Adoption agency closes, leaving Oregon family in limbo
PORTLAND, Ore. —
A national adoption agency closes its doors suddenly, leaving hundreds of families confused and heartbroken. Among them is a local couple who just months before finalizing their adoption is now left in limbo.
This couple may have to start the entire process over.
Chris and Russell Blais spent four years and about $30,000 to get matched with their baby, Shayla.
Without warning, the agency closed the doors on their future.
Five-month-old Shayla Blais is currently fighting a cold -- her parents, fighting for her.
“We've cried; we've been mad; we've been confused. I think right now all those things are happening simultaneously,” said Chris Blais.
Four years ago, the Blais family started using the Independent Adoption Center (IAC) to start their family. The couple has been with Shayla since birth, but legally, she's still not theirs. Before they could finalize the adoption, the IAC shut down on Jan. 31 with no warning, not even a phone number.
“We could stand there in front of the judge with everything from the IAC and it would highly be likely we would be turned down because they are not in existence,” said Blais.
All the Blais' paperwork was left in an office somewhere in California, along with thousands of their dollars and their trust.
“You can't see anything else. It's literally tunnel vision. You don't think to ask, 'How is your business going? Are you going to be here tomorrow?'”
It's unlikely they'll see their money again, but it doesn’t even matter for the Blais family anymore. They are just ready to be done with the process and call Shayla theirs.
The worry now is what's stopping this from happening to other adoption agencies?
“Where's the accountability? Where's the money? What happened?
The couple adopted out of California, which makes the process trickier now that they live in Oregon.
If you can help, they’ve asked to reach them via Facebook.