Agency restructuring may not be enough

Date: 2009-09-15


A possible restructuring of Imagine Adoption may not be able to help a Peterborough couple trying to adopt from Panama, which hasn't been identified as a "target country" by the trustee in bankruptcy.

Kids Link International Adoption Agency, which operated as Imagine Adoption, announced bankruptcy on July 14, leaving the adoption process of 350 families across Canada in limbo, including Gary and Mary Sellars in Peterborough.

Earlier this month, BDO Dunwoody Ltd., the trustee in bankruptcy, announced a restructuring plan that could have the agency up and running as early as next month.

The company is asking for a $4,000 recovery fee from each family for start-up funding for the new company. Creditors will vote on the proposal on Monday.

However, if Imagine can operate again it would focus on Ethiopia, according to BDO Dunwoody documents available online.

"This is necessary to maximize use of resources and adoptions. It is understood that there are five to 10 other countries of IA (Imagine Adoption) with possible open adoption files. These files will be assessed in 2009 to determine the feasibility to conclude these adoptions within the restructured IA."

The Sellars were told in June that it could be any time when they would be matched with a baby under age one in Panama, after three years of waiting and spending thousands of dollars including $16,000 given to Imagine.

But if Panama isn't a target country, Gary said he and Mary don't know what to do. He said he wants to talk to other families in the same situation.

"I don't know. It's a great way to face life isn't it? Not knowing what to do."

Gary said he expects they'll have to pay $4,000 if they want to continue the process but that it may get them nowhere.

Susan Taves with BDO Dunwoody toldThe Examinerthere might be one or two children who have been matched from a country other than Ethiopia and the "hope is that they're going to be able to complete" those adoptions.

The Sellars haven't been matched.

The other countries will be assessed "looking at orphanages' arrangements that are there and the cost structure behind those to see how practical it is for those to continue on," Taves said.

Families will be given the opportunity to change countries, she said.

Gary said if they try to adopt from another country they'll have to pay thousands of dollars in country fees again and the wait for most countries is two years.

"If we go to Ethiopia, we go to the bottom of their list," he said.


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