Curious minds wonder. Just how much does European Adoption Consultants, the placing agency of two Russian children who ended up dead at the hands of their Forever Families,* rake in each year? Since I’m not an accountant, I’m not going to pretend to interpret their IRS 990s, available on Guidestar (free registration required). There’s a lot more than these figures: salaries, expenses, inventory. Perhaps somebody else can elaborate. In the meantime, here’s a sample:

2004: $7,568,621
2005: $8,197,469 (adjusted to $8,257,994 on 2006 990 form)
2006: $ 7,809,150
TOTAL: $23,565,240 (adjusted to $23,635,765)

2004: $890,593
2005: $1,044,505
2006: $890,141
TOTAL: $2,835,229

EAC Director Margaret Cole-Hughes’ salary:
2004: $194,000 + $70,000 in benefits and deferred compensation
2005: $194,000
2006: $194,000
TOTAL: $582,000+70,000

I guess the day of the kindly but poor social worker played by Beulah Bondi has gone the way of…well…Beulah Bondi.

EAC is a Hague Accredited by the Council for Accreditation, It is a member of The Joint Council on International Children’s Services and the National Council for Adoption.

*Logan Higginbotham, November 25, 1998
Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison, July 8, 2008


  1. This is JUST one agency dealing in adoption. What about the others, the others that are earning just as much and not getting caught in the fray of problems.

    There is just to much money involved in selling babies and children.

    Thats why these types of agencies flourish because they get away with the thing they have done for years upon years.

    Where it the regulations and why are they allowed to stay in business with the abuses to the children.

    I have answers but those who are involved in adoption or are in the baby buying business just don’t want to hear the truth UNTIL it bites them in the a$$.

    Then WE hear how hurt they’ve been and how much money they have lost in adoption.

    NOTHING about the child or his mother, or family after all they are just the irrelevant parts of adoption who are used to cure someone else’s problems.

  2. EAC is a classically profitable non-profit, in which the founders are more handsomely rewarded than they would be if organized as a for-profit corporation. Peel away the non-profit veneer and you’ll likley find an organization dedicated to the well-being of those in control, not the puublic they claim to serve.

    Adoption is but one area in which the public is hoodwinked and its pocket picked in this manner. There is no chance of real reform on that front, however, given the thousands of non-profits organized for the same purposes.

    EAC claims 7,000 adoptions since 1991, or 400 to 450 a year. That’s roughly 1.5 per working day. When you look at EAC’s staffing, its ‘coordinators’, for the 50 states, you’ll find that there are only a handful, most of whom are responsible for multiple states.

    Moreover, EAC conducts home studies for its clients in only 3 of the 50states in which it solicits business. In the other 47 states it simply offers assistance in selecting a home study agency.

    Given the number of adoptions, the number of countries in which it operates, the limited staffing evident from its website, the out-sourced home studies and the emphasis on fast adoptions, it’s unlikely to perform any in-depth work with its clients, before or after an adoption.

  3. This is JUST one agency dealing in adoption. What about the others, the others that are earning just as much and not getting caught in the fray of problems.

    Amy did excellent work collecting the financial highlights of all agencies accredited in Russia. See: RUSSIAN ADOPTION AGENCIES AND BACKGROUND.

    Claud Corrigan D’Arcy wrote an excellent piece on the money involved in the NCFA cum suis. See:
    The National Council for Adoption: MOTHERS, MONEY, MARKETING, & MADNESS.

    In Not for Profit?, I maintain a list of jobs in the for adoption industry that are rewarded with more than $100,000 per year. This list is and will remain a work in progress.

  4. Marley,

    Beulah what a name that is!

    That “kindly” but poor social worker scares me.

    “EVIL” looking instead of kindly look!
    Scary eyes too.

  5. According to their last IRS Form 990, Margaret Cole is the executive director and president. Two of her daughters are trustees on her board of directors. Paid ones I might add. Here they are and what they earned. Patricia Sikora, trustee and daughter, earned $47,477. Karen Cole, trustee and daughter, earned $46,179.

