We used Hope's Promise to be on the waiting list for a Domestic Adoption. After reviewing their high adoption rates per year we were willing to pay the high amount in advance to be on their waiting list. Unfortunately after two years of waiting we decided to quit, since we never got matched with a birthmother and they decided to raise their fees. Their response to receive any of the money back was basically no, you signed the agreement.
After this experience we would highly recommend not to sign up with an agency who wants too much money in advance. It is better to find agencies with a smaller advanced fee, so you can sign up with several agencies to increase your chances to be picked by a birthmother.