Dove Adoptions International
Fraudulent, negligent, an absolute nightmare that we are still living!
We adopted from Sierra Leone in 2004. No due diligence got us saddled with an 8 y/o girl whose father essentially 'sold' her, using Dove as a conduit. We were given a falsified death certificate for the child's mother, and the 'orphanage director' was the child's uncle. What we got out of it: a confused child who was taken away from her birth mother, brother and grandmother. She has been depressed and anxious since day one. We have spent thousands of dollars on therapy. She performed poorly in school, threw away chances of college scholarships, got into drugs and is now living in a trailer in the desert with no electricity and a pot dealer boyfriend. and 7 dogs She is pregnant, unemployed, and can't understand why we aren't "more supportive" of the whole deal. Her boyfriend is a bipolar maniac who is verbally abusive to her, as well as my husband and myself, which is why we won't allow him near our property. They only contact us if they want money.
When we let LaDonna at Dove know that this child wasn't an 'orphan' and that she had a real mother who was very much alive, she was very dismissive. "Oh, over there they think of everybody as their uncle or auntie, or whatever." Like, so what?!! I said, "well it doesn't matter either way, this kid misses her real mother, or whoever that person is, and she's very depressed." This child never had a chance in hell of bonding with us, and she resents us to this day for taking her away from her family. Intellectually she knows that we were just trying to do a good thing, but it remains fact that she doesn't think of us as her family.
To top it off, it was revealed in therapy that as a 5 year-old, she was playing in the yard in Sierra Leone with a friend. This was during the brutal civil war, one reason we were trying to get a child out of that area, that, plus the whole female circumcision thing. At any rate, the two small girls were playing when rebel soldiers came into the yard and shot her friend dead in front of her. They turned the gun on her, and then somebody recognized her as the police chief's daughter, so they spared her life. But can you imagine what that would do to a 5 y/o child's psyche? The kid would never feel safe in the world again!
Dove didn't have lawyers then to assist, which is part of the problem, and communication was limited. I realize that with adoption, especially an older child, there are inherent risks, as they will come with some baggage. But believe me, had Dove been a little more diligent in finding out the child's real background, we wouldn't be lugging all these suitcases today. It has been nothing but a nightmare and a heartache. We ruined a little girl's life, with Dove's help, and they laughed all the way to the bank.
Our daughter has since found her older brother, cousin and mother on Facebook, since SL is coming up in the world. We would love nothing more than to put her on a plane back to her real family, but she's 20 now, and can do what she wants. Evidently what she wants is to ruin her life further, and now there's going to be an unfortunate baby dragged into it. It just gets worse and worse.
If You Care About Ethics, Don't Use Dove
If I could rate this agency a zero, I would. The adoption director and agency's attorney lied to me on multiple occasions. Communication was abysmal. When I got back home with my child, the agency tried to get me to sign a gag order to prevent me from telling what they did to me while I was in country fighting to get my daughter home. If you want more info, reply with your email and I'll fill you in on the rest.
There are better agencies out there
Not at all impressed with Dove or their Ethiopia program (or the employees- Tami or Kari.) We found that information was hard to come by and we wondered if they made things up at times.
I know that many families have experienced issues with their adoptions and questioned the motives of the Dove employees and the health of their children. Some major issues, some minor issues in all fairness. We would not use them again and do not recommend them to others when they ask.
Would definitely use them again!
My husband and I were one of Dove's pioneer families for their Ethiopia program. We brought home 2 children August 2005 and our process took just over 5 months to complete. We had an excellent experience and would not hesitate to use them if we were to adopt again.
In response to the previous poster I would like to defend myself. I am that "glowing reference" that is friends with the worker at Dove. We went thru our process together and brought home our children within months of each other. We both brought home young children that were very close in age and have alot in common other than our adoption. Over the last 3 years we have become very close friends and keep in contact by phone. We live over an hour away from each other and are not neighbors. I am very upset by the assumption that I am only a "good reference" because of my friendship with a Dove employee. I am very open when I talk to people that I am a friend with an employee at Dove and that I am still in contact with people at Dove. I love the fact that I can call my agency and still ask questions even though our process ended over 2 1/2 years ago.
I am happily a reference for Dove because we had a wonderful experience but I can honestly say I rarely get a call or email asking about our experience as Dove has many other references that have had a great experience.
We used Dove in 2006- and would not reccomend them to other families. As their program grows, so do the problems with this agency. They did NOT provide us with much information, and when they did it appeared to be misinformation. They have severed many relationships in the process of trying to look like the best and most affordable out there...They talk a good talk but when issues arise, they are nowhere to be found. We had some issues that they never delt with. We had to get other professionals involved. I question their integrity and concern for children in general.
One of their glowing "reference" families is an employee and another is her friend/neighbor.
Ethiopia Program- GREAT EXPERIENCE!!!
