Tampa Bay Times Story Regarding Collapse & Bankruptcy of IAC

http://www.tampabay.com/news/adoption-agency-collapse-leaves-trail-of-anguish-raises-questions-about/2312734

Independent Adoption Center Closing & Bankruptcy

Almost a thousand prospective adoptive parents received an eĀ¬mailed notice advising that Independent Adoption Center (IAC) was declaring chapter 7 bankruptcy and closing permanently, effective immediately. IAC is licensed in eight states, including Florida, with an office in Tampa. The abrupt closing of all IAC offices and its programs has left many families in dire straits, both financially and emotionally. Those in the middle of an adoption are now hampered in their ability to complete the adoption, and others have lost substantial sums of money which will hinder if not eliminate their ability to adopt.

This is a situation that should never happen. The Florida legislature should mandate that adoption agencies segregate and hold adoptive parent funds in a separate trust account, and prohibit use of adoptive parent money until earned. Comingling hopeful adoptive parent funds with agency operating funds allows the premature expenditure of these monies at the agency’s discretion with little financial oversight. The end result can shatter the hopes and dreams of prospective parents, who seek to create or enlarge their families through adoption.

The Fellows of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys have pledged to assist those families that now find themselves in an untenable situation as a result of IAC’s bankruptcy. The Academy will assist these families in order for them to obtain their files from IAC, or to have them transferred to other reputable licensed adoption agencies. The Academy will also assist in advising those families as to be best way to proceed with regard to their prospective adoptions. There will be no charge for these services. A list of volunteer attorneys is posted to the Academy website at www.adoptionattorneys.org

Jeanne T. Tate

Independent Adoption Center (IAC) Closing Immediately

The IAC’s Executive Director and Board President released the following statement today:

It is with deep sadness that we write to inform you that the Independent Adoption Center (IAC) is declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will be closing permanently effective immediately. This was an extremely difficult decision to make, but after much discussion, we have come to the conclusion that immediate closure is our only option.

As you may be aware, the climate of adoption has changed in recent years. Societal changes have created an environment in the United States where there are fewer potential birth parents than at any other point in our 34-year history of helping to create families. 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.

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.

The agency is filing for bankruptcy and the court will appoint a trustee to administer the bankruptcy estate. The court will notify you of the case, shortly after the bankruptcy is filed and you will have the opportunity to file a Proof of Claim for any refunds you believe are due to you. As everything will be under control of the trustee and the court, IAC will not be involved with determining how any remaining funds in the account are utilized.

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.

The attorneys at Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. and the staff at Heart of Adoptions stand ready to assist these families in any way we can.