La Sociedad

1978: Kurtz opens La Sociedad adoption agency in Tlaxcala, Mexico, collects questionable payments from prospective adopters

After Casa del Sur was shut down and Kurtz's application to open a new adoption agency in Mexico City was twice rejected, Kurtz founded a new agency, La Sociedad, in Tlaxcala, the smallest and reputedly the poorest state in Mexico, said McTaggart in her 1980 book on baby brokers. Although the agency was not licensed (there were no licenses for adoption agencies because there had never been any others in Tlaxcala before), Kurtz claimed to have received the authorization of several departments of the Mexican government, as well as the written permission of the state governor.

Kurtz insisted that his corporation papers would show that the agency was operating legally, but he failed to supply those papers to McTaggert, after repeated requests. "Kurtz's deliberate haziness about what is going on in Mexico these days is significant in light of the fact that applicants to Tzyril pay their home study fee and three-fourths of their legal fee, or $1,537.50..., before they are assigned a child," McTaggert said. There were approximately 25 couples who applied to Tzyril before Casa del Sur went into liquidation, and, two years later, they were still waiting for their babies. Yet Kurtz's lawyers continued to collect legal fees up front from new applicants. Kurtz explained that those 25 couples were the "unfortunate" victims of the year-long changeover of agencies. he added that his new agency needed to have a large pool of waiting coupes because children were not placed with couples chronological order of application date, but according to which family best "matched" the child's background.

However, McTaggert said, "even assuming that La Sociedad needs a batch of applicants from which to choose, it doesn't seem logical that couples who applied in 1978 and early 1979 needed to pay for legal work when Sociedad, by Kurtz's own admission, didn't make its first placement until 1979... If Sociedad approximates Casa del Sur's rate of placement, collecting legal fees from couples now applying appears a bit unnecessary, considering that it could take the agency some seven years to satisfy just those 60 couples on Tzyril's list when La Sociedad began making placements."

Kurtz said that lawyers have a right to collect fees in advance of services and that Tzyril applicants signed a disclaimer, acknowledging that payment of the legal fee does not guarantee that they will ever get a child as long as Kurtz could demonstrate that he was handling some adoptions. McTaggert noted that, for just those 60 couples Kurtz admitted were waiting, Suku may have collected in gross fees close to $100,000--all of which was entirely at the disposal of Suku's sole shareholder: Seymour Kurtz.

Source: McTaggart, Lynne. The Baby Brokers: The Marketing of White Babies in America. New York: The Dial Press, 1980.

Organization type: Adoption Agency
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Seymour KurtzFounder of1978-01-01


Tlaxcala, Mexico, xx
United States
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