Families vote for Imagine Adoption rescueFamilies whose futures were left in limbo following the bankruptcy of an Ontario-based adoption agency have voted in favour of trying to rescue the firm.
Under the terms of the restructuring proposal, families who were waiting to adopt will have to pay any money they owe to Imagine Adoption, plus another $4,000 in two instalments. The agency will also get a new board of directors and be closely monitored by the bankruptcy trustee.
Parents are among the agency's creditors, who met in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., on Monday morning. Bankruptcy trustee Susan Taves of BDO Dunwoody LLP told CBC News the creditors agreed to the proposal by a "landslide."
'This isn't just for us, it's for all of these children. It's for all of these families. For now and for years to come, hopefully.' —Sidney Vlieg
About 350 adoptive families were left in limbo when Imagine Adoption of Cambridge went bankrupt July 13. Many have already paid between $10,000 and $15,000 each in fees to the agency, which helped Canadians adopt children from Ethiopia, Ghana and Ecuador in the past two years.
The re-structuring plan still has to be approved in court...
The hundreds of families stunned by the collapse of an international-adoption agency have renewed hope today, after voting overwhelmingly to re-start the organization.
The Imagine Adoption creditors, which includes the would-be adoptive families, voted 248-20 at a meeting Monday to approve the agency’s proposed restructuring — a plan that will cost each family $4,000 but promises to finish a process some started as long as two years ago.
“We've gone from rock-bottom and feeling hopeless to feeling more hopeful . . . today was just the icing on the cake,” said Shannon Warren of Ingersoll, who along with her husband, Matthew, voted for the proposal.
“We’re very happy.”
Imagine, which was based in Cambridge, facilitated adoptions from Ethiopia.
The agency filed for bankruptcy in July amid questions from its three-member board of directors about unusual expenses, including two luxury-vehicle leases and rental properties.
The Waterloo police fraud squad also launched a criminal investigation.
The restructured agency, which will employ two former Imagine staffers and be overseen by an eight-member board, still needs approval from a bankruptcy court, due to hear the matter Sept. 29, and requires a licence from Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services.
For the full story, read tomorrow’s Free Press on the web or in print.