this broke my heart . it is now twenty two years later and i have living such sorrow. i have hired someone to help me. it seems like she has fallen off the face of the earth. all i know is the first and middle name that her adoptive parents named her. i also know the first names of the adoptive parents. bethany told me that they would help me find her, but i would have pay thousands of dollars. they knew that i didnt have the kind of money. they knew that outcome the entire time. the adoption was a closed adoption. i was told that they didnt have open adoptions then. i dont even know if that is true. because if they did i would have choose that one. i hope that my daughter doesnt hate me. i hope one day i will find her and be able to tell her how much i have loved her from the moment i knew i was pregnant with her. after sje was born i ached for her so much, i found my self having two more children . i was pregnant for three years in a row. first my daughter , then my oldest son , then my youngest son. my daughter and my oldest son are 18 months apart, my two sons are 13 months apart. so all of my kids are in their twenties and i am alone. my boys have moved out and are living their lives. just wanted to share my story.
My name is Amanda and I am an Adult Adoptee who was adopted through Bethany Services in a private, domestic infant adoption in 1985. I had recent dealings with them in 2007-2009 and my First Mother has been contacting them off and on throughout the first 24 years of my life 1985 through present.
I personally prefer to refer to this agency as "Bethany Services" because there is honestly nothing "Christian" about how they handled my adoption. I have awesome adoptive parents and had a wonderful childhood. The secrecy Bethany placed on my adoption kept us oblivious to unethical misdeeds behind the scene and a very hurting First Mom that we had no idea was marginalized and mistreated and out there hurting and longing for me. I am a reunited adoptee who has heard my adoption story from my Adoptive Parents and First Mother in order to be able to put the entire truthful circumstances together. I also have my adoption records.
My First Mother approached Bethany Services as a young, pregnant teenager in 1985 to consider her options. Instead of offering her a balanced view, adoption was pushed. They matched her with a few couple profiles and handed her computer printouts--who would she pick *if* she was considering adoption? She remembers selecting a couple with a little boy--*if* she was going to choose adoption, that's who she would pick, she told them.
She went into labor and as active labor began, a white curtain was drawn in front of her face so that she could not see what was going on while she was pushing nor see me be born. As I began to crown, the asked her to count to ten and she went unconscious--the nurse had put something in either her IV or her epidural. Meanwhile, I was pulled out of her with forceps. They did this to keep her from bonding with me. She did not request this and they did not tell her this was going to happen, they just did it. When she awoke, she remembers that she was in a different room--somewhere else in the hospital, suddenly being treated like she was there for nothing more than a cold. She recalls that it was like an "act of Congress" to get to hold me. She was disturbed by this, not only for obvious reasons but because she had never promised to anyone that she was choosing adoption. She felt like the decision had been made for her. When it was finally time for her to leave the hospital, she was having trouble leaving without me. Her sister and her nurse stepped outside of her hospital room to give her a moment to think at which point the Bethany adoption worker marched in. She badgered my First Mom, fired questions at her that she couldn't answer, and made her feel completely unworthy to parent her own child. It was then that she signed me into foster care on papers where the worker had scribbled that I was destined for adoption. My First Mother felt like she had no other choice. She would need to make up her mind to officially surrender me within one month or they would start charging her $28 per week for my care in foster. A month later she entered a judge's chamber with the same adoption worker there and agreed to relinquish me.
My First Mom and her sister returned to my First Mom's home state (she had been sent away when she got pregnant) to prosecute the man who had fathered me (I was conceived from forced relations). The prosecutors contacted Bethany to contact my adoptive parents to see if they would help the investigation by providing a sample of my blood to which my adoptive parents agreed. Bethany told my adoptive parents that the sample was no longer necessary and then went and told the state prosecutor that my adoptive parents had refused to provide the sample because I was too young to be involved in such an investigation. Due to the lack of DNA evidence, my First Mother was forced to take the stand to testify against her attacker. Humiliated, she refused to speak. This man was unable to be fully punished for his actions due to lack of compelling evidence and testimony as to the extent of his actions against her. He was therefore sentenced to only 30 months in prison. Living in a small town, she often bumped into him throughout the years once he was released. I do not know why Bethany did not cooperate to bring my First Mother justice; I will not even begin to speculate. In case you're wondering, yes, this man actually did father me. I am in contact with his sister, my paternal aunt, and the family resemblance is absolutely striking and undeniable.
