Vancouver Island’s only adoption agency, which is slated to shut down in May, is holding an “extraordinary general meeting” to discuss it’s closure after vocal support for the non-profit organization poured in from the community.
Choices Adoption Agency, which has been in Victoria for 30 years and helped support more than 1000 children and their new families, announced earlier this month that it would be closing down on May 31st, 2019.
The sudden closure took approximately 140 families who are in various stages of the adoption process by surprise and left them with few options.
The families with open files will now have their cases transferred to the BC Ministry of Child and Family Development. Otherwise, the only alternative left for families is to work with the two remaining private adoption agencies in the province, which are in North Vancouver and Kelowna.
However, both agencies are operating at or near capacity.
According to the agency, the closure comes not from a lack of funding but from a declining number of international adoptions and extensive bureaucratic hurdles within the Canadian government’s adoption policies.
One major obstacle to the process is that countries around the world are increasingly looking to place children within their own borders and cultures, said Choices.
Shut down process put on hold
While the future of Choices is uncertain, Victorians’ impassioned support for the adoption agency may have changed its fate.
“Due to the overwhelming response from the community to the announcement of the closure of Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling, the Board is calling an Extraordinary General Meeting on Wednesday, April 24th, 2019,” reads an announcement from Choices.
The meeting is set to discuss the decision to close the agency, and could potentially result in a change of board members.
Until the meeting takes place, the adoption agency’s closure has been put on hold.
“We encourage anyone who has contacted us to offer assistance and support to attend this meeting,” said Choices.
Meanwhile, an online petition to save the adoption agency launched last week, and at the time of publication had garnered close to 1,200 signatures.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to have assisted adoptive families realize their dream of starting or growing their family,” said Choices in their original closure announcement on April 3rd.
“We would like to thank you for your support over the years. For those who attended our agency events: Family Fun Days, Holiday Open House, and others, we have enjoyed your company and loved watching your children grow. We wish you all the best and hope that you stay involved in the adoption community.”
- When: 6:00 p.m. for those interested in standing for the board, 7:00 p.m. for new members
- Where: Choices Adoption & Pregnancy Counselling, 850 Blanshard Street