Representative assigned was neglectful and not thorough with her assignment.
Upon signing a contract with IAC we were in agreement that we would pay up to $3000 in birth related expenses. After birth, a representative from IAC contacted us with credit card statements from the birth parents as well as medical co-payments in the amount of roughly $3000. The credit card statements were vague at best and showed very little in the way of birth related expenses yet our representative urged us to the point of threatening us of losing our baby, to pay these charges even though no receipts were given and the agency agreed that the charges were frivolous. We reached our maximum agreement of payment and then were presented with a bill for hospital bills not covered by the birth parents insurance. This bill is what our initial agreement of $3000 should have covered yet IAC urged us to use that money for the credit card bill. We are now being threatened that it is our obligation to pay this new bill with no admittance by IAC that their agency was inept. To summarize, we budgeted $3000 to help the birth parent with birth related expenses. We were told to pay her credit card bill without seeing any receipts to prove related expenses and now are being threatened to pay another $1900 or we are in breach of contract.
IAC should use the thousands of dollars in fees we paid to cover this newest bill as well as be responsible for explaining their inept representative to the birth parents.
In response to Mr. *****'s complaint, we want to acknowledge that adoption is a very difficult and emotional process, and we are very sorry that he feels we did not provide the correct services in his successful adoption.
The IAC's position is that we provided all of the services outlined in our contract, and that we did everything in our power to ensure that there was a successful adoption. I think we all agree that the adoption is successful as Mr. ***** and his wife are now in post-placement awaiting finalization.
First, to clarify, clients agree to pay up to a certain amount in "living expenses." This does not include additional expenses such as medical costs. The $3,000 paid was for living expenses such as maternity clothes, food, and gas. The $1,900 was for medical expenses. This was explained to the clients in a letter dated Feb. 19, 2014, which stated, "It is also our policy that it is your responsibility to pay for all pregnancy related medical expenses that are not covered by your birthmother's insurance."
Second, we did not threaten to remove the baby from his home, as the IAC did not have that legal right at that point in time. We did explain that the birthparents had the legal right to remove the baby, and might do so if their expenses were not paid.
Mr. ***** signed the IAC contract, which states in part, " The birthmother can change her mind about the adoption before he child is born. The birthparents can block the adoption of their child after the birth, as well, "
In addition, the contract states: " By signing this contract, clients acknowledge and affirm that they understand and accept the serious risks in adoption and agree to hold the Independent Adoption Center and its staff and officers harmless from all liabilities, claims and disputes concerning the completion of their adoption."
Finally, Mr. ***** signed a document called "Toward a Successful Adoption," which states in part,
" Money is a sensitive issue for everyone. Birthparents are often not in the position to fully support themselves throughout the pregnancy, birth, and post-birth periods. Though some birthparents may qualify for state funding such as Medi-Cal or Medicaid, the process of obtaining such funding can often feel demeaning. It is important for you as adoptive parents to understand that all reasonable, appropriate, and legal costs directly related to the pregnancy, birth, and immediate post-birth period may be your responsibility.
"Typically, you will work out a budget with the birth-parents, with the assistance of the Center. It is equally important for you to understand that if hospital costs for the birthmother and baby are not paid for by insurance or Federal or State sources, you are responsible for these expenses. It is also important for you to understand that any money expended for the birthmother in connection with adoption is a gift, and, as such, is not reimbursable, even if the adoption cannot be completed. "
In summary, we are very happy that Mr. *****'s adoption was successful, and we will continue to provide the post-placement support and supervision required to finalize the adoption. We believe that the expenses Mr. ***** paid are legal and within the confines of the living and medical expenses that were outlined in signed contracts, letters and verbal communication with Mr. *****.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We agreed to pay however still believe the initial money was NOT for pregnancy related items as NO receipts were given.
Final Business Response
We appreciate that Mr. ***** understands the importance of their paying the medical bills for the baby they are in the process of adopting, and he has agreed to do so. The resolution of this complaint involved Mr. ***** agreeing to pay the medical bills for the child they are adopting, which he has done.
In his rebuttal Mr. ***** states that he still believes that the money he initially paid was not for pregnancy related expenses because no receipts were provided. The money for the birthmother's living expenses was paid retroactively. Therefore, the agency accepted the birthmother's credit card statement, in lieu of receipts, and Mr. ***** agreed to pay $3000 of the expenses on her credit card bill. At the time, Mr. ***** had a choice. He and his wife could have withdrawn from this potential adoption and chosen to wait for another situation in which there would not be this type of expenses. Instead, he and his wife chose to proceed with this adoption, and they agreed to pay $3000 for the birthmother's living expenses. Now, after the fact, he is objecting to the money they previously agreed to pay.
Also, prior to Mr. ***** reimbursing the birthmother for her living expenses, the Independent Adoption Center had ******* ******* a New York adoption attorney review the items listed on the credit card statement that the birthmother requested reimbursement for. Mr. Warren verified that New York law (this adoption is taking place in New York) would approve those charges as pregnancy-related living expenses. Mr. ***** was aware at the time that the attorney had verified that these expenses were legally allowable without the receipts.
As noted in our previous response, the Independent Adoption Center has determined that the expenses that Mr. ***** paid for the adoption of their child fall within the confines of the living expenses and medical expenses that were outlined in their signed contract with the Independent Adoption Center and in letters and verbal communication with Mr. *****.