Playing Couple worries about $30k it paid adoption agency

Missing Adoption Money

Missing Adoption Money (part 2)

Missing Adoption Money (part 3)

Making progress

It should be noted this case took place in 2006. 

How have things changed in The United States?

Based on the sentence given by the judge who reviewed and ruled on the Focus on Children adoption scam, very little is done to deter such corrupt adoption practices within so-called accredited child placement service.

wholesale vs retail

Compared to 2006 nothing has changed with respect to either Russia, where most of the AMREX business took place or to Samoa, where the Focus on Children case revolves around.

In April of 2008, the US became part of the Hague convention, which, although I am no fan of that trade agreement, has one positive effect, it creates more federal oversight when it comes to inter-country adoption with other Hague countries. For Russia and Samoa, which didn't ratify the Hague convention it doesn't mean a thing. For non-Hague countries the state laws and federal immigration laws still apply. So the theocracy of Utah can still apply its lenient rules and regulations when dealing with such countries as Russia, South Korea and Ethiopia, to name the largest sending non-Hague countries.

So a case like that of FOC or AMREX could still exist today. It's noteworthy that AMREX was never stopped doing business for breaking rules and regulations, they simply went bankrupt. They DID break the rules, but those were Russian rules, not American rules. And technically speaking it wasn't even AMREX that broke the rules, but Adoption Placment (Fl) and Beacon House (Fl) that did so.

AMREX was not an agency, but a facilitator. So AMREX never did any placements since they were not licenced to do so. They also didn't officially do business in Russia either, because that would require accreditation there.

The AMREX construction worked as follows. PAP's would go to an agency of their choice, which would then contact AMREX and log the demand for a child in the database. The agency would do all domestic preparation. Making sure home study, back ground check etc. was done. AMREX would take over business from there. They would find a child and make all preparations on the Russian side and do all the necessary paper work in the US. Yet they needed someone to represent the PAP's in the Russian court. That's where Adoption Placement and Beacon House came into play. For the Russian judge, either one of these agencies were the actual placement agency, while in reality they would just rubber stamp the papers. AP and BH were accredited in Russia, hence were allowed to do adoptions from that country. The actual placement agency usually was not accredited so was not allowed to do adoptions from Russia. Using the AMREX-Adoption Placement or AMREX-Beacon House route, many adoption agencies were able to adopt children from Russia, without being accredited. This is a construct called umbrella'ing, which is not allowed according to the Russian Ministery of Education. I have an official statement of that Russian ministery that confirms this.

So altogether it wasn't AMREX that formally broke the rules, but the accredited agencies that umbrella'ed on behalf of the AMREX affiliated agencies. As much as I hate the commercial activities of AMREX, they didn't go down because of their business practices, but because they lost more money than they made. The personal lifestyle of the upper management of AMREX and over-investment in software that didn't sell eventually caused bankruptcy. The money trail to Russia has never been properly investigated by the FBI, so we may never know how much money was eventually funneled in that direction.

It's noteworthy to mention that the Beacon House representative in Russia was the mother of the CEO of AMREX and the Adoption Placement representative in Russia was her ex-husband. At the time she was married to the founder of AMREX, whom she divorced shortly before AMREX and their affiliated adoption agency Genesis went down.

Getting back to answer your question. Nothing in current adoption laws prevents anyone from doing the AMREX setup again and several adoption agencies actively umbrella for other agencies. Unlike the regulations in Russua, this is allowed under the Hague convention, provided it is done transparently. Where PAP's doing business through AMREX had to lie to Russian judges about their placement agency. Claiming it was either Beacon House or Adoption Placement, while in reality it was a totally different agency, under the Hague convention it must be documented that one agency umbrella's for another and then everything is fine. In that sense the Hague convention has divided the agencies in whole sale and retail businesses. The accredited agencies are both whole sale and retail businesses and the non-accredited agencies have become retail businesses only. Of course that only applies to adoption from other Hague countries. When it comes to non-Hague countries anything goes as long as it's within the bounderies of the bilateral agreements between the US and the sending country.

Pound Pup Legacy