  6. Chase and Logan are just the tip of the iceberg. The amount of adoptive parents who have been hurt or ripped off by this agency over the years is astounding … as is the lack of sanctions they’ve faced from the same Ohio regulatory agency that has been willing to discipline other agencies for far less. Supposedly, in the early days, Margaret did an adoption for someone high up in the Ohio AG’s office at the time, a client she’d gotten through her husband’s family’s political connections (she works hard to hide the fact that she’s the daughter-in-law of the late Cuyahoga County GOP boss Robert Hughes, whose death in the early 1990s was ruled a suicide but remains highly suspicious). In gratitude, this guy made sure that any complaints about EAC got circular-filed (Even a few years ago, when we called ODJFS pretending to be a family with a complaint, we were referred to the Better Business Bureau (and we all know how much “good” they can do).

    We get more emails from people telling us how EAC screwed them than any other agency. You name it, they’ve done it … lied about the fate of kids in more than one foreign country, refused to return money, returned dossiers stamped all over “invalid” so as not to be reusable, threatened complaining PAPs on the Internet with the cessation of their adoptions, required people to bribe the Russians.

  7. Thanks, Daniel Case. That’s some solid facts concerning what is really rotten about EAC, as opposed to blathering about all adoption, adoptive parents, and all agencies being intrinsicaly
    evil like some who comment here.

    It is great that you, Bastardette, and some others are really documenting and following all this, in hopes that the worst of the worst will finally be brought to justice. In memory of the children who died…this is important work. Again, thank you.

  8. Maryanne:

    Daniel is my husband.

    Not only is EAC a “non profit” company in Ohio, it is FEDERALLY TAX EXEMPT.

    We used to have hard copies of EAC’s 1023 (IRS initial filing application to be given 501(c)(3) status) from 2000. We also used to have their first few 990s. Unfortunately, I dispersed them to an EAC client who I thought was going to do something with them.

    Robert Hughes was Margaret Cole-Hughes father in law. He died in November 1991. There is an article about his death in “The Cleveland Magazine” from 1992. We have a copy of that if anybody wishes to see it (PDF format).

    Margaret married Robert Hughes son. It was a second marraige for her. MOST of Margaret Cole-Hughes family members were or are on the board or worked for EAC.

    Her mother, Lucile Logan Cole (going under her maiden name) is/was the “Executive Director” of an EAC “agency” called American International Adoption Agency, Inc. Here’s the link:

    The house shown on this site is allegedly the house Margaret Cole-Hughes grew up in. It’s somewhere in rural NE Ohio.

    Margaret Cole-Hughes brother Victor lives in Florida. He is heavily involved in a few EAC for-profits.

    The information about EAC is out there – you just have to know where to look. I just wished I’d saved more of what I’d found over the years (oh me of little faith)


  9. If someone wanted to explore this story a bit, I’d be happy to mail the paper that EAC sent us, along with my notes from a conversation with Margaret Cole in October 1999.

    That woman, and that agency, moved us to actions of various kinds. None of which did a damn bit of good, RIP Chase and Logan–but if you tell me that taking $25000 out of my house is all the qualification I need to get a referral to a healthy white baby because you’ll send over your own house MSW to stamp it all…you’ve triggered my concerns.

    Is it finally time for someone to investigate this story please?

  10. anonymous EAC burned client:

    Email me here:

    [email protected]

    And send me what you’ve got. We were burned by a different Ohio agency – Building Blocks Adoption Services (BBAS). This is our story:

    Our agency’s director was always trashing out Margaret Cole-Hughes, which got us to wondering, then researching…you know the drill.

    FWIW, I KNOW you’re not the only EAC client out there who has been trashed out by them. There are many others.


