Abrazo Adoption Associates
Homophobic and horrible
Would give 0 stars if I could. Refused to work with me and my husband because we "don't meet their definition of infertility." When I told the director we are gay and therefore incapable of making our own child she refused to budge. Their website says they are "people of faith." I would amend that to people of bigotry and backwardness. I pray they go out of business.
Community + Education
Some couples may be drawn to Abrazo because of their short wait time in relation to other agencies. I'll admit it was one of the first things that sparked our interest, but it shouldn't be the reason you look deeper into Abrazo. In my opinion, Abrazo excels in two key areas: supportive families who stick around to help each other, and the education that's provided to all hopeful adoptive parents about open adoption.
For those considering any agency, try to find a connection to a family who has used that agency to get a first-hand account of that family's experience. Let them tell you the pros and cons, and let that testimony help you determine whether or not the agency is the right fit for you. I would also recommend calling Abrazo and speaking with the staff to see if you click and feel you can build a rapport because receiving an agency's professional support throughout your journey is so important. Not everyone is a fit for Abrazo, and Abrazo isn't the right fit for everyone, but we have been blessed with two beautiful children and two amazing birth families by going through them and though we believe it was God's plan regardless of the agency we used, we are grateful for the expansion of our family and the friends we made along that journey.
We are not the type to harbor anger in our hearts and have no hard feelings towards this agency. We have successfully used Abrazo in the past. It wasn't until after becoming part of the family did our experience sour. On the surface, you will encounter smiles, wine and tears but lurking behind the surface is something else. In our experience, we found an exceptionally controlling Director. We could handle that. It was the lack of moral fiber and untruthfulness that causes us to rate this agency poorly.
These are trying and emotional times for adoptive families. There are many agencies with higher ratings that you should consider. Do your research. You will see there are many similar mentions that should stir some element of concern.
We do not have an axe to grind but can not in good faith say we would recommend Abrazo based on our total experience.
We are very confused.
We are trying to decide whether to go with Abrazos or go with another agency in Texas.
We have so far found the experience with Abrazos to be 'different' but they seem to know their stuff.
Any comments as are hoping to make a decision soon.
The main issue is the breakdown of their fees and the 'openness' that they push.
We are open and want a relationship but not one where we are with the birth family more than 2 or 3 times a year.
Just A Thought
When I first contacted Abrazo, I was VERY leery about what "openness" meant. My husband and I were not comfortable at all with giving intimate information about ourselves to a complete stranger. After speaking with some of the employees at Abrazo, we agreed to learn more about the open adoption process and tried to keep an open mind. I have to say that we grew so much through their orientation weekend, and the extra reading that we did ourselves. I think the biggest factor was actually hearing from some mothers who had placed. We eventually got to a place where we did feel more comfortable with openness and it ended up being the best decision we ever made, because we still have wonderful contact with our son's mother to this day! Whatever your preferences are, you have to find an agency that you are comfortable working with, and I think the agency has to know they can expect the same from their adoptive parents. I'm deeply sorry if you felt offended by how you were greeted, but maybe it was best that you were both honest about your expectations from the beginning?
Why do we have to give a star- o stars
This agency is a nightmare!!!! STAY FAR AWAY FROM THEM!!!
My husband and I decided to look into adoption after years of trying to become pregnant. We honestly didn't know what to expect, and after looking at several agencies we picked Abrazo because of their specialty in working with couples with infertility. This agency really taught us a lot about open adoption, and encouraged us to continue learning while we waited to be matched. The staff was always more than supportive if we had questions or felt confused about anything (which happened a lot as we learned more!). The wait was the hardest part, but it was all worth it once we were matched with a wonderful young lady. The experience we had with this special woman was so tremendous, especially when our son was placed with us. Because of Abrazo, we learned how to have a relationship with our son's mother that is still going strong today. This agency really expects you to be open and work with them, it isin't the right agency for everyone, but for those who put in the work the reward is priceless.
