Several hopeful adoptive families in Victoria and across British Columbia are feeling a sense of loss after one of three private adoption centres in the province shut down for good.
Victoria-based Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling announced their decision to close on October 18th 2019, after 30 years in operation.
The agency was on the brink of closure back in April when, with community support, a new board was elected that promised to save it.
However clients were sent an email on October 18th stating that Choices was closing for good due to a decline in inter-country adoption.
“On September 11, 2019, the agency’s dire financial situation was announced to the entire Board, which resulted in a state of crisis,” reads a statement from the agency.
“Despite our efforts to work towards the development of a new business model and the implementation of drastic cost-cutting measures, we came to the difficult conclusion that the agency could no longer continue to operate. Simply put, we are out of money and time to fix this.”
Their statement also says that the agency is working with the Provincial Director of Adoption to explore options that will help transfer client files to other agencies.
However many hopeful parents have been told that they would not be reimbursed for the fees they have already paid, and that clients will be responsible for any costs associated with transferring their files to one of the two remaining adoption agencies in the province.
One such client, who has requested to remain anonymous, expressed frustration at the fact that Choices continued to accept fees even after September 11th, which is when the financial crisis was announced to the board.
“In my case, my husband and I gave $5,000 on Sept 24th. Aside from one email, we heard nothing back until October 18th when we were told the agency was closing that day. We received no services for our $5,000…,” they told Victoria Buzz.
“For myself and my husband adoption is our only option to have kids and we feel like the government could care less about us.”
Hundreds of families and their supporters have also signed a petition to urge the Provincial Director of Adoption’s Office to assist them with the costs associated with transferring their files and registering with a new agency.
Over 600 people have signed the petition as of the time of publication.
Choices first opened their doors on Blanshard Street in 1989 and have helped over 900 children find permanent families in BC.