INDIANAPOLIS – A national adoption agency based in California closed all of its locations Tuesday, including its Indiana branch on Indianapolis' south side, leaving many Hoosiers looking for answers.
Independent Adoption Center officials said the agency declared bankruptcy due to the “changing climate of adoption.”
After 34 years in operation, Independent Adoption Center Board President Greg Kuhl said they’ve completed over 4,000 successful adoptions, but times are quickly changing.
“Societal changes have created an environment in the United States where there are fewer potential birth parents than at any other point in IAC’s history. Simultaneously, due to changing demographics and the closure of international adoption programs, there are more hopeful adoptive parents seeking to adopt domestically than in any other time in recent history. Because of this, while we have striven to find financial solutions, we have come to the end of a rope and are declaring bankruptcy. The IAC has worked tirelessly to adapt to this changing environment, but the many efforts we implemented were ultimately unsuccessful. We therefore cannot sustain the agency any longer.”
Eric Cunningham of Indianapolis said he and his wife were clients of the center until they received an email about the closing. He said he has no idea what will happen to their paperwork and invested money.
The Cunningham family is also curious about where this leaves them in the adoption process.
"There are many families, including mine, that are left with questions concerning how to move forward," Cunningham said.
Those who were owed money from Independent Adoption Center will be notified by the court and then they will have the opportunity to file a proof of claim for refunds.
Indiana adoptive families and birth mothers have been recommended to adoption lawyers. The list can be found here.
Marcia Hodges, interim executive director of IAC and Kuhl said “immediate closure was their only option.”
“The IAC has worked tirelessly to adapt to this changing environment, but the many efforts we implemented were ultimately unsuccessful. We therefore cannot sustain the agency any longer. We recognize that the decision to pursue adoption is deeply personal and that you chose to pursue adoption with the assistance of the IAC after careful consideration. We remain honored that you trusted us to assist you in building your family, and we regret that the IAC was not able to maintain solvency in this new era of adoption. We cannot express in writing how sorry we are to be ending our relationship in this manner. It is our most sincere hope that this set back in your adoption path is brief and that your wish to build your family through adoption is achieved in the near future.”
Agency officials said they were one of the only centers in the country that did not have any exclusionary policies for adoptive parents including age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, religion, ethnic background, color, or race.