Don't call in to ask questions
I have to say I had high expectations of this agency reading reviews, however, when I called in wanting to ask some questions I was met with total rudeness. You can just tell if someone doesn't want to be bothered....that is how I felt. I have learned to trust a gut feeling and mine is not good in regards to this agency. As stated, not every agency is for everyone. I prefer to spend my money with one that I do get a warm fuzzy feeling from!! I also feel they would benefit in looking for some friendly people instead of spending so much time monitoring what is being said about them on here. I noticed how quick they are to be appauled at what is said about them. Get over it that is what this is for- for our reviews to give our opinions. And- teach your phone reps to say goodbye at the end of a conversation before hanging up on the person!!!
The grass is always greener, right?
I never thought I would be in a position to place a child for adoption, and I am betting many of you never thought you would need to adopt, but life happens and for whatever reason we find ourselves needing to place/adopt a child and we need someone to help us in that process. I have been down the road, TWICE. Go ahead, make a snap judgement, I am used to it. BUT before you write me off, hear me out. I have politely read the other comments here, and I do not choose to know or act like I am judge jury or executioner here, so please take a moment and consider having the same polite and open mind.
My first expirience was with an agency in Dallas, and for a very short time, I thought it was great... that is until I began to feel like I was only needed for the child I was carrying, and should be seen and not heard. The could I picked went from wanting a very open adoption to semi-open and once they had my sweet baby girl in their arms, they closed it down... and the agency just let it happen, even though I had been promised ao much more. I was not ever semi-pregnant, but semi-open would have been an easier pill to swallow than just shutting me out, but no one spoke to ME. Adoption Access simply said that was what "the family" wanted.... UH, HELLO! I AM FAMILY! I gave BIRTH to that child, and my preferences should matter! And, even with the anger and pain that caused, I still would never "take my baby back" because I made a commitment. I will however be there THE DAY she turns 18, with copies of every letter and attempt to reach out that I made... then it will be my daughter's wants that will determine where it goes. I pray she never hates her parents for choosing to shut me out, but I do think that the decision to should be addressed within their family, and I hope we can all be friends after that. After all, I only wanted that as I handed over a sweet faced, auburn haired bundle to two loving caring parents who had pretended to be my friend up until that moment, and very quickly broke a very fragile heart with their choice to shut me out.
Fast forward a few years, and me... I refer to myself as "fertile Myrtle" here, because I was... this is where I found myself pregnant after a very violent rape. My faith worked on me with this pregnancy and I finally decided that yes adoption was the only solution for me, and I had to find an agency because I was NOT going back to Access. After calling/meeting with several agencies, I called Abrazo in San Antonio. I spoke with a few different people on several different calls and decided their passion for openness is exactly what I needed. I did find that they could be extremely frank about what their policy was, and I did have a few conversations with Elizabeth where her concern for me outweighed her ability to 'hear' what I was saying. However, her ears did open and we have been friends for years, and she has even offered to help with the first adoption roadblocks on several occassions.
I was met in Dallas to go over my packet by a very sweet lady who was my contact for a very short time (she left the agency soon after our meeting), and I was given another very nice contact, Katherine, who spent many hours helping me find the right family for my son. I picked a family out the first 10 profiles and half dozen calls, spoke with them on the phone several times a day, they lived near me and even began coordinating a visit where they could attend my sonogram with me as we all completed paperwork and shuffled things back and forth with Abrazo. Then the bottom fell out, that family decided I wasn't a good fit for them when reality set in that it was a rape. I crumbled! Abrazo picked me up, helped me put my heart back together and got me another stack of profiles.
I picked again after several calls, I was reassured that the families ALL KNEW that it was a rape. This family did not live near me, they did want to visit and we talked each day as papers were filled out and full information s
Cathy88, Abrazo's strength
Abrazo's strength is uniting families through open adoption on behalf of the baby/child they both love.
Their adoptions are not based only on adopting family's wishes, sorry you felt this to be an arrogant response to your desires.
Open adoption requires balance... and starts with mutual respect and compassion for the first parents of any child placed.