During the counseling process with Bethany, my First Mother was promised that if I was surrendered for adoption, I would always know who she was and that I would have all of her identifying information (never happened). She was promised that at the age of 16 I would be given her current contact information (never happened). She was told I would always have access to her if I wanted to but that she must agree not to contact me. I was never told or sent a darn thing. By the time I finally got Bethany to tell me how to find her and contact her at the age of 24, she had spent the 8 (almost 9) years since my 16th birthday wondering if I was even still alive or if perhaps I wanted nothing to do with her. Each time she contacted the agency over the years to update her information, they perpetuated the same untruthful nonsense.
I lived in foster care under a false alias. Original Birth Certificates of adoptees are not sealed until an adoption is finalized. Despite my full legal entitlement to my original name given by my First Mom on my Birth Certificate, AND against my First Mother's wishes for NO secrecy, Bethany attempted to make sure that no one never know what my real, original name was. My foster parents weren't allowed to know my real name nor my adoptive parents. I even have medical records now in my posession under this fake name. When my adoption was finalized the following year after my birth, my Original Birth Certificate was sealed and an amended certificate with a third name--the name I have now, my adoptive name, was issued. This certificate lists my adoptive parents as giving "live birth." Now Bethany does not seal OBCs, the state does. That being said, they had no right to withhold my real name from me and my adoptive parents while I was still entitled to it prior to my adoption. What inhumane cruelty--I am a human being, not a commercial product, not a Tabula Rassa to be molded.
My adoption records list that my adoptive parents were specifically chosen because of the distance of their location from my First Family which would serve the best interest of secrecy in the adoption (again, against my First Mother's wishes and what she was promised). My adoption was handled between three different Bethany agencies across three seperate States. My adoptive parents were told that my First Mother chose adoption because she wanted to "move on with her life." I was NOT given to the couple with the little boy whom my First Mother had been made to believe she had chosen when she was considering adoption vs. parenting.
I began contacting Bethany in 2007 to ask about searching for my First Mom. I was very timid because I was afraid of being judged by them for wanting to reunite. I went back and forth with one post-adoption social worker a few times between 2007-2009. They claimed my First Mom's contact information on file was no longer any good and that the phone number was "probably" bad. They claimed that the prevailing practice at the time of my adoption was not to exchange names and not provide identifying information which they must hold to when speaking with me about my First Mom. All-the-while my First Mother was not only promised I would be able to contact her but she had also made it rediculously clear that I was to know who she was if I asked about her. I asked the worker I had been speaking to if I could have any non-ID information and she never replied to me or wrote me another email again. Finally in 2009 when my adoptive parents began calling Bethany as well as an adoption lawyer for me to help me get information, we were sent a very dry email from a different Bethany worker with a list of outrageously priced services as well as information on going through the state to contact my First Mom. At this point I was so annoyed with Bethany that I opted to go through the state and after a rediculous 7-month ordeal with my birth/adoption state, we reunited.
24 almost 25 years of lies and secrecy with no concern as to the gravity of the impact it would have on both of my families.
In June 2008, I was considering putting my son up for adoption. I had some good friends of the family that had been tring to have a baby for 8 years. I spoke with them. And told them that I was considering adoption. Of course they where very excited, and was willing to do an open adoption, which is what my fiance and I wanted, so we wnet ahead and got a lawyer. But then we found out in the state of Colorado you have to go through a adoption agency. And we chose Bethany Christain Services, which was a BIG MISTAKE. They were nice and helpful at first. I had the baby and thats when things changed. They acted like they didn't care about me any more. They told the courts that I had recived 5 and half hours of couneling from them, which is required by law. I recieved no counceling from them at all. Unless the concider sign here, sign there, and oh yea you need to change your answers on this paper work to this and this couneling. And then I had changed my mind about the adoption, and I called my lawyer Virginia Frank, and my case worker, and told them I had changed my mind. They said they would stop the adoption this was a thursday, and on monday I called them back, to ask how it was going to have the adoption stoped, they both told me, oh I am sorry we just thought you were having a bad day. And that they went ahead and let the paper work go through. If any has had simular problems or any problems at all. Please e-mail me at RickAnna150@yahoo.com
Bethany Christian Services in Council Bluffs, Iowa is a total scam. Our social worker was very difficult to contact. We were told we weren't allowed to call her. We could only email her. We would go weeks without getting replies to our emails. Sometimes she would claim she didn't get them. When we would question the communication issues, we would get a slap on the wrist by her boss, who is a very cold-hearted woman--not sure how she got in this business. The agency is basically in it for the money. They don't care about the kids and they don't care about the adoptive parents. They are not supportive and do not communicate the appropriate information. Don't let the fact that they are a Christian agency fool you.
