13 Jun 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


Documents: Adoptions by Shepherd’s Care

Last week, I mentioned the Florida adoption agency whose license may be revoked by the Florida Department of Children and Families, Adoptions by Shepherd’s Care (ASC). After reading the article about Adoptions by Shepherd’s Care in the Florida Sun-Sentinel, I filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with Florida DCF on June 6, 2011 asking for documents related to ASC. Since another journalist had already requested the documents, they’d already been redacted, and DCF was able to turn the request around in just six days. Thanks, Florida DCF!

Out of 21 different documents, I’m posting three that seem to contain the most relevant information. The first is an intent of revocation notice, hand-delivered to Adoptions by Shepherd’s Care on March 19, 2011. It lists the reasons why DCF is trying to close the agency. The second document relates to a 2009 investigation, and the third is also related to that investigation.

Downloadable Documents:

http://findingfernanda.com/documents/ASC_revocation-3-18 2011.doc (11 pages, Word document)

http://findingfernanda.com/documents/CAP-5-20-10-rev-6-10.doc (8 pages, Word document)

http://findingfernanda.com/documents/Final-Draft-Admin-complaint-4-6-2010.doc (6 pages, Word document)

  1. I am the AP#2 father of NH in the complaints listed in the second and third documents that you posted. I believe that ASC should be shut down completely.

  2. I am trying to find out more about this agency because a family member of mine has chosen to use them as her agency. I don’t believe she has done the proper research and may be making a very poor choice. Thanks for the post. Is there any more information you have to offer?

  3. I can’t begin to explain how awful our experience with Adoption by Shepherd Care was. Our son’s adoption has since been completed with ASC, but the process was awful… as it was for another couple we met by chance. Nidia Sica asked for all the monies due BEFORE our Dossier was sent. We hadn’t even been approved for the country, much less had a referral for a child, when she sent us an invoice for the monies owed AFTER we’d been placed with a child. When we confronted her, she stated that those were Hague’s requirements. We paid the full amount and then contacted Hague to find that this is not true. I have ALL the documentation to show how unethical and non-Christian their practices are. They charged us $1,500 for a Colombian contact to handle our driving to and fro in Colombia. We never met that person and had to pay another contact. That money was not refunded to us. Also of note, in the break down of their charges, they charge $1,500 for “support” while you wait for the placement of a child with you. Every time we called ASC for information on the status of our waiting time… she informed me to call the orphanage.

    The other couple my husband and I met had took Adoption by Shepherd Care to small claims court and were successful in obtaining most of the money they put out.

    Though I’m deeply overjoyed at the adoption of our son, it is my deepest wish that NO ONE go through what we went through.


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