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Ripp-off Report American Adoptions Abroad AAA Marlene Seamans-Conn & Families Thru International Adoption FTIA Keit

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Report: American Adoptions Abroad AAA Marlene Seamans-Conn & Families Thru International Adoption FTIA Keit

Category: Adoption Agency

American Adoptions Abroad AAA Marlene Seamans-Conn & Families Thru International Adoption FTIA Keith Wallace & Serguei Dymtchenko ripoff Failed Rostov, Russia Adoption Chadds Ford Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment ..Happy with FTIA

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American Adoptions Abroad AAA Marlene Seamans-Conn & Families Thru International Adoption FTIA Keit

Phone:           856-218-0664      
Fax:  856-218-4458
100 Dickinson Drive, Suite 113-5
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 19317

Submitted: 2/19/2003 7:43:47 AM

Modified: 2/7/2007 10:28:17 PM
Reported By


Warren, Michigan

We’re posting this because of our frustration in dealing with two adoption agencies we have signed contracts with: American Adoptions Abroad (AAA) and Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA).

For over nine months now we’ve been trying to negotiate a settlement from a failed adoption we experienced in late April 2002.

After we posted our story to The Adoption Guide we were contacted by an attorney representing AAA ordering us to cease and desist from further postings and demanding we retract our post.

We were forced to hire an attorney as well, but negotiations have gone nowhere. We have also contacted numerous government agencies and regulatory authorities with equally discouraging results.

After being sent pictures and several assurances of the health of our future son, we discovered on the first trip to Russia that our child had some extremely special needs.

This was a child that had been turned down for adoption for medical reasons by two other families prior to us, which we were never informed about.

We were shown only one other child, who also had special needs. The condition of both children was verified by two well know University affiliated pediatric specialists.

No placement was made during that trip because, according to AAA/FTIA’s in-country staff, there were no other children available.

Just prior to the referral trip, we were required to sign a new contract with AAA/FTIA, which ironically came just a couple of days after we paid nearly $9,400 to the private company of AAA’s International Program Director, Serguei Dymtchenko.

AAA’s executive director, Marlene Seamans-Conn, misled us about a number of things, among them the Russian accreditation status of American Adoptions Abroad and the number of adoptions the agency had performed.

AAA used the accreditation, the facilitators, and the in-country staff of Families Thru International Adoption.

After we filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection, one of FTIA’s interpreters signed an affidavit regarding his role in our failed adoption experience where he states that he is employed in the Branch Office of FTIA in Russia.

We’ve read in several instances that this type of “umbrella" arrangement between accredited and unaccredited agencies is an illegal practice according to Russian adoption law.

After our story was posted on The Adoption Guide web site, we were contacted by FTIA’s executive director, Keith Wallace.

He stated that he would speak to Serguei Dymtchenko, who also happens to be the Russian facilitator for FTIA, and see if he would return our money.

Needless to say, our money was never returned, and we didn’t hear from Mr. Wallace again until he discovered that prospective FTIA families were contacting us regarding our experience with his agency.

The whole thing began to smell even worse when we were told by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services that in 1998 FTIA was operating in the state of New Jersey without a license.

FTIA was given a chance to become licensed, but a year later FTIA was still unlicensed and was asked to close its NJ office.

Before Marlene Seamans-Conn started her own agency, she was working for another agency in New Jersey for which Serguei Dymtchenko also facilitated Russian adoptions.

Whenever payments were required for our adoption, we were always asked to send the money to either the home address of Ms. Seamans-Conn in Sewell, NJ, or to the home address of Serguei Dymtchenko in Toms River, NJ, but our payments to Mr. Dymtchenko were required to be marked payable to his own company, TJS.

We’ve also been told about Mr. Dymtchenko’s involvement with another family’s adoption nightmare where he was working for Adrienne Lewis of the now defunct Global adoption agency, which was shut down by state authorities in CA and LA where she was licensed.

The whole tangled web goes far beyond what we can include here.

We’re currently building our own web site with a detailed chronology of the events surrounding our failed adoption based on e-mails, phone conversations, journal records, pictures, and agency literature and agreements that we’ve scanned into digital format.

In the interest of negotiating in good faith, our attorney has advised us not to make any Internet postings or speak to the press.

But it has become obvious to us that AAA and FTIA never intended to negotiate in good faith.

It’s been nine months -- if they wanted to resolve the situation, they would have done it by now!

There was never an apology made for our wasted referral trip or a serious effort to see that the right thing be done.

Making sure that the agency you choose is in the adoption business for the right reasons is a difficult, almost impossible task.

You need to look beyond the rhetoric and warm, fuzzy language on the various Web sites.

The fact that there are agencies out there, AAA being one, that don’t even have a social worker on staff is beyond belief.

Mike & Patty
Warren, Michigan
2003 Feb 19