Americans for African Adoptions Inc

Americans for African Adoptions Inc

 
3.6 (20)
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8910 Timberwood Drive, Indianapolis IN 46234, US

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3.6  (20)
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Rating 
 
5.0

Ethical Director

As an adopted child and prospective family of this agency I can humbly and honestly vouch for AFAA. There is always uncertainty in adoption and not all employees can be 100% vetted, especially in African countries were corruption is rampant. That is the risk in adoption, and you must realize that going in. However, if you want an agency not motivated by profit and a highly integral managing director then AFAA is a great place to find it! I am forever grateful to Cheryl and the agency and look forward to starting my very own adoption process!

-AdoptedAngel

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Rating 
 
5.0

Ethical Director

As an adopted child and prospective family of this agency I can humbly and honestly vouch for AFAA. There is always uncertainty in adoption and not all employees can be 100% vetted, especially in African countries were corruption is rampant. That is the risk in adoption, and you must realize that going in. However, if you want an agency not motivated by profit and a highly integral managing director then AFAA is a great place to find it! I am forever grateful to Cheryl and the agency and look forward to starting my very own adoption process!

-AdoptedAngel

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Rating 
 
1.0

Proceed cautiously

This agency has had serious ups and downs; the director is a long-time agency director of good intentions. Do her good intentions always flow to the far reaches of her far-flung programs? Do her staff-people always uphold an ethical standard the director would like them to maintain? Regarding this agency, be sure to do your homework; talk to parents in-process in the country's program you're considering and to parents who have left the agency. What's happening IN COUNTRY? who's running things IN COUNTRY? who will communicate with you FROM THE CHILD'S COUNTRY? are important considerations here. Are children's paperwork and documents complete--are the children legally free for adoption--before they are referred to waiting families? Good intentions, wonderful promises; but it's crucial that do you homework into all agencies you're considering if you expect your results to resemble your hopes.

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Rating 
 
1.0

AFAA should be closed...

Our family initiated the process to adopt a child through AFAA in August, 2007. At that time, we entered AFAA's Ethiopian program. We were provided a time frame of 18-24 months for completion of the adoption. The Executive Director of AFAA subsequently contacted our family at the beginning of 2008 and encouraged us to enter AFAA's Uganda program. At that time, she provided a time frame of 9-12 months to complete the adoption. As we continued to make monthly payments to AFAA without any evidence of progress, we began to question whether the alleged activities were truly occurring. We were reassured on multiple occasions by the Executive Director that our case was progressing in Uganda. In the spring of 2010, we began to ask more frequent questions about the obvious lack of progress in our case. We were again reassured that all was well in Uganda and urged to keep sending money. We began to press harder with our questions. The Executive Director then informed us that the Ugandan lawyer had quit because we were asking questions. In the summer of 2010, members of fellow adoptive families traveled to Uganda to investigate the situation. None of the required work regarding our cases had been completed. The lawyer stated that he had not been paid per his agreement with AFAA. At our insistence, payment was finally made, and court dates were granted for our case. We traveled to Uganda in September 2009 to find the situation in utter chaos. Our case was held at the US Embassy pending investigation. This USCIS investigation lasted approximately six months. Following the investigation, USCIS denied our prospective adoptive son's visa based on AFAA "knowingly and admittedly" committing fraud in preparing the paperwork for our child. The boy that had been referred to us was not an orphan. AFAA and/or its representatives had prepared false documentation to make it appear as though this child's biological parents were deceased. To our knowledge, judgment has been granted to two similarly situated families in South Dakota and Michigan in suits against AFAA alleging fraud and breach of contract. Our family will be filing suit in the near future, as AFAA's actions have led us to expend approximately $40,000 in pursuit of a fraudulent international adoption.

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Rating 
 
5.0

An Ethical Agency

Americans for African Adoptions agency is one of the most ethical agencies I have found. In addition to adopting out of Ethiopia, Uganda and Liberia, this agency has a humanitarian presence in several African countries where adoption is not possible yet. Their new program in Uganda is only the start of adoptions there, but previous to this AFAA has sponsored Ugandan children for health-care and education for decades.

