Province helping families left in adoption limbo

Date: 2009-08-05

By: Ed Veilleux

The Ontario government is working to help families impacted by the recent collapse of Imagine Adoption/Kids Link adoption agency.

The adoption agency went bankrupt July 14, leaving families across Ontario, with hopes of adopting an Ethiopian child through it, stranded.

On July 28, Minister of Children and Youth Services Deb Matthews met with families affected by the recent collapse. Several families in Sudbury have been affected by the agency’s collapse. Northern Life is still researching this part of the story.

Families who were in the adoption process are now left wondering what will happen to the money and time they invested in the agency.

“It’s heart-breaking when your hopes and dreams of starting a family are jeopardized,” Matthews said. “Adopting a child from another country is already a lengthy and emotional process. I want these families to know we’re doing everything we can to help them.”

During the meeting, Matthews stated that the province would consider any licensing requests should a reconstituted agency emerge from bankruptcy, while protecting the safety of kids.

The minister also stated that evaluations of potential adoptive parents by agencies, conducted by Imagine Adoption/Kids Link, will be transferable to other adoption agencies. She also said she would be considering ways in which the international adoption system can be strengthened, as the facts surrounding this situation emerge.

The province is also working with the federal government to ensure that visas are expedited for children whose adoptions have been completed so they can make it to their adoptive families in Canada.

The province will continue to work with the bankruptcy trustee BDO Dunwoody to explore all possible options to assist families at all stages of the adoption process, once the status of the Adoption/Kids Link is determined through the bankruptcy process.

Since the bankruptcy, at least nine Ethiopian children have received their visas and are travelling or have arrived in Canada, according to the provincial government.

Also, an estimated 36 Ethiopian children have already been matched with Canadian parents and are being cared for in a transition home in Ethiopia.

Ontario is also working with the federal government to expedite visas for those children whose adoptions have already been completed, according to a press release.

BDO Dunwoody Limited is the trustee in bankruptcy for the agency.

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