Print Story Published: 3/25 2011
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – For two weeks, hopeful parents to-be have been left wondering what will happen after learning by email that the new life adoption agency in Syracuse plans to close. Some have invested money in the agency and waited months for a child.
Friday afternoon, the agency sent families a second email, informing them that adoption files will soon be transferred to another agency. The message doesn’t specify which agency, when, or if the closure will delay their adoptions. It’s the most information the agency has released since the closing was initially and unexpectedly announced.
One family, who asked to have their privacy protected, feels their story is important. The matriarch of the family will be identified by the pseudonym “Jane” for the purposes of this story.
“We want to grow our family,” Jane said. “When we envisioned our family it was with multiple children. It was holidays surrounded by lots of children.”
After struggling to conceive a second child, Jane and her husband started working with New Life to adopt seven months ago. “Our personal goal as a family was to have a child by Christmas of 2011,” Jane said.
When they received the email alerting them to the impending closure of the agency, those dreams were hit with a major setback. The message said the Board of Directors is working on a plan to protect families and that more information will be coming.
Until Friday afternoon’s email, they’d heard nothing for two weeks.
“I’ve tried to contact them via e-mail via phone, the website is down, the phones are down, and the faxes are down,” Jane said.
Jane and her husband already paid $1,000 to the agency and jumped through a series of hoops in working toward the adoption. Now, it appears, they’re back at square one.
In addition to a $1,000 they’ve given to the agency, Jane and her husband. “So all the work we’ve done with new life for the last seven months is for naught.”
Wasting more time is no longer an option. Jane and her husband have already started working with another agency. “This is the direction we want to go in to grow our family, so this is what we’re going to do,” she said.
The State Office of Children and Family Services says New Life has informed them of their plans to close due to staffing issues, but could not elaborate. The State says they will work with the agency to come up with a plan that will address what will happen to clients and their personal files. They did not respond to questions about why New Life is closing.
NewsChannel 9 has reached out to New Life board members repeatedly, but those calls have not yet been returned.
It remains unclear whether Jane and her husband will get their money returned.
The Office of Family and Children Services is recommending any families who have questions to call their Syracuse office at 423-1200