Family to Family Adoptions
A Good Experience
We found Fam2Fam by way of referral from two different families in our town 4+ hours from their offices. We looked for more references and found them to be impeccable as well. The staff was very thorough with our orientation and making sure that we knew and understood what was happening and where were in the process. I assume everyone going into the adoption process is in a world of the unknown and typically very raw emotionally and often on the last dime of their funds to try to create a family. The staff was aware of this and never took lightly what we were going through, never got frustrated or upset at our repeated questioning. The adoption process is a strange and alien process made worse by the bureaucracy of government. Maxine and her staff did a wonderful job preparing us and buffering us from the overwhelming magnitude of the whole process. Yes, the cost was high for our family, but we went into the process looking for quality people that could get the job done and not jerk us around and just be honest. At the time we adopted their typical window was 12 to 18 months, but that was never a guarantee. This fact was reiterated almost every time the timeline was discussed. The staff was also brutally honest about what issues are obstacles for birth mothers and what sort of things make families more palatable to birth mothers. Our match was made with a "drop" situation less than a month after our profile went active. I know that is an anomaly and I know that may have messed up their average but as far as efficiency and getting the job done, we really couldn't have asked for more.
be careful of this agency
I would be very careful before signing with this agency. They are overloaded with families and not enough birth mothers. They made promises of quick matches and even adv a 6 to 9 month wait. They can not even come close to that for the majority of their clients. I just want to warn anyone who sees this. Two years ago I saw these reviews. I spoke to the agency and they explained them away. Telling me that the families were emotional and very difficult to place. God I wish I had listened. Because two years later I am one of these unhappy families that feel like they were taken advantage of. The agency pulled the old "bait and switch" Talking and adv 6 to 9 month placements. They did not even show our profile for six months. When I called to see why they did not know who I was. So much for caring professionals. After another six months I spoke to them at length. They told me it was my fault for not wanting a birthmother who used drug or had mental illness. When they told me they place in 6 moths they never said anything about drug abuse. And we were open to almost all races.
We left FTF frustrated and broke. We found a great agency in Kansas which placed us in month. So just be careful. When you see complaints like this STAY AWAY! Please dont end up like us. Things to avoid in an agency:
High signing fee. Fee should not be more than $2000. Plenty out there like Adoption centre Kansas and Adoption Choices Colorado whick cost a fee of $500. No further fee till match.
Avoid an agency with fancy web site/broshures/conf/videos. They are spending too much money on finding families and not birth mothers
avoid agencies that advertize short placements. They walk a very fine line of false advertizing.
Avoid agencies with bad reviews.
Avoid agencies with more than 20 waiting families. If an agency tells you they place 30 babies a year and have 30 waiting families your chances sound good. This is not true. They placed 30 and still have 30 families waiting. The agency actually worked with 60 families that year. You are not one of 30 you are one of 60.
Reply to Beware of this agency
I am the director and founder of Family to Family and I have waited over three months before commenting on this review. The review came to my attention within hours of its posting and I immediately knew who the writer was as I have had months of e-mail conversations and telephone conversations with this former client of our agency. I waited for the allegations that this writer made to KHOU-TV, the Attorney General's office and the Better Business Bureau to be fully investigated and acted upon before replying.
Unfortunately we are unable to know how long a couple or individual may be on our active list before they are chosen as parents by a birth mother. In this particular case, this individual and 2 others were on our case load about 12 months. Their profiles were shown to birth mothers wanting to place their child for adoption through our agency 22 times, 8 times and 5 times respectively without being chosen and I know that can be devastatingly painful. Because this individual was not chosen within what she considers a 'reasonable length of time, eventhough she was shown 22 times in 14 months, she withdrew from our program. As a result of her disappointment, she and two other clients, called KHOU-TV and accused us of fraud, complained to the Attorney General's office and reported they were victims of fraud and deceptive trade practices and complained to the Better Business Bureau about our 'fraudulent program'. The Attorney General's office notified me that they were not opening an investigation, the BBB decided 2 of the complaints in favor of the agency and the last one went to arbitration which was decided in favor of the agency in June 2008. KHOU-TV decided not to use the information given to them by the complainants when I met with the General Manager and News Director and produced the signed no-refund contracts that the complainants had signed as well as all of the information made available for the BBB investigation.
I regret that this review was written which may reinforce the myth that all adoption agencies are crooked and you can't trust any of them. Adoption is a wonderful process and there are many children who need homes and many birth families who are looking for good parents for their child they love, but just aren't prepared to parent. I understand the disappointment and devastation of being unable to have children or as many as you want, but that pain should not be used as an excuse to make unfounded accusations against an agency that wants to help you create your family through adoption. I hope that people will look further and read between the lines and see the pain that this writer was in when she wrote this awful review. Thank you, Maxine L. Seiler, LCSW
Professional ethics? You be the judge.
I am a social worker in another state working in a grant-funded position providing interconceptional health case management to post-partum women. Upon enrolling a Hispanic woman into my program, she informed me that she had given her baby up for adoption and had used Fam2Fam. She had numerous concerns. I had never heard of Fam2Fam. I searched on line and found their website which lists 13 services offered to birth mothers.
