Nationwide adoption agency closes abruptly

The adoption community has been shocked by the abrupt closing of Independent Adoption Center, a nationwide agency that has been placing children with families for 34 years. If you have been affected by the closure, Jennifer Cochran-Green recommends the following:

1)  Call a family or civil litigation attorney in your local area/state immediately to review the contract you signed with the agency and advise you on what legal remedies you have in your particular situation. If you've already been matched, you are most likely able to proceed to finalization.

2)  Request your file from the branch that you have been working with as soon as possible. Contact the person you have been corresponding with or the Branch Manager to arrange for pick up.

3)  Prepare to submit a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding.  Once a trustee is appointed, they will send out notices to creditors and clients of the proceeding.  Gather all of your receipts indicating how much money you have paid the IAC, statements you have received from IAC, and the contract.

4)  Report IAC to the licensing agent in your state and demand an investigation. In Texas, that agency is the Residential Child Care Licensing (RCCL) division of the Department of Family and Protective Services. You can report a concern about IAC or any licensed adoption agency via a toll-free hotline (1-800-252-5400) or their website at https://www.txabusehotline.org.

5)  Tell your story and reach out to other IAC families for support.  You are part of an amazing adoption community of prospective adoptive parents, adoptive parents, birth parents, adopted persons, and adoption professionals. There are several Facebook groups who have been formed by IAC families who want to connect and share their stories. There's also education based organizations that provide support to all members of the adoption triad such as Adoption Knowledge Affiliates (AKA).  AKA is in based in Austin, Texas and has support groups that meet the 3rd Monday of every month after their education meeting. There's a support group for each member of the triad - adopted persons, birth families, and adoptive parents/prospective adoptive parents. 

6)  Don't give up hope! There are many avenues to parenthood through adoption whether it's through an adoption agency, foster-to-adopt, international adoption, etc. Be sure to ask those you know who have adopted about their experiences with a particular agency they used.