  11. “EVIL” looking instead of kindly look!
    Scary eyes too”

    Typical social worker-fanged, black winged-hey! did you hear that if your kid gets sunburned now it is considered child abuse and it is a felony-imagine Beluah taking your child away screaming for that-sing along now everyone…where has all the logic gone, long time passing..

  12. But states seal records, not adoption agencies Don’t you mean closed adoptions, which is another story. Very few agencies todday do only closed adoptions. If the prego doesn’t want an open adoption it’s her option to find an an agency that does them. Very few today want that option, btw.

  13. Yeah, Improper, you need to update your villains! In the past, some social workers had a lot of power and used it to ill effect. But they did not seal records….the state does that as Marley pointed out, and lots of social workers have testified in favor of open records over the past 20 years.Many non-NCFA agencies (which are the majority) are in favor of open records.

    The truly evil and villainous today are adoption entrepreneurs in domestic and international adoption, those in it solely for the money, and there are many. Yes, they use questionable social workers to rubber-stamp some homestudies, but social workers are no longer a driving force behind any of it. “European Adoption Consultants” are a good example of this.

    The “Evil Social Worker” from 30s and 40s movies is as out of date as the iceman delivering a block of ice for your icebox, or Al Capone-style gansters. It is a different world today, with new and much more sophisticated villains.

  14. Um, I don’t understand where the two of you are coming from. It WAS social workers in part that got the states to close our records, and were ruthless about keeping them closed, from the 50’s on. The LDS sure has enough of them taking babies away from single mothers, and so does the NCFA-and keeping real fathers from getting their own child, if the mother decides on adoption. After reading the book about poor Lisa Steinberg, I will never beleive that social workers care about children-how many are they ripping away from their parents now because they got sunburn? They either go overboard, or don’t keep a child safe, imo-there are still many, many social workers that want the records closed-I have never read anything where one says they don’t.

  15. There was no social worker in the Steinberg case, and poor little Lisa was never legally adopted. Michelle Launders, her birthmother, gave her to lawyer Joel Steinberg and he was supposed to arrange an adoption. Instead, he kept her for his druggy scumbag girlfriend Hedda Nusbaum, and they passed Lisa off as their adopted kid. They did the same thing with Travis Smeigel, who they named Mitchell. He was found, filthy and abused, in their apartment after Lisa died. He was returned to his birthfamily largely through the good work of Mirah Riben. Yes, this is a monstrous case, and Steinberg and Nussbaum are the worst of the worst and should rot in hell, but it has nothing to do with social workers. Private lawyer facilitated adoption that went horribly wrong, and an innocent child died.

  16. Ohmy God-you are SOO wrong: here’s a quote from the tru tv Crime Library website, that is the SAME INFO IN THE BOOK:
    “Disclosure after disclosure revealed that the Steinbergs had come to the city’s attention repeatedly. In each instance however, nothing was done. Child Protective Services personnel had visited the apartment a total of three times in 1983 and 1984. Each visit stemmed from reports of child abuse. The social workers were steadfast that there was no evidence of abuse. To make matters worse, it was soon discovered that the police had been to the Steinberg’s apartment on October 6, just weeks before Lisa was killed, on an anonymous complaint of a family dispute. Hedda was found with several facial injuries, apparently inflicted during a fight with Joel. Hedda refused to press charges and the police left”
    Did you READ the book maryanne? Obviously not…
    The neighbors knew she was being abused but CPS wouldn’t do anything. I think you just want to argue with me, for the sake of arguing-if I said grass was green you’d insult me for saying that-what ever your problem is maryanne, go deal with it in a constructive way and don’t take it out on me.

  17. I know all about the failure of CPS in the Steinberg case, and not from a “true crime” website.
    The agencies and social workers who did not come to the aid of Lisa Steinberg were NOT adoption social workers and had nothing to do with adoption. Child protective services failed miserably in this case as they have in other child abuse cases,both by natural and adoptive parents, but this is a whole other area of social work and has nothing to do with social workers making money from adoption which was your original “evil social worker” thesis.

