INDIANAPOLIS, Ind-- For John and Emma Enneking, a long road to adoption came to an end with an email.
The Ennekings and many others were using the Independent Adoption Center to help make their family complete. On Tuesday, and without warning to its clients, the agency closed its doors.
In an email sent to clients, the IAC said that due to a changing adoption climate, “We have come to the end of a rope and are declaring bankruptcy. The IAC has worked tirelessly to adapt to this changing environment, but the many efforts we implemented were ultimately unsuccessful.”
“So to have this news come to us especially in the form that it came was just--there are not many words for it. It’s heartbreaking for all of us,” said John.
Adoption law attorney Steve Kirsh says the worst part about this situation is that the IAC is essentially leaving its clients with nothing. Some of them have been in the process of adopting for years, and are now being forced to start over. Adoption is an expensive process, so most couples are now out of thousands of dollars.
“How hard would it have been to say, 'Hey, I’m sorry we can’t give you your money back, we don’t have it, we can’t give you a baby because we don’t have a business plan that works, but we are going to give you your file, just tell us where to send it.'” said Kirsh.
As for the Ennekings, the couple says they will continue on their adoption journey elsewhere, though currently it’s unclear how. The couple says they know of other families who are now abandoning their adoptions dreams due to this setback.
“Now we just feel like, OK it’s not that easy for us to just pick up and start over right now because there is no easy route there’s no clear path for us," said Emma.
Experts say it’s unlikely any of the families will ever see any of the money they put into the adoption agency, which for some can equal tens of thousands of dollars. Kirsh says the closing of the IAC means every couple will literally be forced to start the process from scratch somewhere else.
“I’ve been practicing adoption law for 35 years and have never seen it happen like this” he said.