We used Bethany to complete a domestic adoption of an infant, special needs. It should have taken 2 mos to complete the paperwork, it took 18 mos. They lied to us about what was refundable and not, and did not complete paperwork correctly. We ended up with a $1.5 million dollar medical bill for the child while he was still technically a foster child, and had to do a bankruptcy. We should never have been responsible for that medical bill, a lot of it was from before we even met him! We tried to complete a second adoption and they placed 2 children in our home who were RAD and they did not disclose the reports of sexual abuse and rape from previous foster homes. They changed records (we saw several copies of files which were all different). The head honcho in MI is a slimy used-car salesmean. These people are in it for money and not for the children. I would tell anyone to run far and fast from this agency!!! There is no accountability from satellite offices and there is no oversight anywhere.
I am thankful that the SW at Bethany is supporting the BM on this. Why in the world wouldn't you send the pics/updates? It sounds as if you agreed to this, obviously, but now don't want to make that small effort. Your child, someday, will know that you did not keep your word.
We decided not to go with an agency after all. We will continue going our independent route and see where it takes us.
I went to Bethany in the 90's not knowing what i wanted to do yet...the counselor was so one sided. the organization was so mean and cruel.she saw the turmoil i was in and did not offer anything but adoption for my child...i found out later that they have offered some first moms shepherding homes for their new borns while the mom made a decision and dealt with everything after the birth...i have no idea why that was not offered to me...had i been offered a place for my child for a few weeks, i would have grabbed that!!! i also picked a profile of a family that had agreed to updates and pictures all thru my childs life and to keep the name i gave///they did none of that!!! i am so furious...and I chose life for my child...i gave a family the most precious gift and they and Bethany just laughed...Jesus is definitely not in that organization...but "Vengeance is mine , saith the Lord." I just have to pray my child knows the truth one day and pray for God to hold him close always...
I'm so sad to see others giving BCS poor reviews. We had such an amazing adoption experience with them. We adopted a waiting child from Korea, were matched before our homestudy was complete and he was still home within five months of being matched. Our social worker had never done a Korean adoption before (in our area BCS can only assign waiting children from Korea so it isn't a popular program) and she graciously admitted when she didn't know the answer to a question and then went and found out. Communication was excellent and they saw us through to finalization and beyond.
This agency is extreemly unethical and unsupportive, soley in if for the money.. not in it for the kids. Beware all, you can NOT trust these people!
We live in a community with a Bethany office and no other agencies. We drove 2 hours away to use another agency. Bethany's office was very disorganized. When I called for information, they enrolled me in a class on foster parenting without my knowledge. When I did not attend, they were very angry with me. I was not interested in becoming a foster parent. I also don't care for how vague all their information is about cost. If I am going to be ask to spend that amount of money for an adoption, I want to know why costs that much. I don't mind paying for real costs but I do mind paying for other programs. We ended up adopting from S.Korea and paying much more than Bethany charges but our agency could account for everything.
After our placement, things went fairly well. Two years into our adoption, our social worker felt the need to contact the bm and tell her that we should be sending pics/updates. We did our year pic/update obligation/schedule. The sw then calls us and tells us that we must not have Jesus in our hearts if we refuse the updates/pics. Our sw makes a point to find the bm and tell her we will not send pic/updates. Would I rec. Bethany? No. They should take Christain out of the agency name.
I am a birthmother and am disheartened to read about so many birth parents and adoptive parents having awful experiences with Bethany. I contacted the Washington State Bethany services in 2006 because I had become pregnant and wanted to place my child for adoption. The adoption counselor walked me through the process every step of the way - and I was completely in charge the whole time. They helped me design my birth plan; supported my choice of a doula; helped me look at myriad potential parent profiles and set up interviews; were there at the hospital; and immediately put me in touch with counselors and support services for post-relinquishment needs.
