Clients heartbroken, angry after DeKalb adoption firm abruptly closes

A DeKalb County adoption agency recently closed, leaving families in limbo.

Credit: Sharpe, Joshua (CMG-Atlanta)

Credit: Sharpe, Joshua (CMG-Atlanta)

A DeKalb County adoption agency recently closed, leaving families in limbo.

A California-based adoption agency with offices across the country shut down, leaving many heartbroken in metro Atlanta.

The Independent Adoption Center abruptly closed locations, including one in Tucker, last Tuesday, Channel 2 Action News reported.

On Friday, the agency filed bankruptcy, according to board chair Greg Kuhl.

“We want to express our gratitude to everyone who has helped build families through IAC over the last 35 years,” he wrote in a notice on the organization’s website. “We understand that this is an incredibly emotional time for all concerned.”

Locals wonder where their money went.

“What’s going on with that?” Dr. William Wilcox, a hopeful Atlanta father, said. "They got a lot of money from people for things and just suddenly closed their doors?”

After years of trying to conceive, Wilcox and wife Yuan spent months researching the agency before choosing it. They put up $18,000 to start the adoption process in December 2015, Wilcox said. They still haven’t adopted.

Rochelle Loftstrand told the station she and her wife spent more than four years waiting as they paid tens of thousands to complete background checks, home visits and other required expenses.

“Does this mean we’re never going to be parents?” asked Loftstrand. “Does this mean that because of someone’s mistake or mismanagement, they’ve taken this dream away?”

The board chair said the agency is “committed to cooperating fully with the bankruptcy trustee.”

“If you are owed any money by IAC, the court will notify you of the case and you will have an opportunity to file a Proof of Claim for any refunds you believe are due to you,” Kuhl wrote.

Channel 2 obtained a 2015 survey drafted by IAC clients. The document quotes clients sayin IAC was "bringing on more and more adoptive parents,” had “ too many waiting families,” and was “holding our (client) money hostage.”

Complaints about the closure abound across the country.

“This is no way to treat anybody,” Wilcox said.

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