WOULD NOT RECOMMEND ABRAZO TO MY WORST ENEMY
In early December 2009, we submitted an application (plus fee) to Abrazo. I called 3 weeks later since we hadn't heard anything and the lady I spoke with said they were reviewing our application and that we should hear something soon. On December 23rd, we received a letter from them stating, "due to your limited racial preferences, we are unable to forward our application packet at this time. We will continue to keep your inquiry on file for the next year should our placement needs change over that time." (the letter was signed by Angela Martinez) That was it. They never bothered to call us before they made a decision to discuss our application - never asked us any questions - strictly turned us down. Needless to say we were devasted - and our Christmas was ruined. On January 12, 2010, I called them to ask why we were turned down without them even showing any interest in talking with us before they made a decision. (The name the lady gave me was Capri) I also requested that they return a wedding photo I submitted with my application. I explained it was my last copy of that photo and I wanted it back since they had 2 other photos of us. She was extremely rude and copped an attitude with me. She said it clearly states on their application that information can not be returned and will be kept on file for a year. I told her we didn't expect to be turned down and that all I was asking for was that one photo. She told me I could call back in December to have it sent when my year was up. Fast forward to 12.7. I talked with Brianna. She said she would pull my file and call me back. On 12.14, I called her back and said she had my file and it was their policy to not return any information. I asked to speak with the director, Elizabeth - she took a my info to have her call. Elizabeth actually called me back, but my answering machine cut her message short. I left messages for her on 12.20, 12.21, 12.22.....FINALLY on January 10, 2011 I connected with Elizabeth. (she NEVER returned my calls) She tried to tell my they did not have my file - I said Brianna told me on 12.14 she had my file. Then she tried to tell me Brianna wasn't even working there on 12.14. It was just one lie after another. I told her Capri told me I could call back in December when my year was up to request my photo. She said they don't even have anyone that works there named Capri. Not only did they lie that they keep your file for a year, Abrazo employees give out fake names! I asked Elizabeth for a copy of my property and she said they state they do not return anything submitted. I told her she needed to do a better job at training her employees to lie because they can't get their stories straight. I am SO thankful we did not adopt with Abrazo. They can not be trusted, they are unprofessional and they judge people.
I contacted Abrazo over 15 years ago about placing my twins. I was treated with the respect I deserved. The director personally came to my home and worked with me one on one to find the right family for my children. I placed my twins in an open adoption with a wonderful family in Pennsylvania. I would recommend Abrazo to anyone that is looking to adopt and to place. If I ever needed to place again, I would put all my trust back to Abrazo!
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Horrible experience with Abrazo
I have had numerous bad experiences with the director of this agency. and would not recommend this agency AT ALL due to the attitude and actions of its director.
The staff seems to run things in an "ok" way, but the director was the however, was the deal breaker.
She seems to make up the "rules" as she goes, depending on how much you make or "contribute to the agency".
I was VERY skeptical of many of their practices, and again, it seemed that the director was "making the rules up" as she went.
I have spoken with MANY couples whom did and did not end up adopting through ABRAZO. The consensus is that if the director gets involved AT ALL in your adoption, then there is trouble to be had. It is as if she has nothing better to do with her time than "mess with people's lives". After speaking with the staff, I got the feeling they had the same view of the director. There was a noticeable "disapproval" of the director in general, but it was also obvious that they could and would do nothing about it, which, in my book, makes them just as guilty.
I do believe in COMPLETELY open adoption, and agree with their stand on this and only this, however, the director seems to feel that having contact with the agency afterwards, and contributing to the agency monitarily afterwards, is more important than having an open relationship with your birthmother, period.
The director is constantly asking for money to be donated to the agency. Im not sure what this money is actually used for, because we donated to the birthmother account and then ABRAZO refused to help fund our birthmother's travel to the annual reunion. What are they doing with the funds if they arent using them for the birthmothers as promised?????
I am VERY leery of the agency's use of funds. The staff complained about not having money and being a nonprofit organization, and yet the staff continually takes extravagant trips, even several trips to international locations "for educational purposes" when they dont even do international adoption!!!