I cannot say how much of a blessing they have been, and continue to be. I am still in constant contact with my Bethany adoption counselor, and our local offices host regular events to which birth parents are invited. We are often told about new counseling or support services as well.
My heart aches for those who've experienced such terrible things. But I can say our local Bethany offices and staff have been terrific. In the years since my daughter was placed, we couldn't have asked for a more professional and caring adoption agency!
I can not believe as a family that wanted to adopt an older child and wanted to make a difference to someone that needed us, in return we got put in a horrible situation with a total lack of respect and caring from Bethany Christian Plymouth MN office. We picked them cause I felt we would have Christian experience. Half truths, lack of disclosure and an inability to see us as a family unit with feelings, boundaries and deserving of respect was our experience. Do NOT work with this office. They have their own agenda. The sad thing was they aren't good liars so it was pretty apparent when we caught them not treating us with respect (ex: one social worker would disclose not knowing what the other said, found out from outside agency people - like dr office, etc). I pray that they take my feedback that I provided verbally and try and approach families differently!
I recently placed my baby boy through an open adoption. I'm still working through all of the emotions and trying to process the new normal of my life. I worked with Bethany throughout my entire pregnancy. My pregnancy counselor became a friend to me. I never felt pressured to place my son. I always felt in control of every decision that was made and that was stressed to me time and time again- I was in control of choosing his family, how things would happen at the hospital, what the openness would look like, etc. After I had him, I began to second guess my decision and even majorly changed the plan that I had made. Through it all, Bethany was beside me supporting me in whatever decision I made. Since the placement, my pregnancy counselor has been in contact with me multiple times just to check on me and has even met with me to talk. My only complaint would be preparation for what life will be like after a placement has occurred. The entire process focuses on what will happen and how, but not how you will be afterwards. But I can honestly say I felt respected and loved by the Bethany staff.
If I had a choice to go back and choose another adoption agency as a birth mother, I would still choose Bethany. I had a great, loving experience with both them as an agency, as well as with the adoptive family they helped me find. I feel SO secure in my choice of open adoption. I get to visit Ansley, and I get regular pics and updates as promised. Bethany helped me so much through a hard time in my life, and for that I am truly thankful. I am so sorry that some others seemed to have bad experiences; However, I hope and pray that potential birth mothers reading this will get some relief reading about my experience. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone would like to ask me questions about Bethany or adoption in general.
with bethany christian services the adoptive parents are amazing and treat me like their family. the people at bethany always had my best at heart. the pregnancy counselor is amazing ive known her since my 6th week of pregnancy.i called her lost and confused and not really not knowing what i wanted to do. i knew i didnt want to abort the baby and knew i couldnt take care of him either. so i opted for adoption. all this negative stuff you guys are saying isnt true. you may have run into a bad segment of bethany. but the one where in live in little rock ar is amazing. they were there at 2am when i went into labor and stayed at the hospital through my c section and waited til i was out and made sure i was ok. i have nothing but high reviews for this place. they made me feel like family and like i wasnt just another number. the pregnancy counselor went far and beyond what she was supposed to do and helped me with alot during my pregnancy. things that you wouldnt think would matter but do. its the little things that count. she answered all my texts when i would text her. she was there when i first saw my baby at 8 weeks pregnant. i know i may get knocked for loving this place so much but if i were to restart my pregnancy right now and be just choosing an adoption agency i would go with them over and over and over again if i could.
Bethany Christian Services is a disgrace to the world of adoption.
When my Mom got pregnant with me in 1987, my grandparents went to them to place me in a Christian adoptive home.
They treated my mom like dirt. They promised her the moon; they said she would get yearly updates, photographs and information on how I was progressing with my new parents. They told her that when I was 18 she could contact me, and they would put her call through without hesitation.
They told her my new family wouldn't change my name after she had named me.
They said that she could stay with me for three days in the hospital after she had signed the papers.
IT WAS ALL A BUNCH OF LIES.
After I was born, they immediately sent me to stay with my foster parents before the adoption.
My mom didn't get the three days with me she was promised. At least not immediately. She got two and a half days a little bit later on, and she got to go to my first doctor's appointment with me.. But after that? Nada!
