Couple lose $20K when adoption agency goes bankrupt

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC) - An Olive Branch couple is coping with an unexpected turn in their adoption journey. They came so close to welcoming a baby-only for their agency to suddenly end up in bankruptcy.

The couple worked with the adoption agency for the past year and gave them almost $20,000 of their own money. They said they had no indication that they were in any sort of financial trouble until the couple received a letter on Tuesday.

The Wiegards had hopes the Independent Adoption Center could help to turn their family of two into three. Now with an empty nursery, those plans are on hold after receiving the letter from the California based adoption agency.

"It is with deep sadness that we write you to inform you that the independent adoption agency is declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy," Steven Wiegard read from the Independent Adoption Center letter.

Wiegard  read that first line of the letter multiple times, in disbelief how a company with more than 30 years of success placing children with adoptive families could go under, without any indication of its financial trouble.

"No one has any answers from anywhere. I mean there is no one to talk to. There is no one," he said. "You call the phone lines and they are gone. There's a message. The website now is literally the email that we were sent. That's all that there is."

The Wiegards , like hundreds of other families across the country, are left now with nothing....out thousands of dollars and no child to call their own.

The couple's home study was complete... just waiting for the call that would fill their crib with a baby. Now, they're still flooded with emotions as they cope with the fact they now start process over that began nearly a year ago.

"It's tough to know that you have to start over," Wiegard said.

The adoption agency blames a change in "the climate of adoptions," resulting in fewer children in America available for adoption. It's an explanation Wiegard finds hard to believe.

"We are going to move on," he said. "Obviously we are going to move on from it."

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