Kurtz in Europe

"Baby Brokers come in all sorts and shapes – some call themselves lawyers, others private practitioners and others just plain social workers. The facts about them are quite simply that they sell children to strangers for a living." – Anne Patterson

Yesterday I noticed someone from Switzerland had spent hours digesting my blog. They had found my blog by googling the terms "Milajlovic Adoption World". MaryAnn Milajlovic is a known associate in the Kurtz agency operations.  Its been rumored she is Seymour Kurtz sister in law (unconfirmed)

My curiosity was piqued. This morning I get this in my email.

Niels, Kali, please note this. Marley, Sabine, and anyone else who tracks brokers, see this as well. This is VERY interesting. I have forwarded to babybrokerwatch.com for their info as well.

From: texissgirl
Date: July 24, 2008 7:13:49 AM EDT
Subject:prospective adoptive parents and one of Seymour Kurtz victims


I found your site by chance and am horrified by what I have read so far. I feel compelled to write to offer any information I can. My husband and I are American citizens living in Switzerland. We began our journey to adopt in May of 2006. We contacted American Adoption Professionals Abroad, Inc. they do home studies and are based in Heidelberg Germany. Randy Barlow is the director and has had this established business as a social worker for over 20 years. They are highly recognised and referred to in the expat adoption community. We had Randy do our home study and discussed with him our options in agencies. He and associates Elizabeth Leuenberger and Jane Santos had experience placing 8 babies with expat families through Adoption World, Inc based in Chicago Ill and an agency of Seymour Katz. We had researched the internet and saw one web site with complaints against Mr. Kurtz. We expressed our concerns to Randy Barlow but because of his positive experience and the fact that social worker and associate Elizabeth Leuenberger personally adopted through them we felt good about our decision to sign with them. In December 2006 we engaged the services of Adoption World and paid them $5,000.00 between this time and August 2007. We also paid $7,000.00 to their partner company American Institiute for Family Services, Inc, also in Chicago, at the same address, to complete our dossier. Just yesterday, July 23,2008 we received registered mail packet with our file and a letter stating that Adoption World could no longer provide service to us and they will be giving up their license in the state of Illinois. No money has been returned. The telephone number no longer works, neither does the number for Easter House or Birth Hope in Arizona. I am filing a complaint with the Attorney Generals office in Illinois consumer fraud bureau. I have also emailed the Illinois department of Children and Family Services.

Our story is only one of loss of time and money and of course hope and faith in an adoption system which seems fraught with corruption. After reading your web site I am thankful that our story didn’t involved hurting others. I hope this information will somehow help someone. I truly believe the social workers with American Adoption Professionals Abroad act with good intentions but have to wonder if they truly could be ignorant of the acts of and or the accusations against Seymour Kurtz and all of his associates. Believe me I have written to them as well and have posted my story on the adoption chat groups with which I have been associated.

I wish all of you only the best,

7 Thoughts.

  1. Hmmmmmmm
    Remember when I had that conversation with the guy from DCFS about EH, I thought this was coming.
    “they will be giving up their license in the state of Illinois.”
    give up? maybe, have pulled or not be re-instated would more likely be the case. I think those of us with Kurtz history need to act together and demand to know status of agency records from DCFS immediately.

  2. I’m a pretty new reader here, and have a question that you may not want to answer. Have you ever been able to talk directly to the people who adopted your daughter to see what their story was as far as what they were told, what they paid, etc.? It would be interesting to know what was going on with adoptive parents while unethical things were being done to expectant moms.

  3. Sophie – No I have not. I look forward to the day when I can learn their story and what was told to them, done to them, how I was painted to them.
    My experience based on the 50+ adoptive parents I know that adopted through this network of agencies is that they were lied to and decieved as well. They had a desire for a child, were willing/able to pay for it, and Kurtz gladly took their money. It wasnt until their adopted children were reunitd that the adoptive parents realize how they were used and lied to and party to a possible unethical transaction.
    Mo who comments here adopted from the network of agencies. She can tell you the adoptive parent perspective and likely confirm my statements above.

  4. Hi Sophie~
    In answer to your questions to Suz, my explanation has gotten a lot of criticism in here, but here it is.
    We stated our adoption through Friends of Children in Georgia, being told the amount would be $14,000.00. Shortly after we received a call stating they had a child, but with their new agency that wasn’t quite complete in Arizona and the fee would be an additional $2,000.00.
    As far as the information given us about the birth parents, it was completely accurate and honest. With one exception when asked if the birth mother had left anything for her child – stating she left only a teddy bear and nothing else.
    Not knowing anything differently until our daughter’s reunion did we learn that she too was lied to, but not like most.
    She had in fact left other items which we never received. The agency also took it upon themselves to change my husbands information and informed her that he too was adopted and had no idea who his parents were, but for some reason kept mine truthful.
    We also learned that not a cent of the fee paid went towards helping her, they never offered any form of counseling, help with housing, food, etc., that we were told was to be used for her – not given as some have claimed in here.
    So, yes, the agencies do lie, but lie more to these naive young girls. Taking full advantage of their situation and age and in some cases threaten them with false legal action.
    So, I hope I have been of some help to you.
    PS: This is for all the others readers – I would appreciate no more back lashing from any of you! As one writer wrote – this is a blog where you can talk and speak your mind. You have your rights to post what you feel and I as an adoptive parent am entitled to mine as well. I’ve said what I had to say not to defend myself, but to say how I felt about everything and the contents of my words have been taken way out of proportion.
    Remember: Suz created her blog to not only help herself, but help others involved in adoption and most importantly to help the unborn children of future young girls – not to bash natural and adoptive parents.

  5. As I said before Mo, you seem like a good one and I for one appreciate hearing your POV which may not always be the same as mine.
    Just to follow up on agencies lying. They do lie, and remember I come from a not for profit situation.
    One humourous (oops my nationality is showing)example: a friend’s father had some issues with alcohol and played guitar in a kind of broken down country and western band. In reunion she discovered the adoptive parents were told he played the organ in a church. In another instance, the Jewish adoptive parents were assured the child was Jewish. Child meets Mom and Dad – not Jewish at all. In other instances, parents were told the parents of the child were married – in reunion, not so.
    I sometimes think a big part of the underground resistance to open records and possible reunion is the knowledge on the part of the agencies that all these, what they seemed to think were necessary little lies, are out there.

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