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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!
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...
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.
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.
Courtney, I have a story to tell, too. Mine happened 23 years ago in Texas. Many agencies are just like Bethany or worse. Mine was. My experience was horrific and I was manipulated into a fraudulent open adoption then cut completely out of my child's life. It nearly destroyed my life.
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!
Have had several good experiences with Bethany in the Philadelphia region.
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.
They have lied so many times it seems, and our situation is no diffrent. They lied several times and because of the lies and deliquent actions we had to give our daughter back to the birth mother. We had the priviledge to see our daughter born and was with her the moment she first gave breath, we lost her four months later.
Bethany Christian Services are not acting any better legal matters either. They are still refusing that they are not to blame for the loss of our daughter. They are a horrible company and should go out of business.
No rating for them as they were horrible.
We have had nothing but terrible experiences with them. Our worker is overloaded with cases. She tells us one thing and then changed it and the next thing you know she's upset about something. She doesn't always send in inquiries on the kids when she says she is. She does not allow you to work with the state website and advocates. She requests that they not do any inquiries neither do you.
As a whole the entire process feels wrong. The classes are geared for foster parents and not those that only are looking into adoption. They portray the state as needing families when in fact there are many more waiting families than children. They portray the process as quick and timely and I quote "the average time to have a child in your home is six months from the start of classes." So far it has not worked that way. We were told that our worker would be looking at the waiting children for us and helping to find us a match and she did that one time months after we had been pushing her. She does not keep up with the state photolistings as I have been the one to inform her that children we are looking into have been placed already!
Bethany was once respectable but I believe they have gotten greedy and have taken on too many cases. They need more workers and better services.
As a birthmother, I am so happy for you and your reunion! I placed my daughter in a closed adoption through Bethany in 1990. We connected on Facebook several years ago, and although we haven't met face to face yet, it is wonderful to have a window into her world. If you would be interested in an online support group for birthmoms, with women in all sorts of situations (open, closed, reunited, hopeless, etc.) let me know!
We have adopted twice from Bethany, once in 2001 and once in 2009. The 2009 adoption was a special needs 5 year old with visual impairment, elevated lead levels, latent TB, and behavioral problems. Bethany helped us through both adoptions and their aftermaths. They spent huge amounts of time with us and provided many resources. We always felt that their first and only concern was for these children (both Chinese and abandoned) and for our family. They work very hard setting up programs to reach those children most in need both in the U.S. and overseas.
Bethany did everything they could to expedite our special needs adoption because treatment was needed before the age of six or so to address her visual impairment or the brain would lose the plasticity to benefit from the treatment. Bethany also provided us with special classes, contacts, material, and advice.
I feel for those on this site who believe they had a poor experience with Bethany and I don't doubt their word... but remember, Bethany is one of the largest adoption agencies in the world. Research shows that people with bad experiences will be hundreds of times more motivated to tell others about the bad experience than people with good experiences. With so Bethany serving so many people and children, just a few bad experiences will skew any rating system.
We have seen Bethany in action for a decade now and know dozens (hundreds, really) of people who have had excellent experiences with them. To any of you who have had problems with Bethany... take heart, and know that the people I know of at Bethany at least take your comments seriously and are always trying to improve and do the best they can for everyone involved in the adoption experience. They are stepping up foster care programs, they are improving their programs for biological parents, and they are always developing new reach out to the many lost children throughout the world. If you are led to adopt, you will find them ethical and caring. They are committed only to one thing, improving the lives of children, parents, and families.
I am not surprised. i have never used them for adoption but for the councilling and shrink. They would repeatedly change my kids appointments with out telling me or even asking if it was ok. they booted us from our choice time, because there was a family that could only get there during that time by bus and we did not use the public bus service. What does that have to do with anything, we do not have any other days or times available for the services. Between mine, my hubby's and the kids schedules, there is no time other then where we were. After 2 yrs of having to make my kids miss1 day a week for services, I told them I would not take them out of school one more time and that they will have to schedule us in the evening. This seems to be a problem for them. Is it that I am not letting them have control of when we come and do not come?? is it because I refuse to disrupt my kids education anymore? I do feel that they are very disorganized and need to learn to work with each employees and clients schedules better and be able to show all charges and progress at any point in any situation there. if I walked in there right now and said that i would like a run down of my child's charges, account balance, what has and has not been paid by the insurance and i would like to see the progress notes: there is no way they can do this. this all should be consolidated and in specific places but it is not. This is a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.
