Journeys of the Heart

Journeys of the Heart

 
2.6 (29)
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Po Box 39, Hillsboro OR 97123, US

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29 reviews

 
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2.6  (29)
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Rating 
 
5.0

The Best Adoption Agency

I found them by accident when I needed help and nobody was there for me. Journeys of the heart saved my life when I was in a very dark place. They have kept every promise they made and my open adoption is the happiest part of my life now. They are good honest people.

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Rating 
 
1.0

beware

Placed a healthy baby boy up for adoption. The agency sent photos and letters for a few months then my mailbox was broken into by a man who had attacked me and I have a permanent stalking order on.the agency then started sending all my letters and photos to the man.he even had the photos on fb and was trying to arange visits with the baby and family.seems dangerous and a really awful mistake.then they contact me via fb asking for my new info...why so they can give him more info about me.no thanks.

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Rating 
 
1.0

Choose Any Other Agency

Adoption is hard. It's even harder when you're working with people who show you they can't be trusted and they don't care. They will tell you the top priority is the baby; it won't take long to learn top priority is money. This agency showed me adoption is an industry; altruism, compassion, and actually assisting clients are laughable concepts. Most frightening of all is how many placements fall through after baby is born: 33%. That's about 30% higher than the national average! Save yourself the suffering and look elsewhere. I wish I would have.

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Rating 
 
1.0

terrible communication, poorly organized

From the get go in starting this process we had A LOT of questions, Journeys made us feel guilty about questioning everything and gave us an ultimatum to move forward (this should have been a red flag), we were already matched with a child and my husband wanted to make sure everything was being done correctly and they just kept wanting the next payment amount. If we kept questioning they were going to sever the match. We took that as a promise to do a good job. Communication was few and far between. Thankfully for being connected with families ahead of us, they walked us through the needed next steps. When it came time to travel internationally there was absolutely NO communication and things that were promised to be done on the side of the country we were adopting from, were not even in process yet. We had to push over there for anything to get done, Journeys DID NOTHING to help. When it came down to us getting our Visa to bring our boy home, a crucial piece of the process wasn't completed by fault of your agency and orphanage director and we had to leave to come back home and temporarily put our son back in the place we promised he would never have to go again. So uncool on so many levels. I'm only able to type this calmy cause it has been 2 years since then. As another review stated the promise of return on post placement reports has been as issue as well. Things are just not being done right with this company and there APPEARS to be no effort for improvement.

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Rating 
 
1.0

Beware - JOH just want your money

My wife and I were thrilled that this agency had the Taiwan program so we signed up and completed all home studies and workshops that were needed to get the process going (i.e. also a lots of fees and application paid to this agency). The staff assigned to our case was supposed to be the "Taiwan Coordinator Director" from this firm. The problem with this lady was, she did not communicate well over the email (she was in OR and we are in CA). We had so many questions that needed clarification but the only answer she could provide us was either a yes or no. Besides, her respond time for email was at least one week or more. The only time she initiated the email and expect us to repond ASAP was more fees, but when we asked her of our waiting status, she would drag on for at least one week before sending us a one sentence or less email. What this lady provided us was apathy - lack of emotion. When we called, she was never available to answer, but when we actually got a hold of her finally, we realized her English was very choppy with heavy accent in most part I couldn't understand her. We were #4 on the official waiting list for 2 years and it sort of stuck there for another 8 months before we received an email from the International Adoption Coordinator saying this lady was no longer working for JOH (rumor had it that she was fired). We asked "so what happen to our case?" "Oh by the way, Taiwan program that you enrolled had been closed", said the coordinator. "However, since you are already on the waiting list, we can offer you to switch program (different country) but your waiting status would be placed at the very bottom of the list. I will call you in less than a week to let you know what you need to do." 2 weeks went by, the guy never called or emailed; 4 weeks gone by, and again he never called back. In other words, at least 2-3 more years of waiting to what end? (i.e. more money toward the agency). This was the response we got from their staff who called themselves coordinators. Some people had better luck than us with this agency, but my suggestion is try to get someone with good communication skills (verbal and written) before accepting any contract, and also try to find an agency as close to your home town as possible. It is true that you have to turn in the application with fee first before they could assign you a staff, but try to talk to the staff over the phone first. Don't follow our footsteps by blindly allowing JOH to provide us a con-artist while we pour out our time, patience, finance to expect a better outcome.

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Rating 
 
1.0

Stay away. They are

Stay away. They are interested in your money, and don't seem to care anything about the other members of their prospective adoptive families. We have been through hell with our little adoptee (who is now nearing age 18.) We are so sorry we ever made the decision to adopt through them.