AFAA is a small agency, but you can count on them to be completely ethical in the adoption process. Cheryl, the director, is tough and capable and has a lot invested in Africa. She loves the children and her motivation is their well-being above everything else. This agency is a wonderful place to contribute if you want to get your money to the places where it will do the most good, and you know that the children you bring home in adoption were not obtained in any shady or unethical ways.

This agency is my first choice of all adoption agencies out of Ethiopia.

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Rating 
 
5.0

As ethical as they can get!

We have done both of our adoptions with AFAA and we are very pleased! We had a lot of similar issues that others have had, BUT WE ARE DEALING WITH A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. You have to take that in account before you decide to adopt from Africa and we felt like it was worth it.
We are now considering starting our third adoption with their agency. We love how this agency is all heart and how their number one focus is on the children. Some people apparently need their hand held, but we would rather them focus their time towards the children. You will not find a more ethical agency to adopt from.

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Rating 
 
5.0

EthioAdopt

EthioAdopt is not the best place to find out about AFAA. There are two families on this list who had difficulty bringing their kids home, and have turned and blamed the agency for this failure... they speak up a lot on this list, and it gives an inflatedly negative picture of this agency. I dropped off this list because of the tendency of the moderator to bad mouth afaa and its director. Also, there are flame wars almost every week about some topic or another. I found this very distressing as a potential adoptive parent. I'd suggest sticking with your personal agency's yahoo lists.

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Rating 
 
4.0

AFAA

We adopted from Liberia through AFAA. African adoptions are not like US adoptions, or even like countries with a more stable adoption process. It is a daunting thing, full of delays and changes at the last minute. Most of these delays and changes are outside of the realm of control of the agency and I feel they get unfairly blamed, in many cases. Communication between the US and a third world country is always spotty. Cellphone connection is bad. When my husband was in-country, I had a hard time calling in on his international phone, but he was able to call out.

Our adoption went very smoothly, following the "target timeframe" and most importantly, our children were well cared for, while the process was going on, and were prepared and eager to join our family. Their adjustment has been smoother than we had any right to expect and I believe much of this is owed to the care they received at the AFAA foster home.

AFAA does have a few things they could work on, communication being one of them and having reliable staff in-country is another. I know they are working on both of these. Still, the staff was always helpful and friendly. They never made me feel like I was being a bother by calling to see if they "knew anything yet."

If we were to adopt again, we would use AFAA.

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Rating 
 
1.0

AFAA is one of the worst mistakes you can make

AFAA has a tendency to start new programs in new countries, get families excited about the kids they have been referred, then pull out of the country or take several years in bringing them home.

The agency will not keep you posted with any current information, get used to hearing, "if there was anything new to report you would have heard it"

They have terrible record keeping, you files will get lost in the process, only to be found weeks later.

Your personal information will be share publically on the internet if you ever do anything the agency deems as "bad" or "questionable" Things like asking for updates on your adoption will get you on this list.

Your children will also come home with many issues from teh caretakers in the agency run care house. An irrational fear of having to go to the bathroom at night, because the "devil will take you to hell if you get out of bed after you are put in bed" being just the tip of the iceburg.

People will shout how ethical they are, but as one who has gone from an American family looking into Africa, to an American family inside of Africa, they are just as questionable in many regards as any other agency you hear of. Their reputation is bad in the US and in Africa, they just never actually step over the line thus they continue to carry on unstopped.

You want to see the true agency and not the propaganda from here go to the yahoo groups and join EthiopiaAdopt. Doing a quick search there will show you just what kind of behavior you can expect from this agency. Please note that it may appear that things have gotten beetter, but know that AFAA has simply been put on moderation, all of their comments must now be approved by the forum owners, thus the personal attack, personal information, and other such behavior is simply now not allowed onto the public forum.

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Rating 
 
1.0

Delays Delays

I chose not to pursue an adoption with this agency. After no phone calls or acknowledgement of my application for approximately 45 days, I decided to cancel my adoption plan and looked for another agency. I recommend you have a lot of patience if you go with this agency.

