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

Americans For African Adoptions (afaa)

8910 Timberwood Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana 46234
United States

Type: Private Agency

  Average Ratings
Based On All Reviews

Review by JenniferSJohnson submitted on July, 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 3y 0m
Start Date: Nov 1999
Status: Finalized
Completion Date: Oct 2000
Time Until Placement: 11 months
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

JenniferSJohnson's Ratings:
Pros: Most postive aspect is that we added 2 wonderful Ethiopian children to our family. AFAA was one of the very first agencies in Africa long before it became popular and therfore has a long standing hisotry with the countries involved. AFAA is one of the smaller agencies, but is committed to doing everything correctly, not cutting corners, doing all things "above board" within each country, staying current on the ever changing rules in each country and caring for each child to the best of their ability. I know for a fact that the head of the agency pays herself very little so that she can keep costs down and put as much money as she can into the organization. Therefore, AFAA's fees are very reasonable.

Cons: The only cons are 2 things that really can not be changed without changing 3rd world countries themselves or without making AFAA something it is not. AFAA is a small agency run by a very dedicated, knowledgeable few. This keeps their fees reasonable, but also means that the staff is spread thin and not always available when youc all. Messages are not always answered immediately and answers are not always available the moment you want them. Therefore, this agency is not one for someone who needs alot of handholding throughout the process. AFAA will let you know what is needed and when, but don't expect regular calls. Also, any agency dealing with 3rd world countries and governments are dealing with things that we, as Americans, have NO experience with. Electricity comes and goes. Communications are slow between countires and sometimes intercepted. Rules and officials change regularly. Government close for months at a time due to unrest or even the rainly season. Culture, customs and language means that any agency working in such countries must depend 100% on their representatives to navigate the waters within each country, and hiring honest representatives is easier said than done. There is not "set" timeframe for things to happen. Therefore, the process requires lots of patience and a real trust in AFAA to come through in the end. So, any negative thing I have to say cannot be changed by any agency, but are just the facts at hand.

Reviews: Cheryl Carter-Shotts, the head of AFAA, is one of the most dedicated, tireless women I have ever met. She has weathered many storms to keep working for these children LONG after most would have given up and for no financial gain. She does it for the children. Anyone who says otherwise, simply does not know her and has not spent any real time with her.

Review by jbmedictrans submitted on March, 12, 2012 at 05:40 AM

Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 15y 2m
Start Date: Jun 2006
Status: Placement
Completion Date: Dec 2006
Time Until Placement: 6 months
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Liberia

jbmedictrans's Ratings:
Pros: I worked with AFAA for two adoptions from Liberia. I found AFAA to be very ethical and trustworthy throughout my adoption experiences. In both adoptions, I have chosen older children (two 15 year olds). The director truly has a heart and passion for adoption of the older child and because of her own experiences with older child adoption, she has supported me both throughout the process and after the children are home. This is a nonprofit organization and the director handles adoptions, not for the money, but for the love and dedication to Africa's children. The director communicated with me every step of the way, answered my questions and still offers support long after the process has been completed (one in 2006 and the other adoption in 2008). The director holds her standards to the highest quality, and although completing adoptions in Africa can sometimes be frustrating, she has many years' experience in placing children while maintaining the highest degree of ethics. I would strongly recommend this agency for African adoptions.

Cons: I did not have any problems dealing with AFAA. The director is able to navigate her way through African adoptions and does so with patience, grace and integrity.

Reviews: I found AFAA to be particularly helpful with adoptions of older children. She has lended me her support, understanding and many years of wisdom in African adoptions.

Review by markdamron submitted on February, 13, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 0y 7m
Start Date: Nov 2010
Status: Referral received
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Kampala, Uganda

markdamron's Ratings:
Pros: We loved AFAA. It was the only agency that I could find that was affordable for us to adopt. We couldn't have done it without them. The employees have integrity and I felt like I could always trust them. I really liked the way the agency runs things. They certainly let the adoptive parents have decision making authority yet they are experts in this process, making it easy to follow and trust their leadership. I am thankful for this agency.

Cons: This isn't that much of a con. The one negative I hear is that there is a lack of communication. However, more communication requires more employees which then necessitates higher fees. I wouldn't want it any other way because it would take away the advantage of the agency - which is making adoptions affordable.

Reviews: I highly recommend AFAA. I did some research beforehand and they had some of the best ratings. I found our experiences to be outstanding and would whole-heartedly recommend them. They are a placing agency, so you will need to get a local social worker to perform the homestudy with you. It was a very simple process.