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Rating 
 
1.0

Journeys of the Heart

I felt they were not a very good agency. I had problems from the get go with them but here is my ending that I am reporting on. 3 days before I was to leave for India to pick up my child, they called and said there was a "sudden" deposit needed for $1400 to ensure I did my post placement reports. Of course, I had no choice but to pay it. Fast forward to the year after my post placements, I asked for my deposit back and was told I could go to India myself and get my money back. The directors, both Susan and David, would not come to the phone, they said this through their receptionist. They told me I could go work with the Director of the India program but she left for another position at another agency. Susan told me to go call her over there. I did, but she didn't call back. Anyway, I made a report to the Better Business Bureau about their unsavory practices. I would not use this agency unless you are needing to be mistreated and stolen from. I doubt highly that India was even given the money.

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Rating 
 
1.0

Journeys of the Heart

I felt they were not a very good agency. I had problems from the get go with them but here is my ending that I am reporting on. 3 days before I was to leave for India to pick up my child, they called and said there was a "sudden" deposit needed for $1400 to ensure I did my post placement reports. Of course, I had no choice but to pay it. Fast forward to the year after my post placements, I asked for my deposit back and was told I could go to India myself and get my money back. The directors, both Susan and David, would not come to the phone, they said this through their receptionist. They told me I could go work with the Director of the India program but she left for another position at another agency. Susan told me to go call her over there. I did, but she didn't call back. Anyway, I made a report to the Better Business Bureau about their unsavory practices. I would not use this agency unless you are needing to be mistreated and stolen from. I doubt highly that India was even given the money.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Great Experience with Domestic Infant Adoption

We adopted our son last spring through Journeys of the Heart. We had an awesome experience. Yes, it is a little hard getting to the education class because they don't offer them very often. That was the hardest part. Otherwise, we were incredibly motivated and prompt about our side of things and they were prompt in return. We were approved within a couple weeks to start the home study. Our home study was approved within a couple months. And... two weeks later we were called to say a birth mother had chosen us and that she was in labor!

We were so motivated to get moving on our adoption that any time we finished paperwork, got copies of records, did our portfolios, we drove directly to the agency and handed them in ourselves. We did everything we could to market ourselves and we were very open regarding the birth mother's/baby's situation. We did all of the book reports as the home study was being approved. The agency, in return, quickly processed all of our papers and moved us right along.

We are not models. In fact, my hubby is overweight and I wore thick glasses in all of our photos and haven't been to a professional salon in years. We were just honest and willing to take any suggestions from the agency that would help speed our process along. We aren't rich either, we just worked and saved and made this adoption happen.

We were incredibly impressed at how caring the social worker was to us and the birth mother at the hospital. She was available primarily to the birth mom, understandably, and I was thankful for that. But she was only a phone call away if we had any questions. The social worker also helped the hospital staff as they worked out the logistics of two families being involved with this one baby. I can't say enough about how great this agency was even a year after our adoption. Even if we had to wait for a year before being chosen by a birth mother, the support a long the way that we did receive was great. We are considering adopting again and would only work with JOH!

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Rating 
 
1.0

RE: agree!

Felt the same way anonymous! We were treated unfairly as well.

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Rating 
 
1.0

RE: feel cheated and taken advantage of

My family has been wanting to expand our family by adoption and we decided in February of this year to put in our application with Journeys. We paid our app fee and were told we should have our official approval within three weeks (which is written on the application). We had our interview, which as far as we knew had gone well. We were encouraged throughout the process by the social worker assigned to us. We had started working on our profile and making plans to attend the training (we were told it would be in April, turns out if was "sometime" in May). We would call or email to check our application status and would be told they needed another week. Then the same thing would happen the next week. I asked if we should be worried the answer was taking so long. I was assured that no, everything was fine. They were just busy and unable to meet to decide on our application. Finally I got a call from our worker saying she needed to clarify things. I got upset because these were things I thought had been said in the interview. I asked for a solid date for the required class and was told there wasn't one yet. When I questioned why, I was told I needed to be flexible. At this point my family had been waiting for an answer for almost 2 months. How flexible do we need to be? I think we gave them ample time to make a decision. In their paperwork they list a set of DVD training that is available for families that live outside of their Portland offices. I asked why we couldn't just do those so we could get our case study started? I was told that I was not showing the appropriate level of committment. What if a birth mom called and wanted to meet us and we needed to leave right away. What would I do? (I'm active duty and we felt from the beginning that they had a problem with my duty schedule, but hoped they could overcome their issues with it.) I told her there was a difference in our minds between meeting a birth mother and attending an orientation class. She disagreed. We have requested our application fee refunded due to the extended period of waiting. I hope we get it. I'm not optimistic.
We will not reccomend this agency to other adoptive parents. Having a child is a gift and they seemed to not be supportive to the adoptive parent at all.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Our Adoption Experience

