Independent Adoption Center shuts down, scuttling some families' adoption plans

CONCORD (KTVU) -- The signs notifying visitors that Independent Adoption Center in Concord had closed went up without warning this week, throwing the plans by some families who wanted to adopt into limbo.

The agency filed for Chapter Seven bankruptcy and closed its doors for good on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

"I never saw this coming," said Peggy Grasso, who lives in San Jose.

Grasso and her husband, Antony, are just one of hundreds of families across the country who were counting on the agency to help them adopt a child.

"For our parents not to be grandparents, that is the hardest part to deal with," Antony Grasso said.

The Grasso's say they paid the agency about $15,000 to help them get a child. And they have been waiting over two years for their adoption to take place.

The couple now fears that they are in limbo.

"We're back at . . . zero," Antony said. "We're starting over (and) trying to figure out what to do next."

"The hardest thing for us is the emotion we've invested," his wife Peggy said. "And we've been waiting quite a while."

KTVU's calls to Independent Adoption Center were not returned. In a written statement, however, the company blamed its woes on a dwindling number of birth parent.

"There are fewer potential birth parents than at any other point in IAC's history ... and because of this, while we have striven to find financial solutions, we have come to the end of a rope and are declaring bankruptcy," the firm said in a written statement.

Jennifer Isensee, an adoption attorney,said it may be difficult for the firm's clients to get any of their money back.

But Isensee said couples, like the Grassos won't have to start from scratch with their adoption efforts.

"They will have a lot of paperwork done already. And their criminal background check reports are still good," she said. "And they should take those files to the new agency."

That may be difficult for the Grassos to continue with their adoption plans.

"It's going to be hard after this experience to put any trust into another agency," Peggy Grasso said.

By KTVU reporter Rob Roth.