Review by cw submitted on August, 10, 2010 at 09:01 PM

Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 6y 0m
Start Date: Jul 2007
Status: Referral received
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Uganda

cw's Ratings:
Pros: There are no positives when dealing with AFAA.

Cons: Our family initiated the process to adopt a child through AFAA in August, 2007. At that time, we entered AFAA's Ethiopian program. We were provided a time frame of 18-24 months for completion of the adoption. The Executive Director of AFAA subsequently contacted our family at the beginning of 2008 and encouraged us to enter AFAA's Uganda program. At that time, she provided a time frame of 9-12 months to complete the adoption. As we continued to make monthly payments to AFAA without any evidence of progress, we began to question whether the alleged activities were truly occurring. We were reassured on multiple occasions by the Executive Director that our case was progressing in Uganda. In the spring of 2010, we began to ask more frequent questions about the obvious lack of progress in our case. We were again reassured that all was well in Uganda and urged to keep sending money. We began to press harder with our questions. The Executive Director then informed us that the Ugandan lawyer had quit because we were asking questions. In the summer of 2010, members of fellow adoptive families traveled to Uganda to investigate the situation. None of the required work regarding our cases had been completed. The lawyer stated that he had not been paid per his agreement with AFAA. At our insistence, payment was finally made, and court dates were granted for our case. We traveled to Uganda in September 2009 to find the situation in utter chaos. Our case was held at the US Embassy pending investigation. This USCIS investigation lasted approximately six months. Following the investigation, USCIS denied our prospective adoptive son's visa based on AFAA "knowingly and admittedly" committing fraud in preparing the paperwork for our child. The boy that had been referred to us was not an orphan. AFAA and/or its representatives had prepared false documentation to make it appear as though this child's biological parents were deceased. To our knowledge, judgment has been granted to two similarly situated families in South Dakota and Michigan in suits against AFAA alleging fraud and breach of contract. Our family will be filing suit in the near future, as AFAA's actions have led us to expend approximately $40,000 in pursuit of a fraudulent international adoption.


Review by sseifrit submitted on September, 13, 2009 at 02:39 PM

Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 5y 0m
Start Date: Nov 2007
Status: Referral received
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Uganda

sseifrit's Ratings:
Pros: Cheryl, the director of AFAA, is a hands on, knowledgeable woman. She has successfully handled adoptions from Africa for 20+ years. I found her to be of the upmost character. She and the staff at AFAA are TRULY dedicated to the children and will not tolerate anything that is not inthe best interest of the children - now or the future. She is direct and doesn't have time for nonsense. So anyone who has anything negative to say about their experiences with AFAA is likely disgruntled becasue they behaved poorly themselves and Cheryl set them straight. I will adopt through AFAA again

Cons: Because they are truly non profit - no extra money for staffers to hold the parents hands, the commuication can be frustrating. But getting information from Africa and having so much to do is the problem - not the agency.

Reviews: AFAA is the real thing, ethical, honest and committed to the children

Review by mvb1900 submitted on July, 19, 2009 at 09:04 PM

Adoption Details:

Child's Age: 1y 6m
Start Date: Nov 2001
Status: Referral received
Completion Date: Feb 2002
Time Until Placement: 3 months
Type: Closed, International
Special Needs: No
Child from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

mvb1900's Ratings:
Pros: We adopted two children simulatenously. The price mentioned above reflects approximately the cost of the adoption of both children together. The agency's founder and managing director was in touch with us the minute she had some new information to relay to us. She explained everything very clearly, was completely above-board, and the entire process worked out very well. We were very happy with the agency and would highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to work with an agency that has a long record of experience in Africa, from whcih you can expect complete honesty, and that is truly non-profit (with the paid personnel making very small salaries and doing this truly because it is a calling more than a job).

Cons: Adopting from Africa, through any agency, is not for prospective adoptive parents who have difficulty accepting that information may not be as complete as you'd like (it may simply not exist or not be traceable) and everything done yesterday (it won't, things move on their own time). Bureaucracies in other countries have their own routines and conventions, and one has to be willing to be patient with that. This agency has a long experience working in Africa and has a long reputation for navigating complex bureaucracies while maintaining ethical standards.

Reviews: If I were to adopt again, I would definitely work with this agency again! I do feel strongly that adoption should be non-profit and this agency works on that principle. One note on the homestudy process: since we did not live in the same state as the agency, we needed to work with someone in our state for the home study. This meant we had to locate the person and the person had to figure out what was needed for the purpose of this specific adoption. Our social worker had never before done a homestudy for an adoption from an African country.