For the first time in six weeks, there is a sign of hope for the families affected by the July 14th bankruptcy of Imagine Adoption agency.
BDO Dunwoody Ltd, the trustee in bankruptcy, has posted a restructuring plan that proposes to bring the adoption agency out of insolvency.
On July 30 creditors voted unanimously to forgo their financial claims and instead requested that the trustee work on developing a plan to resurrect the agency. For many families this plan offers their only hope of creating or completing their families.
The plan outlines the operating structure, financial terms and monitoring parameters of the proposed new agency. Every family will be required to sign a new retainer agreement, to pay an additional $4,000 dollars in recovery fees, and once a new pay schedule is created, to pay installments of any outstanding agency fees.
The plan anticipates that it will take 36 months to complete all of the approximately 350 adoption files currently in process, whether they are at the very early home study phase or later.
“The plan has just been released and the families are only now having the opportunity to review it,” says Christine Starr; Chair - Families of Imagine Adoption (FIA) Steering Committee. “Clearly there are important issues still left to be addressed and the increased financial commitment demanded by the plan will present a challenge for many families.
Personally however, and in light of the painful reality of this situation and the limited alternatives available to us, I am pleased with the plan and feel strongly that it offers families our best hope of successfully completing our adoptions.”
Despite the difficult circumstances the affected families faced following the bankruptcy, many have much to be thankful for. The $100,000 donation by Yamana Gold made shortly after the bankruptcy was announced ensured the care and wellbeing of the children in the transition home in Ethiopia.
Minister Jason Kenney, of Citizenship and Immigration, also intervened to expedite the visas for these children and now 35 of the 47 children are in Canada with their families. Without this support the families’ hopes of salvaging the agency and completing their adoptions would have been impossible.
If the creditors approve the proposal the goal is for the agency to resume operations by October 2009. “Although there is some degree of relief now that a plan has been presented, we now have to urgently turn our attention to fundraising to help the children in the Ethiopian orphanages who have been left stranded by the suspension of agency funding,” says Starr. “These children and their caregivers are depending on us.”