We adopted our oldest daughter from the Marshall Islands, 13 years ago, through Journeys of the Heart. At the time, the program was relatively new on the Islands, and we were the 3rd couple to travel there to adopt. What could have been a scary and unpredictable process was made smooth and safe with the help of Journeys. With the support of a wonderful staff, most notably the founders David and Susan, we found a program that reduced our wait time for a child and matched us with a child well cared for by birth parents looking to give her a better life. Journeys was professional and compassionate, a combination rarely seen in today's "big business" of adoptions. In fact, for a great while, Journeys was the only agency allowed to conduct adoptions on the Marshall Islands, based upon their methods and ethics. While other agencies were writing checks for access to available children, Journeys was active on the Islands in building homes, providing medication, food and clothing for the local community and working with the government to help make the adoption process work better on the Islands. Eventually, while the other agencies were kicked off the Islands, Journeys continued their work. It's that kind of focus on the children and families involved in adoptions that makes Journeys so terrific. We have met many families over the years that have adopted through Journeys both at annual family picnics and regular adoptive parent events and continue to be amazed at the number of wonderful families that Journeys has brought together. I would, without hesitation, recommend Journeys of the Heart to anyone looking for a kind, compassionate and ethical adoption agency. They simply are good people!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Grateful

My husband and I adopted through JOH in 2010. We found JOH to be well organized, caring and honest. Throughout the whole process, they communicated with us and the birth mom regularly. I still reach out to them on occasion for input and they remain helpful and caring. If my husband and I choose to adopt again, we would definitely go through JOH.

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Rating 
 
2.0

Jorneys Should not do Out of State

Recently while assisting my daughter researching adoption companies, I got a very nice review of Journeys of the Heart by an out of state family. My daughter and husband, after I gave them the feedback, contacted the agency by email and received the general information email back. Since they already were working with another company in their state and have not been impressed, they were looking to either add or even just change companies. Since they both had come from the area of Journey's states and have family there, they felt like it was 'home' and were open to visiting and an open adoption. Journey's response to the email questions was basically poor. Mainly that they would have to not be with another agency etc. however did they even try and find out the situation - just negative. After clarification by my daughter through another email, the additional response was qualified that since they were out of state and their % chance of a birth mothers selecting them (again with not even knowing about the inquiring parents) went on to tell them that they now require that out of state adoptive parents to take any and all kids (ie. drug, mental conditions, medical conditions gender and well as ethnicity) and repeated it three times in the letter. They did not take a personal note and try and contact by phone (which my daughter was trying to set up) but again just sent an email. My daughter and her husband were very open to taking any child however that just became a moot point. The family supported them in not bothering to continue trying with this company because they were so negative and felt Journey's was so busy qualifying their demands that they did not even take the opportunity to make a personal phone call or learn more about the sitatution. They were just trying to 'get rid of them'. I could not support them more in not bothering to contact this agency again and hope that everyone that is out of state not bother. Seems to me it would be easier to just discontinue your out of state program rather than to negatively communicate to adoptive parents. Journey's makes themselves look very unprofessional by having the people who are their initial contacts relate so poorly to new "customers" on such a sensitive topic .

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Rating 
 
1.0

Unethical Journeys of the Heart - Stay away! Zero star rating!!

Journeys of the Heart left us with no child, less money, and no hopes for a future child. They are unethical and incapable of following through. We were not the only families left in the lurch. They are horrendous communicators; you have to dog them for any information. We started their program in our very early 40s - my husband and I - and tried 3 of their programs, all of which collapsed. They took our money, had us complete all the training and paperwork, and were never able to come through on any of the programs they promised online, in person, and through email and phone commiunication. They are highly unethical. They were shockingly remorseless. When their third program collapsed, they simply indicated that some people had aged out (such as my husband and myself who were now in our mid/later 40s) and that there was nothing they could do about that. Yet, for several years we - and others - asked for updates, voiced our concerns when programs collapsed, when timelines went unnoticed, went they disappeared from communication for long stretches. We have one child who her whole life has been prepped for her baby (international) sister. We haven't even been able to fully share with her the news that she will have no sibling. How can we tell her that an agency misrepresented theimselves and their work and so, so, so very callously took our money but left us with nothing. No child. No hopes for another child. They are such poor communicators and have such a disorganized office that we still get emails asking for donations to needy children or blogs about David's latest trip to find children. David and his wife, the co-owners, essentially cannot maintain the relationships with their staff AND with their international agenices. They spend a lot of time flying abroad trying - totally unsuccessfully - to keep relationships running but this does not happen and those agencies drop them and then all of the families who are signed up for children from that country/agency are without a program. And this happens regardless of how many years one has waited in line for a child from that country or agency. Meanwhile, other agencies continue to place children for years and years with those same countries and with success. You will never get a sorry from this agency either. They sure impacted our lives: left a big, gaping hole.

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