I feel so bad for all of you for the pain and suffering you and the children have gone through. Our family is clients of Bethany due to the fact that I am adopting my step daughter and my hubby is adopting my middle daughter. But at this point, I want to close the services and go else where. Three years ago, we took custody of my husbands youngest child, she has been abused in every way and is a very volatile child. We immediately were referred to Bethany for "home councilling" That was a crock. Every time we had interaction with the councilor, she twisted our words. We finally were able to get rid of her and get someone new. My step daughter did not seem to open to this guy, so we asked for the services to be changed to the office. The lady she had was a great person inside and I think ethically but I do not see any improvement at all. The behavior has escalated to the point where both my husband and I are waiting for her to try to kill either one of us or one of my children. She has verbalized that the only way she will be happy is if my kids were dead and it was just her, me and dad. To me, this a warning and a cry for help. How long will she tolerate being just part of the family before she resorts to something more drastic in order to become the ONLY one? She has taken scissors to the neck of a boy at school and tried to stab another with a pencil. Just yesterday, she came at my youngest daughter/her half sister, trying to choke her. I think that the issue of her half sister is very touchy one for her. She was conceived in an effort to push my daughter out of my hubbys life. Her due date was even my daughters. But there are so many differences between them and not one single thing that is like their father, at least where she is concerned. But my daughter, is a female version of her father. Right down to the stutter and OCD with his socks. We try to not make any mention of these or let anyone else, because when it happens, she gets so angry that she will break anything in her hands or what ever she may be doing will suffer negatively. So in short, she is acutely aware of these differences and extremely upset by them .
I am seeing anxiety issues in both myself and my husband. My hands are always shaking and I can not keep food down most the time anymore. She needs help but where to find it is the question of the century for us.
I pray everyday for it to be a good day for her. At least when she has good days, no one has to deal with the negative behavior and be put through the wringer. We are emotionally exhausted almost every night.
If anyone has any resources on places to find help, please let me know.
It was very clear with the medical professionals in my daughter's case that her birth mother was placing her for adoption too. Our social worker would have never told her to lie about it.
We used Bethany for an international adoption. We started with them with the intention of a China older/special needs adoption. While we did end up in Taiwan with another agency, Bethany continued to be our Home study agency. Our social worker, Sarah, was awesome and after switching to complete the adoption to another agency, I realized just how special she was. I always received prompt return phone calls and answers to all of my questions. When I switched agencies, I was supported 100% by Sarah, who ended up helping me more than the new agency did, because they never got back to me in a timely manner.
I read some of the above comments, and it is quite obvious that which office and social worker you work with makes a huge difference! I would not hesitate to use the Holland office and Sarah again. I guess you have to look at each review per office and not necessarily judge them on an entire agency basis.
We connected with Bethany after visiting the orphanages they support in Europe in the 1990s. Everyone of the locals that worked with the orphanage sang the praises of Bethany. After being a medical professional for almost twenty years I appreciated the thoroughness of Bethany's information gathering, recommnedations, and training process. We were open to all kinds of adoption options. Not one person we met out of two branch offices, or spoke with on the phone at their MICHIGAN headquarters (note to moderator address not correct for corporate office) MADE a decision for us, they encouraged us to pray and prayed with us. We chose to adopt an international SN child. We are now adopting our second through them. Their pricing is quite disclosed on their website and is comparable to others that post. We chose an organization that has been around for many years and appreciate the fact that they support children no matter where they are, they are not trying to find children for families, but rather families for children. When I brought up the discussion of contacting the first mother more than one person encouraged us to do so!
We were foster-to-adopt parents directly with our state for two years and we had many issues with communication, follow through and unrealistic expectations. We appreciated Bethany's caring, professionalism and communication after our dealings with the government! We feel our SW is an integral part of our success as a family and have enjoyed her support and help for almost two years now!
We are now pursing a second SN adoption through them, a child we connected with and they are gracious and insightful to help us bring them home even though they were not on their COP list!
I think Bethany is one of the best comprehensive agencies around- there is a flat fee for all adoptive parents in most offices, our office used a sliding scale based on income. So I liked that there weren't different fees for adoptions based on race/ethnicity.
