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Adoption Agency Reviews, Ratings, Rankings and Testimonials Adoption Agencies Reviews, Ratings, Rankings and Testimonials

Adoption Hope International

284 Shoreward Drive
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29579
United States


http://www.adoptionpatch.com/

Type: Private Agency


  Average Ratings
Based On All Reviews

Review by cpou11 submitted on October, 22, 2012 at 10:11 AM


Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 2y 0m
Start Date: Apr 2007
Status: Homestudy and documentation
Completion Date: Jun 2008
Time Until Placement: 14 months
Type: Open, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Moscow, Russian Federation

cpou11's Ratings:
Pros: Its a small agency and therefore the attention was personal. We didnt feel that we were a number but actually a friend. They took us by the hand through everything. In russia they had it all set up regarding drivers ,lawyers and even doctors if you wanted to check the child. The communication is very imprtant in this process. Diana was very accessible during the process which helps alot. Trust me there will be a moment during this process you feel it isnt going to happen or that something is wrong. Thats were she is really the difference. They calm you down and explain everything to assure you that at the end of this road your child will be there.

Cons: None.

Reviews: Get her cell phone. you will need it.



Review by guest submitted on January, 7, 2010 at 06:21 PM


Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 1y 10m
Start Date: Aug 2008
Status: Finalized
Completion Date: Feb 2009
Time Until Placement: 6 months
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Moscow, Russian Federation

guest's Ratings:
Pros: We were connected to AHI through a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend who gave me really sound advice when I was searching for an agency: Don't be drawn in by big names or fancy Web sites; go with an agency that has great contacts. AHI is exactly that agency when it comes to adoption from Russia. Diana Adams is the adoptive mother of 5 children - 3 from Russia and 2 from India - and has a very close relationship with the key adoption placement agency in Moscow. Diana was upfront with expectations. She was clear what paperwork and USCIS documentation was required before we would get a referral. She gave a timeline that was almost to the day accurate. Examples: after she submitted our I-700H she said it would be 3 - 4 weeks until we got the referral and we got it in 3 weeks. She said we would travel 2 weeks later and we did. She said we would have court about 6 weeks later and we did. We sumitted our dossier on August 15. We got our USCIS I-700H in October. Received our referral in November. Travelled at the end of November/beginning December. Had court in January. Were home in the US with our son at the beginning of February. Less than 6 months total. Diana is direct and doesn't try to make the process scary, overwhelming or confusing. She responded to all of my emails and phone calls immediately and gave very sound advice. I will also add the team on the ground in Moscow was unbelievable. They took incredible care of us - they were true angels. We are still in regular contact with them through email. Overall, we were very satisfied and will use them again. We have also referred them to 3 other couples, all of whom are having experiences similar to ours.

Cons: I am a very Type-A, organized person and my only frustration was the formatting or organization of some of the materials they sent us. I would have liked a better checklist and more details with some some document instruction/descriptions. We were also caught off guard about two deadlines (one pre-placement and one post-placement). Both issues worked out fine but added some extra work (and stress) on my end, which I hadn't factored into my planning or work week. At the end of it all, my husband and I both agreed these issues were very small prices to pay for a truly outstanding experience!

Reviews: I was really really shocked by the negative entry below because I can't imagaine Diana or Barbara acting as described. Like another Reviewer mentioned, there are always two sides to each story. That said, I will share a - positive - story of my own. My husband works at a global soft drink company (I worked there until after we were married and then started my own business) and when the former president of the company's Russian division found out we were adopting from Moscow he was very concerned. In a meeting with my husband, the executive shared a really tough story about another employee's adoption from Moscow. The situation was so horrible that the company got involved, sending its security team with the couple as they met with the local adoption representatives. The company's head of security in Moscow (former KGB) went so far as to identify and contact one of the top adoption coordinators in the country to enlist her help in finding a solution to the horrific and heart-breaking situation the couple was in. While meeting wth my husband, the executive contacted his former colleagues in Russia, including the head of security, and asked that they take care of us during our visit and escort us to all of the meetngs. Although we had no reason for concern, we thought the offer was kind and a good idea. I shared this with Diana and she politely and patiently explained that they worked with an incredible team on the ground and it would be an insult to their professionalism if we came to meetings armed with our own "security." (So true and so silly of us to suggest!!) She encouraged us not to get caught up in the few bad stories that negate all the good works of the credible agencies. She was right. And, guess what?! We later learned the agency that was called by the company to fix the first couple's horrible situation was the team that Adoption Hope International works with. Our experience at that point was so very positive and this kibble of news was just icing on the cake! Adoption is a scary and emotional experience regardless of the experience you are having with your agency. We got comfort, honesty, candor, reliability and results from Diana Adams and look forward to her helping hand when we adopt again!



