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Adams says he was spending about $300 a month at the peak of his search for a mate.
Use caution in international dating
The U.S. State Department warns citizens that international dating is fertile ground for scam artists. Here is the department’s advice, from an article at http://1.usa.gov/pyjLx2.
Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person without verifying his or her identity.
Don’t disclose personal details over the phone or online.
Refer all those claiming to be in distress overseas to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 can offer suggestions for verifying whether the situation is legitimate or a scam.
If you insist on sending money, consider sending an OCS Trust instead, which means the money sent via Western Union must be picked up at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
‘Order up some girls’ » Today, one in five romantic relationships begins online, says David Evans, an industry consultant who blogs at Online Dating Insider.
But unlike the big players in the industry, international-dating websites often have a "creepy" feeling to them, he says, giving the impression they are simply sites where men with money can "order up some girls from the Philippines."
Women, for instance, don’t pay to meet foreign men on the site.
The opportunity for exploitation cuts both ways: Well-heeled Western men can use the women as arm-candy or for sex, if they ever meet, and the women can persuade gullible men to send money or help them to secure visas.
In a Harris Interactive survey this summer of 503 men who have dated or would date online, 31 percent said they were looking for women "purely for sex." Another 57 percent were looking for companionship. The survey of men ages 35 to 55 was commissioned by AnastasiaDate.
It’s not known what proportion of the K (fiancée) visas the U.S. State Department issues — 32,154 last year, up from 29,016 the year before — are related to online dating.
But, Evans says, "There is a market out there for dudes that want foreign brides, for whatever reason."
‘This was my dream’ » Adams says he "thought long and hard about the kind of person I wanted to meet. No matter how beautiful they are, they had to be interested in being a family."
He didn’t want women age 30 or younger because, in his experience, they’re interested in clubbing. He didn’t want a woman older than 36 because he believes most have already reared children and aren’t interested in mothering a young child.
Adams exchanged letters and chatted with several women in 2012 before Adamchiyk’s profile and video caught his attention. Online communication, he says, seemed somehow more genuine.
"If you’re dating someone local and … your relationship starts out with having sex with them, you’re not really their friend." Online, he says, "You have to take the time to sit and write a letter."
In September 2012, Adams traveled to Odessa to meet Adamchiyk. He went back in May for several weeks. A Kentucky native, Adams is fascinated by Ukraine’s culture and history and is learning Russian. He considers retiring in Ukraine someday, which would make Adamchiyk, whose mother remains in the country, happy.
Adamchiyk, who was 32 and managing a department store when she met Adams, says she was attracted to his eyes, which struck her as kind and loyal. But there was something more.
"You want truth?" she says. "First, when I saw Nessa, I fall in love with her.
"This was my dream," she says. "She is my daughter."
Getting the visa Adamchiyk received in August took more than 10 months, requiring piles of biographical and relationship documentation — receipts from museums they visited, trains they rode, sessions they Skyped — a physical exam and a U.S. Embassy interview. After 90 days and the couple’s marriage, she can apply for a permanent green card, which could take four years to secure.
Adamchiyk hopes to go to school to improve her English and wants to connect with members of the St. George Russian Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City.
Adams says he didn’t realize how much his daughter needed a mother until he saw her bond, as he has, with Adamchiyk. "She runs to her all the time, asking her questions. She wants her to give her a bath every night."Next Page >
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