With the consent of my client, I called their ?ǣ24-Hour Birth Mother Hotline?ǥ and spoke with a woman who answered the phone and identified herself as Eloisa. I did not expect her to give me any specific information regarding my client since Fam2Fam did not have a release of information to talk to me. My main reason for calling was to inquire about the ?ǣOngoing and Post-Placement Counseling (lifelong)?ǥ service listed as one of the 13 services. To my surprise, Eloisa asked for my client?
In Response to Beware of This Agency
Family to Family Adoptions, Inc. is a wonderful agency despite what you've said about them ANONYMOUSLY.
My partner and I adopted two children through Family to Family over five years ago..one closed international adoption and one open domestic adoption and never at any point during the 13 months of the process did we feel that this agency was not being honest, loving, caring or compassionate with us. They walked and sometimes guided us step-by-step until our adoptive children were placed with us. Maxine and Debbie informed us of the emotional and financial risks and we were willing to take them.
If we adopt again in the future we will definitely, without question, use Family to Family Adoptions, Inc.
What an awesome experience!
My husband and I found family 2 family adoptions in May of 2007. Maxine was so wonderful to us and answered all of our questions that we had. We signed on with them and had our homestudy in late May. In June of 2007 we were matched with our birth mother, and in October, our son was born.
This agency was there every step of our journey! They treated us with much respect and really cared for our whole family and wanted to help us finish our family through adoption. If I were to do it again, I would whole heartly come to them again.
Thanks Maxine and staff for making our dream become reality through the adoption of our son!!!
Very good agency.
I am one of the lucky people that have had very good luck with our adoption. Adoption can be stressful no matter who you work with. At the same time it is a wonderful thing that happens when a child can be placed in a home that has lot of love and caring. The process for me and my wife went very smooth. Family to family was wonderful to work with. They treated us and the birth parents very well. They were very supportive and understanding of all of our concerns. We are at home right now with a happy healthy baby boy.
We looked at several agency's before selecting family to family. I would suggest that anyone looking to adopt look around at several different agencies. There are some very good ones like Family to Family and a few others we found. There are also some that are not very good. Be careful, check the facts, keep in mind this is not a quick and simple process. You are not purchasing a baby you are being matched with your son or daughter. We wanted an agency that would make our family complete. We got that with Family to Family. You should also keep an open mind. Adoption is stressful but if you go with the right agency it can be a wonderful experience. Family to Family was the right agency for me and my wife. - Jeff
In response to Beware of this agency
Wow! I will tell you, I noticed you left your name off and kept your comment "Anonymous." I will tell you, I asked LOTS and LOTS of questions. The agency was VERY upfront and HONEST with their responses. The matching process can be a very tricky thing. How open were you with the "next" agency? You would be hard pressed to get a match if you were very specific about your criteria when you first started with Fam2Fam. I bet you are one of the four that reported the agency to KHOU to slander their good name so that you could coerce the agency to giving their fee back to you. REMEMBER, we all signed an agreement, a contract, and were all aware of the timetable. Unless, you just sign documents on a whim, you knew what you were getting into. JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.
Beware of this agency!
Notice that in all of these glowing reviews, that there are FIVE of them placed on the same day within minutes of each other all under "anonymous." I would bet that they were put there by the agency themselves. I have seen them do similar things.
Anyone interested in this agency needs to check the Houston Better Business Bureau, the State of Texas Attorney General's office, just to name a few. Also do a search of public records and see how many suits are either pending against them or they are a party to. In a few weeks you will be able to access an investigative news story by KHOU television in Houston. I am not sure if it will ever air, because the station is under tremendous legal pressure to can the story. They are under a FIRESTORM of investigations from state and federal agencies as well as about FORTY unhappy families. The funny thing is that none of this horrible info is readily available. On the surface, all looks well. You will also find people that are/were happy with their service. For every one of them there are four that are devasdated by their experience with Family to Family. Just know that it is NOT as it seems!
Even if you ask LOTS and LOTS of questions. Know that the answer is a lie. They will tell you that they have never had a family they couldn't match. That is a lie. It all goes back to definition. Every family is matcheable given 10 years or more! There are TONS of families that simply gave up on the process, left their money on the table, and went to another agency where they were matched promptly. Be VERY careful with the "match." They do very, very little to make sure that birthmom is prepared for what is coming. They have many, many failed adoptions.
If you adopted successfully with this agency, I am very happy for you. Consider yourself LUCKY.
Cannot say enough
We cannot say enough about the wonderful ladies at Family To Family. Maxine, Jennifer, Eloisa, Pat, Debbie...they are all so caring and dedicated to the work they do. Our adoption experience could not have been more wonderful. Even our child's birthmother, with whom we have an open and loving relationship still, continues to say how she felt so cared for and respected by Family To Family. They do not simply take the baby and run; they care about the birthmother afterwards, and help her with her educational and other goals. We waited 3 1/2 months for our daughter, and Maxine and the crew were with us every step of the way. Our joy became their joy when we matched, and when our daughter was born. They are conscientious, thorough, involved, and knowledgeable, and so nice to boot. We continue to recommend them to anyone who will listen! We will definitely be going back to Fam2Fam for our second adoption. It is rare to find people with such love for the creation of families.