LOS ANGELES -- Brandi DaVeiga thought that by now she’d be reading a book to her son or daughter.
But two years and $15,000 later, Brandi and her husband received an email from the Independent Adoption Center, saying the company filed bankruptcy and closed its doors with little notice.
“I’m angry that it’s gone, I’m angry that we wasted a lot of time,” DaVeiga said.
Nearly 1,900 clients nationwide got the same message.
In a statement, Independent Adoption Center president Greg Kuhl said “...the climate of adoption has changed radically in recent years,” and “...there are fewer potential birth parents.”
That’s especially true for international adoptions which dropped 75 percent in a decade, from nearly 23,000 to under 6,000.
The number of adopted infants under two remains around 18,000 in the U.S.
National Council for Adoption CEO Chuck Johnson says the rise of the internet makes it easier to secure adoptions without an agency.
“There have been a substantial number of closings in the last 10 years,” Johnson said. “So, you’ve got this huge demand by Americans to adopt and yet there are really, in terms of infant adoption and inter-country adoptions, there aren’t many options.”
DaViega has wanted to be a mom for a long time, and said she lost hope when she learned of the agency’s closing.
“Thats it, I’m not meant to be a mom, and it was really hard,” she said.
But she said that shock has turned to determination.
“Our dream is to have a family, our dream is to be parents, and I can’t let somebody else destroy that dream for us,” she said.
The DeVeiga family joined the bankruptcy case out of Sacramento as a debtor. The family doesn’t expect to get any of their money back, but they’ll be in court representing all the affected families across the country that can’t travel there.