I was legally adopted in the spring of 1988 and from that moment on, the strings were cut, and my mom was left with nothing but a broken heart.
Bethany sent her a 1 year progress update when I was a year old, and they never sent another update ever again.
They gave her a false name so that she couldn't find me after I was adopted,
and on my 18th birthday when she called the agency to find me, they told her that I had to give consent before she could contact me and that my consent would be given soon.
Meanwhile I knew nothing about this and was being told on a daily basis by my adoptive parents that my real mom didn't love me, didn't want me and was not looking for me at all because she didn't care.
I was "just a product of a one night stand with her millionth midnight squeeze" and I didn't "mean a fig to her".
This was drummed into my head every day of my life until I reached my 20s; and by then I was good and brainwashed. But I still wanted my Mom. I felt I was being lied to and I couldn't explain why.
Finally when I was 22 I'd had enough. I had no idea who I was, I was suicidal, struggling with an eating disorder and severe depression, and I knew nothing else about the world except for one thing; I WANTED MY MOM.
So I did some research, and quite by chance I found a website called IWASADOPTED.COM and THANK GOD for those wonderful people! I was able to put up a want ad for free with my information and a personal message. 2 months later my Mom found me and we've been happily reunited.
But Bethany Christian Services still left their mark.
My Mom and I have so much catching up to do, but all of it is marred with pain and agony and memories of what those monsters did to my Mom and to me during the "adoption process".
I told my best friend a few weeks ago the details of what happened, and what the agency did, working with my adoptive parents to keep me hidden from my Mom.
and her reaction basically summed it all up in one sentence. "OH my God, honey it's like they kidnapped you!!!!"
Yeah. They basically did. My mom was forced to sign those papers, and it was like she would be taken to the execution block if she didn't do exactly as she was told by the agency.
19 years old and terrified, she did as she was instructed.
Now 26 years later, the pain is still intense; the wounds are STILL bleeding and there's no solace in sight for us any time soon.
If you are an unwed mother thinking of adoption, whatever you do AVOID BCS like the plague!!!!
They will treat the adoptive parents like Gods, and you will be treated like dirt. And your baby will seen as nothing more than a dollar sign.
Please do not give your child up to these people. They will not only ruin you, but they will ruin your child as well.
I am currently adopting a little girl that turned 2 recently. I have had guardianship of her since she was 2 months old. I was told by an attorney that I must get an adoption study completed through an agency; she recommended Bethany and informed me the study was around $1200. After speaking with Bethany, they sent me a packet that had the total cost of everything, there were several "visits" and "follow ups" that each had a substantial fee. Luckily, I spoke with another attorney that was representing my daughter and she informed me that I absolutely did NOT need a home study through an agency. Because I had guardianship of the child, I could simply do an adoption through guardianship (I live in Michigan, so I don't know if that is an option in other states). It just seems to me that 1. The attorney should have been knowledgeable about this type of guardianship. 2. Bethany is an adoption agency, why didn't they inform me of this option? It would also seem that because I informed them of the situation with the child, they should have been aware of the adoption laws and types in our local area!
What a rip off! I'm happy to report that on October 20th, our hearing with the birth mom will take place. I did all of it on my own without an attorney or an agency. I saved closed to $7000, if not more.
I cant believe i almost turned here for support. I was just about to pick up the phone and it looks like there is no turning back once you do. I feel so lucky i havent given up my baby to BCS and i am so sorry to all thr birth mothers who did.
If you love your child, look somewhere else!!!! If you are looking to adopt, go to an agency that has respect for the mother. I am pregnant, looking to adopt and so glad for these reviews. I can't believe i almost turned here for support.
I would not recommend Bethany Christian Services to anyone unless they want a closed adoption. If you are looking for an open adoption, it is best to find another agency.
Would not recommend. Made it very clear I wanted an open adoption and did not get one.
I haven't received ANY post placement counseling, and its paid for????? I was given a referal, but that would've cost me money.. unreal.. no surprise tho, I haven't received one promise that was made to me, they haven't followed through on anything. Awful people. They lied, cheated,.blamed adoptive parents for one of their mistakes and they made many mistakes but,.like u said, its all about the MONEY, and Bethany has a whole LOT of it to fight, and win over any natural mother .. the largest in the country means the MOST corrupt in the country..
