An adoption agency closed its doors, leaving more than a thousand families in the dark.
Independent Adoption Center is a non-profit agency with offices across the country, including the Houston area. In Texas, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday, more than 100 families were in the middle of the adoption process when the group declared bankruptcy.
The agency posted a statement citing reasons like fewer birth parents and the rise in adoptive parents in the United States led to their financial problems. One couple told KHOU the only notice they received was a posted letter online.
Isabel Reyna and her husband have tried for years to have a family. They even tried IVF and when that failed, they decided to try adopting.
“I felt very confident with at least we would know that we would get a baby at some point in time if we decided to go with an adoption agency as opposed to, OK let’s give this egg donor a try,” Reyna said.
They chose Independent Adoption Agency, which had an office in Bellaire.
“They stood out because they had been around for over 30 years,” Reyna said.
The couple told KHOU, a year and a half and at least $12,000 later, they were hoping to find a match. They went through the vetting process, made a profile for the agency and were at the stage in the process where their profiles were being sent to prospective birth mothers.
“We were at the end, we were just waiting to be chosen by a birth mother," Reyna said.
But instead, now all they have is a Ch. 7 bankruptcy notice that was posted on Jan. 31. Reyna told KHOU they never even got a phone call from anyone with the non-profit.
“I mentally prepared myself for a worst-case scenario, such as having a birth mother back out at the last minute, but I never thought I would feel what I was fearing the most under this circumstance, ” Reyna said.
The Independent Adoption Center, based in California, officially filed Feb. 3. It might be the end of the road for IAC, but it’s just the beginning for Reyna and her husband trying to move forward.
“I don’t know. It’s difficult, kind of hard to trust or know who to trust now," Reyna said.
As part of an effort on behalf of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, you can find an attorney who has offered to help clients specifically with this case here.
The attorney for the agency would not give us comment, but IAC has posted resources for the families affected to file a claim and get help here.