    Yes, I read Michelle Launders’ book years ago. OUr group organized a candlelight vigil for Lisa in front of Steinberg’s apartment. I met Michelle briefly once, and heard everything about the Steinberg case while it was going on from Mirah Riben, my associate in the original NJ Origina group,who was very involved in speaking to Michelle and the Smiegal family and as I said, helped them get Travis back. He grew up fine, recently graduated from college.

    I have nothing against you, but will disagree when you make statements that are twisted, unclear, or not true.

    So….do you consider every social worker evil, even if he or she has nothing to do with adoption? Hospital and nursing home and rehab social workers? Social workers helping the homeless and mentally ill? School social workers? Domestic abuse social workers? It is a big field to condemn with such a broad brush.

    As to CPS….you complain that they are too strict as in the “sunburn” case you site, then you complain that they are not strict enough, as with Lisa Steinberg. Which is it? Or is abuse only bad when done by adoptive rather than natural parents in your little world?

  18. maryanne said…
    “Psychiatry helps no one” says Improper Adoptee.

    Oh. You threw out your meds. That explains a whole lot.

    Grow up maryanne. Your remark is SOO old, just like the birth mother privacy lie..

  19. Improper Adoptee–I am a social worker. I do not work in adoptions. Do you realize that social workers work in many various fields? They work with the geriatric population. They work in schools. They work in mental health agencies, advocating for families at school meetings and court dates. They work in hospitals, attempting to connect families to services that will help them after a patient is discharged. There are endless other positions in which social workers are employed other than in the adoption or child welfare field. Do you realize that many of them who work for true not-for-profits do not make high salaries? And that many of us work overtime for no extra pay because of dedication to our clients? And spend money out of our own pockets to help out clients? That many of us expect to be “on-call,” 24 hours a day, in the middle of the night and when we’re with our own families, to be available to a client in case of crisis? It is very unfair of you to tar all social workers with the same brush, saying “typical social worker-fanged, black-winged.” I am very sorry for the bad experiences you have had with social workers, but when you make a blanket statement like that, it is the equivalent of making a racist comment because experiences you have had with a couple people. And also, instead of educating people, you run the risk of scaring people away from all social workers, when they could perhaps truly find help. I am sure you would not appreciate it if someone were to make such a blanket statement about your profession or anything else about you.

    sent from:

  20. Also, social work is not psychiatry. You can read a history of the origins of social work and see that is a very divergent path from psychiatry. Social work is NOT pathology-driven. Social workers are trained to operate from a strengths-based perspective and to recognize the inherent positives in their clients, as well as helping the client to identify their own strengths. It is up to the client to identify where they want to be, not for the social worker to tell them what their goals should be. Once the client has done this, the social worker’s role is to help them use their strengths to reach the goals that they set for themselves.

    sent from:

  21. Dan & Elizabeth Case:

    I have read a lot about your story online. I am so sorry for your misfortune, it is heartbreaking. Did you use EAC or BBAS or both?

    I am currently with EAC. I signed up BEFORE finding this information. But I got to say, so far so good. This agency placed two beautiful children with my co-worker, which is why I choose EAC. I have been very impressed with this agency so far. But a little nervous about the information on here. I feel like EVERY agency has complaints. I used the “Adoption Agency Ratings” and the agencies that had 0 complaints were new. I feel if I listened to every complaint on every agency, I wouldn’t have the courage to complete an adoption.

  22. dear Anonymous,

    Hopefully this makes yuo feel a little better. My husband and I completed our adoption with EAC and found them to be wonderful, caring, honest throughout the whole process. Adoption is such an emotional journey and it’s easy to place blame when things don’t go well. All I can say from my personal experience, the whole team at EAC worked very hard to help my family through the process and we felt very supported and taken care of. Hopefully your adoption is successful and as easy as possible for both you and your child.

  23. EAC is a wonderful agency and we highly recommend them. They worked miracles for us when we were overseas and they helped us every step of the way.

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