Review by shillusa1 submitted on June, 1, 2009 at 03:18 AM


Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 3y 11m
Start Date: Feb 2008
Status: Finalized
Completion Date: Feb 2009
Time Until Placement: 12 months
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: Yes
Child from Tallinn, Estonia

shillusa1's Ratings:
Pros: from the very beginning of our adoption the agency was very upfront with us. we actually brought home two little boys in feb. 2009. The staff at AHI are trully a blessing to us. if and when we decide to adopt again we will return to AHI .

Cons: we had no problems with the agency.

Reviews: if you choose AHI , dont be afraid to ask them questions up front, the are very helpful.



Review by Molly submitted on December, 3, 2008 at 02:37 PM


Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 12y 0m
Start Date: May 2008
Status: Placement
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: Yes
Child from Estonia

Molly's Ratings:
Pros: The agency is VERY communicative. They return calls and emails immediately and have always done their best to answer any questions I have. When challenges in the adoption process arise, they do everything possible to help resolve them. Sometimes it seems like they don't even sleep! They are adoptive parents and truly care about the children they place.

Cons: We have not experienced any cons with the agency, except that they don't have full control over everything that goes on in the process of adoption, especially in the country where the adoption is taking place. But that's not their fault, I just wish everything WAS in their control, and then adoption would be a cinch!

Reviews: First I'd like to say that the first review (the negative one) below can be fully explained by the agency. No one should pay attention only to a one-sided story of a disqualified family. There are many vital missing pieces to that story. I have found the agency to be very honest and forthcoming about everything. They have never gotten annoyed at me for any concerns or questions I ask. The agency has one official website: www.adopts.com, and the other websites (www.adoptionpatch.com and www.adoptconnection.com) are run by volunteers who want to help get the children placed. They are not websites owned by Adoption Hope. The agency has not changed names, the owners of the agency opened their own agency after working with other larger agencies in the past. The agency does not retaliate against or threaten people who speak out about their difficult behavioral experiences with children they adopted. The agency and the country did not know about the kids' citizenship problems prior to them being matched to a new family. But I don't wish to use all of my review combating lies, exagerations, false accusations and misplaced blame. There are MANY MANY happy families who work with this agency. We are adopting 3 kids from Estonia. Anyone considering adoption from Estonia, or any other country through this agency, if you have any concerns - ask them any questions you want and get references from them. They wouldn't want anyone to work with them who is not comfortable with them. To us, they have become like family.



Review by meloniethompson submitted on December, 3, 2008 at 06:16 AM


Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 12y 4m
Start Date: Feb 2008
Status: Placement
Completion Date: Nov 2008
Time Until Placement: 9 months
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: Yes
Child from Arkansas, United States

meloniethompson's Ratings:
Pros: Fees were very flexiable, always returned my phone calls, called me while in country, easy to reach. assisted with document preperation.

Cons: none.

Reviews: we have adopted 4 children through this agency



Review by guest submitted on November, 30, 2008 at 10:30 PM


Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 10y 0m
Start Date: Nov 2007
Status: Homestudy and documentation
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Estonia

guest's Ratings:
Pros: There were no pros about working with this agency!

Cons: 1. These people did not bother to do a homestudy with us before we met our kids thereby putting these children at risk for some deep hurt if things did not work out. 2. Barbara Harle and Diana Adams have a monopoly going in Estonia as they are the only agency allowed to adopt in that country. Along with these two woman, the givernment officials are also deeply involved. The Minister of Social Sevices is pad to do the translation of documents as a separate entity as well as a driver who charges an exhorbenant amount of money for driving potential parents around. He can charge anywhere from 100 a day to 200 a day just driving parents a few miles from their hotel. 3. After we told the agency that we suspected that children had sexual abuse problems, we were droppped, especially since my husband works for the media. We suspected that a couple that we had met in the process were adopting children who had some major problems that included behavioral and sexual abuse and voiced our concern. We were told by Barbara Harle that we would ruin the adoption process for not only ourselves but also the adoption of the couple we had met. Adoption Hope International never looked into any of the issues we were concerned about regarding the children. Their focus was mainly on whether or not we were going to pay the price they were asking for the children we met. 4. Throughout the process in the beginning, we were led to believe that the adoption of these two children would be around $10,000.00. We were never sent any papaerwork with any fees for our children, but in several conversations with Barbara Harle, she kept telling us it was affordable. In the end, AHI quoted us a higher fee and when we questioned it we were told that we were being uncooperative. I mentioned that if that were really the case I would had told the other family that we had met about the problems with their children, it was then when Diana Adams became defensive and cut us off. She acted as though she had no clue about what I was referring to when I mentioned the sexual abuse of the children and instead of looking into my concerns, she cut us off and said it was in their best interest that we move on. 5. We later found out that AHI, Barbara and Diana were lying to people who inquired about the children we had planned to adopt and told everyone that we did not pass the homestudy or that we could not afford the fees. We did eventually finish the homestudy before this whole thing exploded and were even given glowing reviews. 6. AHI and Barbara and Diana use agencies here in the US to do their homestudies and then make sure that the best interest of AHI is all that matters. Our homestudy agency did nothing to indicate that they were working for us, even though we paid them a pretty penny. The homestudy agency kept telling us that the main concern was for the children, but they never once addressed our concerns over the safety of these kids. 7. AHI refused to speak to me over the phone once we started having problems and based their decisions over emails. I guess Diana Adams was afraid to hear the truth coming from my mouth but she avoided my calls and would not speak to me. The one time my husband was able to speak to her, she said that she did not want to speak to me opver the phone. I do not think that they handled any of this professionally.

