Adoptions in limbo after agency goes bankrupt
Published Monday, August 3, 2009 5:28PM PDT
Jason and Susan Humeniuk have been waiting to add to their family for years.
About two years ago, they contacted the Ontario-based Imagine Adoption Agency, which facilitates adoptions from Africa and South America.
"We'd been told by the agency that things were hopeful, things were going to go through," Jason Humeniuk said.
But now the Surrey couple and hundreds of families across Canada are in limbo after the agency declared bankruptcy last month.
"It was a complete shock," Humeniuk said. "Adoption is a hurry-up-and-wait process to begin with. To have this fall on our laps was completely heart wrenching."
The B.C. Ministry of Children and Families says about 80 families are affected in this province. While most were still on a waiting list, some had been matched with a child and were working to complete the adoption process.
Officials with the Ontario ministry that licensed Imagine Adoption say they will do what they can to help families who have paid thousands of dollars to adopt children from Ethiopia, Ecuador, Zambia and Ghana.
"It's complicated. There's a bankruptcy process taking place, there's a police investigation," said Deb Matthews, the Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services.
"Not only is our ministry involved here in Ontario but three or four departments of the federal government are involved too, as well as the governments in the countries from which the kids are being adopted.
"It's very complicated but we're really working hard to keep everybody talking to each other."
She added that she still hopes that Imagine can get up and running again to at least complete the adoptions that were started.
For now, families like the Humeniuks will just have to wait.
"We were so close at one point but now we're completely in the lurch," Humeniuk said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber