exposing the dark side of adoption
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Con Man Sought For Defrauding Adoptive Families


For many families in the United States, international adoption can be a last hope for making their home complete. For years, international adoptions have been on the rise, and while any adoption process can be difficult, authorities say one man -- Orson Mozes -- capitalized on his clients' trust and hopes for a child.

Mozes' Adoption International Program (AIP), while licensed in Pennsylvania, was actually run from Mozes' lavish Montecito mansion in Central California. When prospective parents began the process, authorities tell AMW that Mozes claimed to have extensive contacts in Russia, Kazakhstan, and the Ukraine, which yielded only the best and healthiest children.

Mozes also boasted about his 80 percent success rate of uniting a child with a family. All along the way, Mozes made repeated assurances that his company would be able to streamline the adoption process.

In most cases, prospective parents would find a picture of a child on a website that would put them in contact with AIP. Mozes would instruct his new clients to open a FedEx account, and to send an agency fee of between $7,000 and $11,000 to hold the child.

Investigators say Mozes neglected to tell his clients that holding children, who are called "referrals" in the adoption world, is impossible in some countries, especially Kazakhstan.

According to investigators, Mozes, on at least ten known occasions, promised the same child to multiple adoptive parents.

Authorities say that the majority of prospective parents trying to adopt through AIP were told -- after paying large sums of money, investing a great deal of time, paying additional funds for home studies, and completing INS paperwork -- that their child was no longer available.

Mozes often told families that a relative or birth mother had reclaimed the child or that country officials or orphanage staff had made a mistake.

Sometimes he offered no explanation at all.

2008 Jun 14