I have no doubt that its a matter of time before licensing gets wise and shuts this agency down, or at least the board of directors (which was apparently hand picked by the director herself) decides that enough is enough and removes the director from her position so that the agency can actually run as it should and not be burdened by the director and her inappropriate/unethical ways.
Did I adopt there? Yes.
Would I adopt there again? Not if the director is still there. Its just not worth the heartache she caused.
My advise to others looking to adopt? Go elsewhere. ANYWHERE ELSE. Adopt open. Remember, even "closed" agencies are as open as you make them, its your decision. If you want an open relationship with your birthmom, then YOU make it happen. An adoption works best when the agency takes as little role as possible, and leaves the relationship to birthmom and adoptive family.
This director wants to "play God" and be in the middle of everything and "mess with" as many lives as she can, in whatever way she wants to on that day. Its ridiculous.
I love my daughter, but I just wish the first part of her story wasnt so "tainted" by the emotional and financial abuse from this agency and its director.
Will NEVER use ABRAZO again
My husband and I came to Abrazo two years ago with high hopes and excited hearts toward an open adoption relationship with a birth-mom. We were also eager to have a great relationship with our agency. We were matched with a birth-mom very quickly, and we fell IN LOVE with this lovely young lady! We visited her several times before the baby was born, and developed a wonderful relationship that is strong to this day. Our baby was born, with us right there, and we will never forget such a beautiful day and such a wonderful experience.
Abrazo did a wonderful thing when they gave this girl our profile to consider. But after they matched us we received VERY LITTLE guidance or encouragement from our agency. We did EVERYTHING they asked of us including homework, classes, workshops, visiting our birth-mom three times before the baby was born (and we lived 1000 miles away!!), and yet we always felt completely unsupported by our agency. We paid everything on time, and even had a surplus in our account, yet we still could not please the director. There was little to no communication from our agency, even though we had to mail in monthly homework, updates, etc...we never heard from them.
We had charges on our bill that were invalid, but we had to pay them anyway. There were no receipts to shown to us to prove any expenses, there were many miscellaneous charges listed that could not be disputed, and when we asked why, we were belittled for not "trusting our agency after all they had done for us."
We never got answers, and because of our questions, our finalization got delayed for months and months even though our birthmom was completely happy and our social worker was recommending our finalization immediately. WE were being "punished" for not being "on board" with the agency. However, when you are paying $20,000-$30,000 in adoption expenses and trip costs, you feel like you have a right to know where your money is going. We never received a refund for the money we were owed, and still had to pay for hundereds of unexplained "miscellaneous" fees.
Since our experience, we have talked to over 12 other couples from Abrazo and have found that MOST of them have also had similar experiences. Many, many unexplained charges, feeling disliked by the agency staff, feeling like you cannot ask questions for fear you might make the director angry, many delayed finalizations for no legal reasons (except that the director felt like delaying it), demands placed on you to visit your birthmom in order to finalize (which is NOT legally required), and having a very difficult time getting back the money in the escrow account after finalization. (You are required to keep a balance of $3,000 at all times....we had even more than that.)
We have a wonderful relationship with our birthmom, and have the best baby ever!! We would go through the hell that we suffered again to get our wonderful child.....but we will not ever use Abrazo again, and we could NEVER recommend it to anyone--friend or stranger.
Abrazo has a forum where you can chat and get wonderful advice from other adoptive parents. We always felt very loved and supported by the other parents...but never the agency. (In fact, our birth-mom told us that when she attended the few support meetings that she did go to, that even the director talked badly about the adoptive parents.....) We were warned during the orientation by several returning Abrazo couples that we should NEVER cross the director, NEVER write anything on the forum that was negative, NEVER question a charge, NEVER write anything in a personal message on the forum (because the director would read those too), and NEVER ask about finalization....because it would be delayed on purpose because you asked.
We rolled our eyes at their comments. Surely it would not be THAT bad.....besides, they were REPEAT adoptive parents through Abrazo....
But it WAS that bad.....and we saw things happen to adoptive fr