We had a great experience with DOVE. I would highly recommend them to anyone interested in adoption from Ethiopia.
We used Dove to bring home our (then) 10 month old daughter in Spring of 2007. Our process was remarkably smooth--we had left another agency 8 months into the process and started over with Dove. We had a bad experience with the first agency and our experience with Dove was completely opposite (smooth, easy..). Everyone knew exactly who we were when we called, they helped me deal with the wait when I know I was getting annoying and asking them questions they didn't have answers to, fees were all up front, they supported our decision to have an international adoption clinic review our referral (and provided every single piece of extra information we requested in 2 days time..), our in country experience was beyond amazing, they provided us with every lab report, chest xray, doctor's note, etc. taken on our daughter while she was in their care (our pediatrician, who specializes in international adoption, has never seen such complete medical records--after seeing our file from Ethiopia, he and his wife decided to adopt from Ethiopia for their next adoption) and they've been there for us ever since we've been home (9 months now). They've checked in on us to just chat and they've been extremely helpful through the readoption/validation, SS card and passport application process. My questions submitted via email are usually answered within an hour. I'm not sure that we'll adopt again (I think our family is complete), but if we do, we'll definitely go back to Ethiopia and we'll definitely use Dove. Their professionalism and process makes us feel 100% comfortable with adopting an older child next time (if there is a next time), even though we never would have considered that in the past.
Great Adoption Experience
We used Dove for our Ethiopia adoption this past spring (2007). We had a wonderful experience with them. They were very helpful through the WHOLE process. They answered all our questions or concerns. Our family is now complete but if we were to adopt again we would use Dove for the adoption. They truly care about the families that they work with. Their support staff & attorney in Ethiopia are great. Upon returning home Dove provided us with detailed packet of information on readoption and steps to take in obtaining citizenship etc.
We would highly recommend Dove!
We had a wonderful experience with Dove and will use them again for our next Ethiopian adoption. They were wonderful and very helpful throughout our whole process. We were never pressured to accept a referral and were actually encouraged to get medical advice before accepting our referral. Dove was a great agency to work with and I would highly recommend them.
I have to agree with the previous poster Beware of the person telling their Horror story. Remember it is only one side of the story and there is more to the story than they are telling.
I think that people need to
I think that people need to stop reading the Adoption blogs and horror stories and focus on their own adoption. I think the root of the problem here is one family in particular hunts for potential Dove families and then blindsides people by telling them their horror story. I was hunted down by this family and told their story, after some further research, I found that the family left out a LOT of information. I am in the process of adopting with DOVE and they have been there for me every step of the way. I have confidence in Dove.
I've been contemplating all morning what to say in my review. First of all, I agree with everything the previous person said, word for word. We signed w/ them in Sept of 06 and came home with our baby in Aug of 07. We had very little problems with them in process - they charged what they said, they helped w/ paperwork. With them, you do have to have your 171-H (USCIS approval) before your dossier is complete. That can mean you are waiting on it to send your dossier. There are other agencies that you do not have to have your 171-H before your dossier goes to Ethiopia. That may or may not make a difference to some people.
Although we didn't have major problems with them, we most likely won't be using them if/when we bring home #2. They were great at giving us answers to pacify us during the wait - answering our questions/whines without really answering them. They have provided ZERO contact or help since we've been home except for one short phone call the week we arrived home. We get reminders of when our post placements are due, and that's it. We had some minor green card issues, and I called them for help. They basically said "sorry, hope you get it figured out". They have been no help with dealing with all the paperwork that happens after you come home - immigration and social security.
I don't know what their wait time is running now, but we were told an average of 16-18 weeks for referral and received it in 14 weeks. The Ethiopian coordinator did keep us informed as to when our papers were court ready, medical test results, etc.
Dove's in country lawyer and drivers are wonderful. We had such a great time with them! They bent over backwards for us, and I know they do the same for other families. We stayed in the agency guest house and our meals were covered in the price of $1000 for the week. It was expensive, but we really don't have any regrets. You are free to stay wherever you want while in Ethiopia - guest house, hotel, etc. I did feel like Dove really pressured us into using their guest house. Being quite unfamiliar with international travel, we just went ahead with their suggestions. In the end, I know of people have been happy with them, I know of people who haven't.
I had a fairly smooth process with Dove. I would say that there were no major complications for me. There were small bumps in the road -- some were their responsibility and others were not. However, I have known many people who have used this program and I have been very disappointed in how Dove has handled the issues that have arisen in their cases. Some families have been lied to by Dove regarding process and referrals. Some families have been lied about by Dove regarding the children that have been adopted into the families. They continue to deny the medical and developmental issues these children have even after having met the children. Dove has even gone so far as to threaten to sue the families if they did not stop telling their story to potential families who are adopting. Dove has also pressured clients to accept referrals for children that they have not supplied complete medical information about. I do not regret using Dove for my adoption since it brought me my child but I would not use them again.