Bankrupt adoption agency's restructuring plan expected today

Date: 2009-08-28

By SHAWN BERRY

Local families caught in the financial collapse of an international adoption agency could learn about a restructuring plan for Imagine Adoption as early as today.

Bankruptcy inspectors acting on behalf of the creditors - including families that had already put up tens of thousands of dollars for adoptions - have been reviewing the proposal and are set to release it.

"We're expecting the restructuring proposal to be released at end of week," Julie Stewart, a Moncton woman serving as one of the inspectors, said.

Several local families are among those affected.

In an Aug. 14 update, creditors were informed that the bankruptcy trustee, BDO Dunwoody, and the board viewed the matter as a priority.

"We plan to provide a draft to certain stakeholders, including the Inspectors, within the next two weeks," the update said.

Erik and Marie Matchett of Charters Settlement are among the families that were in the adoption process and had already put up money.

"We're hoping to see some optimistic signs from the plan," Erik Matchett said Thursday.

"We hope to see how the process is going to move forward in the coming weeks.

"Our family plans have been on hiatus for a month now."

If creditors, the Ontario government and the court in that province agree, the restructured agency could continue to work to complete the adoptions of families that had registered with the agency before the Cambridge, Ont., company went bankrupt on July 14.

About 400 families across Canada have paid thousands of dollars to adopt children from Ethiopia, Ecuador, Zambia and Ghana.

Another adoption agency has been caught up in the bankruptcy. While a separate entity, Saint Anne Corp. was based in the same offices and its files were handled by staff of Imagine Adoption. The sole director of the agency, which handled adoptions from Ecuador, has put that company into voluntary bankruptcy.

Saint Anne, which had about 30 outstanding files, isn't expected to be restructured because of its limited finances.

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