Warning: Free Searches/Services (with a hidden plan)
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This morning I checked recent posts on the PPL pages and found a very nice blog-piece written by a person claiming to offer free services to those who lost a family member in El Salvador. Note, no private email or PM was sent to myself, Niels, or Admin, asking if advertisement for a service for victims can be posted in a blog.
The post, titled, "FREE INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES IN EL SALVADOR ON (MISSING CHILDREN OR FAMILY MEMBERS) IN EL SALVADOR ONLY" began:
Being a native of El Salvador, taken to the United States when i was 6 , into the ARMY when 18 and then out 13 years later, I can honestly say that I have had my share of seeing displaced, abused, Kidnapped children of a lot of parts of the world.
OK, native to El Salvador, educated in the US; 13 years ARMY experience; knows real-life as it's seen and experienced by children kidnapped, stolen and displaced in various parts of the world. Great. Let's read on... because this person seems to know his shit.
Through the years I have performed many cases regarding shady adoptions that took place during the 80s in El Salvador and performed by Private Rich Families, fake adoption agencies , by Members of the el Salvadoran Army or the FMLN (guerrilla) ; And most of the histories are the same, Dead family members, killed by someone and the children taken away, or simply, took the child from the mother, gave her 1,000 colones and told her not to say anything or they will kill her.
Shady (illegal) adoptions from the 1980's... fake adoption agencies... and most histories are the same. Yes, indeed, this theme is consistently true, especially when one considers the ways of war, and how historically speaking, children would be saved to heal certain hurts and wounds. So...wow, this new poster-person really understands the facts and the challenges stolen/adopted children (and their families -- both birth and adoptive) must face when launching into that great abyss... that mission some call search and reunion, the very personal mission I re-named, Search and Recovery. What else does this person from El Salvador know... what else does this person have to offer people reading the PPL pages?
Third paragraph, I saw words - an offer that had to be read and re-read because the worded-offer looked too good to be true.
I am at a point in my life, where I can basically find anything and anyone in El Salvador, and I want to offer that opportunity to anyone in this forum who has lost a family member in el salvador, or know of children who would love to find their birth parents.
Wow. Flash-back to my own past. There was a time I was desperate to find The Truth. Back when I was a regular poster on adoption.con, I wrote how I wanted to find my family, but didn't know how because I was born in Canada, not in the the United States. I'll never forget the day a woman contacted me, privately, telling me she was a 'search angel', helping adoptees find their mums. It's as if God Himself wrote the brief note. I was lucky... I made contact with this woman who happened to live not only in Newfoundland, but the very town in which I was born. After many email exchanges and a person-toperson phone call, she claimed to know where my first-mother worked when she was pregnant with me, and suggested she had an idea who my mother was. She never asked for money, but never sent concrete information or evidence, either. Because of this 'nothing solid' routine, I lost interest, and decided the best thing to do was go to the social service agency that took-over "all" adoption records. When I arrived, I was told I was lucky, because most records got ruined by fire. Yep, I was told the Sister Mary Eugene Foundation burned to the ground. This is when I learned all I was told about my birth-parents was not true. As a consolation price, I was offered the chance of a life-time. For a mere $400, I could be given the name and vital stats of both parents, with a 90% chance that information would be correct.
I didn't have the $400. I was hoping to get the money as a Christmas gift, but that turned-out to be wishful thinking. [No one in my family, husband included, ever thought finding my roots was, or should be, a real priority,]
Back to the present, and a post alerting the hopeful and the desperate taken from El Salvador.
Sincere Senor Rodolfo A. Benitez continued his post, and shared important information curious/desperate victims ought to have before one initiates a formal search. According to his post, those looking for a lost family member should have:
Full name of the person you are looking for which is usually 2 first names and 2 last names
Place and Date of Birth
Names of Grand parents
A basic history of what happened
As much information as possible
Not so simple, if none of that information is available or given to the victim. After all, documents get 'doctored'... they get altered and falsified when an adoption is done illegally, a trick done by some to make an illegal adoption <presto-chango> 'legal'.
Nevertheless, with regards, poster Benitez provided a variety of links that will, in theory, help many reunite with family members.
The site-links turned out to be quite.... something. There was a link to a personal protection unit, which boasts: armored vehicles in central and south America, medical transport by helicopter, doctors meeting U.S. medical standards, Special Weapons Assault Teams, full gear support, protection personnel ready within the hour, covert operations personnel, private investigators, hostage negotiators, kidnapping mediators, Special Tactical Units and combat ready troops. Oh, did I mention Stand By extraction Teams? (Who, looking for a lost family member, doesn't want a stand by extraction team, with combat ready troops, ready to go, at an hour's notice?)
Is this really the way "search and reunion" is done in El Salvador?
Another site-link listed the countries covered by 'colleagues'. That was impressive, too. 186 country names were listed. That's 186 countries, listed from A to Z, excluding anything that starts with a 'W'.
Equally impressive was the way in which payments can be made. In large bold letters, in the middle of the home-page, it read: PLEASE USE OUR PAY PAL SERVICE TO PAY IN INCREMENTS OF $250.00
What happened to "FREE"?
Suffice it to say, the blog post was deleted, as I did not feel comfortable with the whole situation.
My point to readers is this: adoption scams are aplenty, and adoptees learn very quickly, there is no such thing as a free service, especially when it relates to Search, Reunions, and Recovery.
Adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents get lied to, and depending upon the number of times a person is lied to, scammed, and fooled, a general life-rule seems to develop. This rule brings sad consequences: No one can be trusted... especially in Adoptionland, where everyone is looking for something for someone, and the easiest targets are small children, hurting victims, and any one feeling lost and desperate.
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Thank you for taking that down!
I saw that right after it went up last night, and like you, followed the links. Looked super-sketchy, so I am glad you removed it before anyone could be taken in!
Thanks... it was a risk I was willing to take. It's a huge comfort knowing I'm not alone when it comes to seeing red-flags and feeling 'sneaking suspicions'. I only wish more had that same basic instinct in Adoptionland.