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Rating 
 
5.0

AFAA brings Angels home

I have adopted 4 children with AFAA's assistance. Their fees for adoption are the lowest and they deal exclusively with African children. Their experience is as long or longer than any other American agency placing children from Africa. I have been to their office and have seen how frugally they operate. There are people who have not been pleased with their experiences. I am not a client who requires constant hand-holding and reassurances. I understood from the outset that it would be a lengthy process and that the operations of third world governments would not always resemble what I have come to expect from the American system. The director Cheryl was always honest with me and if it took her a day or so to respond to my queries I chaulked that up to the fact that she is pretty much a one woman show and I didn't always assume that my issues were going to be number one on her priority list. When there was something with one of my cases that really needed immediate action she was right with me leading the way, providing all the information I needed to move through the issue to resolution. I have dealt with other agencies in my adoptions both domestically and internationally (AFAA has handled all of my African adoptions and always will). Some of the other agencies I have worked with are huge institutions with multiple staff assigned to assist with the various phases of the adoption journey. If that is what you want, then AFAA is not for you. If you want an agency that you can trust will never pay a bribe, will work to get the older kids and kids who have special needs home (not just healthy infants and toddlers), will not charge you country fees, will flex with changing requirements in the third world countries in which they work, and will bring you home the children you want to love and raise, then give AFAA a call. I waited years before I called and then in the course of 3 years I adopted 4 children in 3 "batches". AFAA was the perfect fit for me and if I choose to adopt from Africa again I can't imagine doing so with any other agency than AFAA.

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Rating 
 
5.0

AFAA is excellent

AFAA has been excellent before, during, and after the adoption process. Cheryl Carter-Shotts, the founder and managing director, deeply cares about all the children she places. Care at the AFAA houses is excellent, especially when seen within the context of each African country in which the houses are located. We had all the necessary information as soon as Cheryl got it.
Cheryl has been a steady advocate for African orphans since she first founded AFAA. When CNN wants to speak with an expert on African adoption, they turn to her. My kids got a real kid out of seeing their "auntie Sherrie" on TV!
We highly recommend this agency

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Rating 
 
5.0

I would use AFAA again in a heartbeat

I adopted my son via AFAA when there were only 2 other agencies licensed in Ethiopia. Cheryl is a dynamic individual who does this from the heart. I would recomend them to people who are adopting from Africa. She keeps cost low so that adoption is an option for those who otherwise may not be able to afford it. This isnt about money for her its about bringing familes together and giving kids who may not be reunited with a forever family a chance. She has been licensed in Ethiopia since 1986 and also does adoptions from Liberia. Sponsorships programs also in several African countries

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Rating 
 
1.0

AFAA takes private disputes public

AFAA doesn't seem to get along with lots of their clients. They keep arguing with them on the Ethiopia Adopt board and share confidential information. They forward messages without permission. If you are having problem with them you may find that they publicly put you down. Cheryl (the director) has been permanently moderated on Ethiopia Adopt for her behavior. They charge like $350/mo for foster care fees (2 kids). Excuse me??? This is one of the poorest countries in the world and this is more than entire families make a month or even over several months. Just where exactly does that money go? Clearly not all of it goes to child support or those kids would be living in palaces. They can't seem to process lots of their adoptions in a timely manner and so the adoption becomes much more expensive than most agencies due to these foster support fees. Most agencies do not charge you support fees.

Their communication is not good and if you complain about them you then have problems. It isn't safe to complain. They make your private information public both on their own board and on the big Ethiopian adopt board, they trash you and recruit families to trash you if you are unhappy with them.

Oh I almost forgot - they keep pushing their happy clients to flood the market with priase whenever someone wants information about them.

This is an agency you either love or hate. There is very little in between. In the on going poll on Ethiopia adopt they have the most number and highest percentage of clients who would not reccommend them.

Based on what others have said about some agencies there are better agencies out there that are both better and cheaper. I will never use them again. In retrospect I wish we had made another choice of agency. While we did complete the adoption and some people are happy with them, their behavior is such that I would prefer never to have to deal with them again. When I adopt more children I will use a different agency.

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Rating 
 
1.0

Not Recommended

We can not recommend this agency although our lovely children were adopted through this agency. We were very frustrated with the lack of communication and rudeness of the director, Cheryl, when we asked direct questions. There is a point between bluntness and rudeness and she went well beyond that. We were also lied to and had many "misinformations" and things that she "didn't know about our son's medical issues until just recently" (as in when they were home!). We later found out that there is no accountability for the money that we donated for a new well in her Liberian orphanage. We felt that there was no help other than to get our money, keep us from knowing unethical things and then to silence us when we began to talk with others about our experience.

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