We started the adoption process in October 2006, in February 2007, Nina Heller of Mainstreet ("MS"), photolisted a child, Samantha on www.precious.org; I contacted her to see if the child was really available, she said no, she is taken, she tried to talk me into an infant referral, I told her I was not interested in any other child and was using a private atty to adopt in Gautemala.
Then, on April 6, 2007, Nina Heller of MS sent me the picture of Marta-Lydia, a sweet sad toddler girl, she told me she was just 18 months old, the child was really almost 2. We accepted her referral and had to deposit, $3k as soon as possible because many other families want Madeline and the first one who gets the money to their account gets the child. I should have known better.
After many months of begging for updates, photos etc., we finally received word that the DNA was done, then we informed MS of our plans to visit this child, they said okay and when we got to Guatemala, no one arrived at the hotel to meet us from MS. Instead many hours of waiting and phone calls later, their Facilitator in Florida called us at the hotel in Guatemala and told us, sorry this child is back with her Mother and has been for 11 days! Then, they carried on a charade for the entire week, saying the bio mom was really just wanting to bring her to us and would be at the hotel.
Finally on the final night in Guatemala, they brough us another child the same age, Susie and told us she was "available". Then when we got back to the states, they told us, please take a different referral, I promised susie to someone else. We said no, they let us have Susie and in January the same thing happened, they told us Susie's Mom took her back because the father was against Adoptions. This is the same excuse that they gave us about Sam's family.
Then in February 2008 we were told that Sam was available and being adopted by someone else, but maybe we could get her back, as she was in their fostercare! We believe they gave her knowingly to two families using a sister agency that the facilitator works with. Then, they told us Susie was available, her father is just demanding money and they will get her back. Now, 3 months later and they will not answer our calls, letters or emails. They owe us exactly $25, 470, and that does not include the $2500 the visit trip cost us or the $2,000 spent on our dossier.
To make matters worse, we personally know of 21 other families in the same boat. Buyer beware, they are a complete fraud. They used to have a fair reputation but since they knew that Guatemala as a country would no longer process adoptions after December 31, 2007, they knowingly took PAP's for as much money as possible, knowing that many of the children where not available or the children were bate and switched. One family is on their 4th referral in 2 years and still no one has any children home.
In 2006 many adoptions through MS went well, so please, do your homework and make sure that you are talking to current adoption agency paps. MS gave us many references and we checked them all, but they were all old and we were too new to adoption to figure out that we were being taken.
We and a large group of us are pushing the PA authorities to arrest them, but its a long, difficult road. They in turn have hired a top lawyer.
Now, that Guatemala is closed, they have set their sites on Africa. They are not licensed to work in Africa and these paps will lose their money. They have an arbitration in PA clause only and a clause claiming all money given to them is ask risk. Please warn anyone considering this formidable agency.