Reviews: I ask that you really take the time to read this thoroughly. There were several issues with this agency. First of all we contacted AHI about 2 children we were interested in adopting (Ekaterina and Roman), we were told that a woman was considering adopting them and we had to wait until a decision was made, we were initially dealing with Barbara Harle. When we told her that we were only interested in those two children, we received a call telling us that we were preferred over the woman who was interested in adopting these kids because we seemed like a better family for them. Barbara then rushed us to book flights to meet these children in Estonia before there was a homestudy done. We were very concerned about this about were told that if we did not hurry up and fly to Estonia, that we would lose the opportunity to adopt. We felt that Barabara rushed us into this only after making sure that we were financially able to adopt. Before leaving to Estonia, we met another couple who were also planning on adopting and bonded with them and gathered items from them to take with us to their children as well. They warned us that we should make sure to spend time with our kids as they were not given an opportunity to really spend much time with their children. Before we left for Estonia, we made it clear to Barbara that we would only go if we were able to spend an entire week getting to know our kids. Barbara made sure that the people in Estonia would allow us to do so. We did this all without a homestudy. We flew to Estonia in November 2007 (about a year ago) and met the children. While we were there we were never contacted by the agency and arranged things on our own as far as spending time with our kids. We noticed that the children wanted to watch sexually explicit shows on television and we did what we could to either keep them very busy so they would not watch television or would choose age appropraite shows. Ekaterina was 11 and Roman was 10. We attended a going away party at the orphanage for one of the girls leaving and noticed that the children were dancing too provocatiely. I have worked in a psych clinic for children with problems which included sexual abuse and I saw all the signs in this orphanage. We saw the children that our new friends were going to adopt and I felt that the little girl displayed behavior of a child who was being sexually abused. We also met her brother and my gut kept telling me that something was wrong with him as well When the party was over, our children were allowed to spend a final afternoon with us at the apartment we rented and for some reason, the man (Igor) who was in charge of driving adoptive parents dumped our friends little boy on us as well. I walked in on the other familie's little boy molesting my daughter to be. We had a rough last day keeping this other little boy in line, but we said our goodbyes and dropped the three of them at the orphanage that night. When I got back I voiced my concerns to Barbara Harle about the over exposure of sex around these kids. I also told her about my concerns over the sexual abuse of the 2 kids that were being adopted, I was told to keep quiet and that I could ruin the adoption of all of the children if I told the other couple about their kids. I complied and kept quiet. Throughout the process we were led by Barbara Harle to believe that the fee for these kids would be close to 10,000.00, but after our Homestudy was finished (with glowing reviews) AHI told us that their fee was much higher than what we had planned. It was after we questioned the fees and the professionalism of AHI that we were dropped and throughout this mess, we were accused of being uncooperative, especially when we showed concern over the sexual abuse of kids in the orphanage. Instead of looking into this, AHI dropped us for asking too many questions even though we eventually agreed to their fees. After we were dropped for asking too many questions, Barbara and Diana lied to others telling them that we were dropped for not being able to pay the adoption fees or that we did not pass the Homstudy (both reasons given by them were lies to distract everyone). The process on how business is conducted with AHI has changed only after I questioned it in my emails to Barbara and Diana. This agency has changed names over the years and has many other names that they use for their websites, "Hmmm, I wonder why???" Meanwhile I have been reading on the blog for Estonian Adoptions that people are having problems with children they have adopted and that AHI has been threatening families claiming they are unfit whenever any parents tell of the hell they may be experiencing. I have heard so many horror stories from other families and hope that they will go on this board and tell their story without retaliation as there seems to be a mole among them. In the end I made every attempt to adopt these kids we met in Estonia. An official in Estonia let it slip that AHI had placed these kids on their website for adoption while there were issues with their citizenship and that she was not even sure if these kids could even be adopted. I heard that another family is trying to adopt our kids but my husband and I know that these kids love us and think about us still as our little girl even posted a picture of us with her brother on her webpage. I do not recommend that anyone use AHI to adopt but that everyone should work towards reforming the laws in this country to protect the adopting families and protect the children overseas from abuse and neglect. Also a word of caution to those of you using AHI's recommended Homestudy agency, the agency's best interest lies with AHI and not you, there are stories about AHI's agencies turning on the families who are paying them.