Chantel and Jeff’s journey into parenthood has not been an easy one. After years of fertility treatments, a surgery, and multiple miscarriages, the Bartsches chose to become parents via adoption. Three-year-old Levi is a beautiful light in their family and they’ve been eager to adopt again.
In September 2017 they called their adoption agency to begin the long process. At the same time, Chantel also started a blog to share their journey. You can follow along here:
They matched with a birth mom in late May. She was pregnant with a boy due Friday, September 14. The morning after the due date, the birth mom texted Chantel and continued a casual text exchange throughout the weekend. On Monday night, she told Chantel that she’d contact her after her doctor’s appointment Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday morning, September 18, Chantel and Jeff received word that the baby had been born on Monday night and that the birth parents had chosen to keep him. He came really fast and the parents just couldn’t go through with the adoption.
This was heartbreaking by itself, but it’s a risk that all adoptive parents have to face.
But later that night Chantel discovered via a Facebook search that the baby had actually been born on Saturday morning, not Monday night. Other posts suggested that the birth mom may have been intending to keep the baby since well before he was born.
Birth Mothers and Adoption Fraud
It is standard practice for adoptive parents to cover much of the living expenses for birth mothers. Since May, via a reputable adoption agency with a 93% success rate (the national average is 70% success), the Bartsches had been covering the living expenses of the birth mom. Normally the birth mom is cut off from financial assistance once she decides to parent, since the adoptive couple is not receiving a child.
But in this case, the birth mother not only lied about when the baby was born, she also asked for more money at the same time. Finding out that her plan was one of deception has made an already heartbreaking situation even worse.
While it is tempting to seek vengeance against the birth parents, it is very difficult to prove cases of adoption fraud. Not much would be gained from pursuing the matter legally anyway- the birth parents have no money and now have 7 children to take care of. What would happen to them? The pursuit would also require Jeff and Chantel to spend more money, time and energy on the matter.
The Costs of Starting Over
With the encouragement of their caseworker, Jeff and Chantel have decided to begin the adoption process again. Since they already have most of the time-consuming interviews and paperwork taken care of, right now the next step is to wait to be matched with another birth mother.
In the meantime, I am initiating this GoFundMe to raise money to offset the costs of this next adoption. Jeff and Chantel have already put in $39,000 towards adopting a second child. They lost $8,500 because of this birth mom. $5,800 of that was the birth mother’s living expenses, the rest was non-refundable third party fees.
Our Goal: $10,000
Birth Mom and Third Party Expenses: $8,500
Travel Expenses: $1,500
Anything beyond $10,000 will go towards paying off adoption debt and making up for lost income should Jeff need to take time off work when the new baby comes.
We believe that God has plans to bring another child into Chantel and Jeff’s family, and we ask for your help in making that happen. Thank you!
Please share this campaign! When you do, be sure to include why supporting the Bartsches in this way is important to you. Thank you very much for your generosity, support, and love.