Agency closure puts prospective parents on hold
A Manitoba based adoption agency is shutting down and now several Alberta families are worried about the welfare of the children and the status of their adoptions.
The Canadian Advocate for the Adoption of Children or CAFAC, says it can no longer afford to maintain its overseas operations and closed its doors on Friday.
The agency held one of the few licences in Canada that allows people to legally and ethically adopt children from Ethiopia.
In a statement CAFAC says because of funding issues with the Manitoba government it will be unable to "continue provision of services beyond February 3rd."
CAFAC wants the Manitoba government to allow it to charge clients higher fees.
Costs for international adoptions are regulated, but the fee structure varies widely between provinces.
In 2010, the Manitoba government increased fees by $3,000, which made it more difficult for organizations like CAFAC to stay in business.
Ben and Ruth Veurink are just weeks away from completing the adoption process.
They are scheduled to fly to Africa in three weeks to file adoption papers with the court.
The couple has been working for nearly two years to adopt Tessama, a seven-year-old Ethiopian boy.
The Veurink's hope that the adoption won't go off the rails and say they are not getting any help from CAFAC.
"I've tried to talk to CAFAC, they're not responding to any questions so I'm just dealing now with the people in Africa that have our seven-year-old child," said Ruth Veurink.
The Manitoba government says it is working with the defunct adoption agency to get things back on track.
The money paid by families affected by the closure is currently being held in trust.