I haven't received ANY post placement counseling,.or.did I receive one.promise that was made to me. They lied, cheated,.blamed and made many mistakes but,.like u said, its all about the MONEY, and Bethany has a whole LOT of it to fight, and win over any natural mother .. the largest in tje country means the MOST corrupt in the country..
Horrible x's a million
I was directed to a counselor who just began with Bethany!! I was newly single, jobless, and alone. I reluctantly went the adoption route, unknowing, Naive and clueless to what corruption was involved with these so called "Christian" agencies. Please, what I have learned has proven that they are trained, emotionless, coercive, money and baby hungry animals. They will use, no matter how good a mother you are or potentially can be, everything they can against you, so you do Not parent your child. Even when you are crying to them, saying you want to keep your baby, they sit back, using certain trigger words, they are trained to speak this stuff, remember, there is a lot of money on the line!! Their job, is to get you, on board, carefully and seemingly un-coercive!!
Think things are different now?? Think again. "Open adoption" is a sugar coated DECEITFUL tactic to get mothers who are hanging on the edge, to sign their baby over to the, less fortunate, richer, couples who can't conceive. It is not God that led you to these people, it is MAN, THE GREEDY, BABY STARVING MAN, that wants your child at all costs. You are NOT cared ABOUT. If they cared about you and your baby they would support your keeping him/her when you decide YOU want to parent. Instead they use scare tactics, guilt tactics, ex :"child will go to foster care if you can't decide"- "the poor adopt a couple they're going to experience such loss again".. "remember why you chose adoption to begin with the baby needs to parents"!! Do not believe them when they tell you "adoption is different now" or "you choose, all the openness you want"! It is all a lie and these counselors are trained in using keywords to get a vulnerable, temporarily in a low moment, that, I assure you will pass, pregnant women into give up her child to the paying customer!!
They do not tell you, or counsel you in the truth. Here is the real, honest truth!! THE child that is taken from its mother at birth will live a lifetime of trauma, separation anxiety, relationship problems, disconnected from his fake family, low self esteem, even possible drug abuse and even suicide. Mothers separated from their babies at birth will also suffer a LIFETIME OF TRAUMA!! Please, adoption is a last resort not a solution to a temporary problem a problem that is sure to get better, just find some support, please. They are asking you to sign papers, an irrevocable, permanent, life altering, lifetime decision, as an answer to a very temporary "problem" while you are under duress! You just had a baby, it was unplanned, you are in denial, you possibly surgery, under the influence of medication that is STILL in your system, and you are completely hormonal,emotional!! You, believe it or not, are psychologically considered unfit to make such decisions that will impact yours and your baby's life FOREVER, and they're asking you to sign away your baby, to complete strangers, for an entire lifetime because you may be at a very low temporary state!! If THEY cared about you and your baby AT ALL, THEY would NEVER EVER have you sign anything, especially THIS, at such a time..
I promise you,.You will never regret, like myself and so many other true mothers, by just taking a little extra time, with your baby, and then make your decision. The laws, the agency, multi billions dollar industry, are NOT on your side. Please, don't believe in the rainbows and butterflies they spew at you. My adoption closed immediately after finalization, only 3 months in. I was promised by Bethany, "my counselor", her boss to mediate some sort of OPENNESS and they still have failed to do that, months later, even though they are at fault, for many reasons I cant say! I promise, they LIED, they failed me and they DON'T care!! I no LONGER carry the product they desire, so I am of NO use to them. It will cost you thousands of dollars to "change your mind", they know you do not have that money to FIGHT them, otherwise you wouldn't be placing your baby up for adoption to begin with. THESE, "non profit" agencies are worth millions, there's no way you're going to win a fight against them, even if you did have the money and could find an attorney to actually take your case..
Beware of Bethany, Christian, they are not!!!!
I called Bethany "Christian" services, last night and a couple times before only to be continuously put off for the following week. They DO NOT respect the ladies who call in considering adoption. They ARE NOT truly interested in helping you decide if parenting if right for you. Now I regret deeply calling their agency and am concerned for when I have my child, as they were asking, what city are you in, and when are you due, almost before I could even introduce myself. Very scary. Pleeaase, do not do not go through with them, do NOT call them. They are PREDATORY.