And, they provide the most counseling, of other agencies, in my opinion. And, their training classes for adoptive parents are very good. Some of the smaller agencies we looked at just don't have the capacity to provide much of the above.
We were pleased with how comprehensive their programs are, and how they continue to offer support to the adoptive family after the adoption is over.
The Bethany New England office far exceeded our expectations! We appreciated the prayer that went into our adoptions & the personal attention given to our family, as well as the openness to our adopted children sending pictures and/or notes to their files (in case birth parents desire some information later in their lives). We also appreciate that birth families have the ability to add information to the files if they would like to (health issues, birth family updates, notes to children, desire for contact).
We were able to adopt three times with Bethany New England; each situation was different, but Bethany handled every adoption with Christian caring & professionalism.
We also had the opportunity to talk with a birth mom who was in the process of making a decision about parenting or making an adoption plan for her baby. We specifically asked her if she was being pressured to place her baby with an adoptive family & she responded that there was no pressure from Bethany to choose adoption rather than parenting herself & told us some of the input she had received from Bethany about both options. It was pretty clear that she was not being told that placing her baby for adoption was the best or only choice.
We also developed a friendship with a woman who we later found out had been counseled by Bethany when pregnant. She verified that there was no pressure on her to place her baby with an adoptive family & received counseling from the agency after giving birth & choosing to parent herself.
We would definitely recommend Bethany Christian of New England for adoptive parents and birth mothers. Another positive note: the interim care families our children lived with for a time were also wonderful!
Warning: Don't allow yourself to play the "Chrisitian" card - we did and our experience was regrettable, to say the least. Wished we had done our homework, on the front end vs. falling into the pratfall of choosing the Christian Organization. Should have ran from these folks!!!! Plenty of Conference Calls to handle issues with no action/results on their part! On their advice, we hired a lawyer ($4,000) to acquire apostile for our marriage license and as soon as we received document they informed us that we didn't need this - should have flushed the 4 Grand down the toilet!! At any point where we ran into "Roadblocks" within the process they pushed it off on us to resolve - had to hire a private attorney to navigate the marriage license fiasco and check up on their progress. Very little communication from St. Louis office to Home office or within Home office. Very little support thrpughout the process!!! THINK TWICE PRIOR TO UTILIZING BETHANY - ST. LOUIS!!!!!!!!!!!
We were very happy with our experience with Bethany Christian Services. In the realm of international adoption, we found them to be ethical, organized, and efficient.
In the country from which we adopted, they have a wonderful reputation with the US Embassy and the government itself.
I would recommend this agency to anyone, especially after hearing horror stories about some other agencies that specialize in IA.
We adopted from China when the time frames just started to get out of control. We applied in January 2005 and it took 2 months of repeated attempts on my part to make sure we were going to get approval of our application. We had to attend an informational meeting before beginning homestudy, but these meetings are only held 2 times per year!! Good thing I pushed to get our application approved in April or we would have had to wait until October to even think about what country to adopt from. Our homestudy took forever, as our SW was slow as molasses. We called several times to find out if she was done yet. This held up out 171H form and delayed our dossier going to China by almost 2 months. When our dossier was finally sent in August, we didn't get a log-in-date until October 2005. A huge difference considering folks with an August LID got their referrals in December 2006 and we got ours in April 2007! The wait for a referral was only 6-8 months when our dossier was sent and then it just started to lengthen, through no fault of Bethany's - but not once did our SW call or email us about the change. If we had not been online and informing ourselves, we would have called our SW 6-8 months after LID and asked when we would be getting our referral. As the wait grew to 18 months, we were never called to see how we were doing. I even had to call her to get info on renewing our 171H, getting refingerprinted, and updating our homestudy since they all expired during the wait. Bethany DID take great care of us IN China - 5 stars! But post-placement is another story. I had to email our SW to let her know we were home and in need of our first visit and again for our 6 month visit. I friend of ours who also adopted with BCS has been home over a year and has only had their initial home visit. They refuse to contact BCS to set up the 6 month or 12 month since BCS's own paperwork says that they will be the responsible party and schedule the appointments. We did PAY them for these services already and aren't receiving them unless we call and demand it. I know others have great sw's in other states, but ours is awful! We won't be using them again for any future adoptions.