Adoption center's closing leaves important personal info in limbo

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Tarah McGrath is one of many left with shattered dreams of adoption and wondering where personal info is.

Tarah McGrath has been waiting for weeks to learn where her original birth certificate, years' worth of tax records, and certified marriage license are being housed.

"I want my papers. I want to make sure at least my records are at least secured and I want to know who they're with," McGrath said.

The documents are tied up in red tape after Independent Adoption Center abruptly filed for bankruptcy.

"It's so scary," she said. "It's every little info on our lives."

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IAC filed for Chapter 11 in California recently, and Wednesday, there was a conference hearing on the status of client files.

Newly retrieved court documents note the situation in North Carolina is "more complicated," and IAC was "required to provide adequate notice of its intent to cease operations and to present a plan for transition of files to another independent agency in the state. It failed to do either."

McGrath says IAC should have prepared for this.

"You knew it was coming six months ago. You knew that it was happening, yet no one wanted to say anything," she said. "They were still collecting money. It's just insane."

IAC was a private adoption agency, which operated in eight states for more than 34 years.

IAC bankruptcy attorney Charles Maher tells ABC11 the case is overwhelming and there are 3,200 people affected nationwide.

Maher say files for North Carolinians are locked up somewhere in the state, but would not get into specifics.

He told ABC11 he has been working with DHHS officials since last week to get the documents transferred.

IAC closed down its north Raleigh office two weeks ago.

McGrath used IAC when adopting her daughter, Aria, and was in the process of adopting a second child when the center closed. She is finding support from other couples in the same situation.

"That's probably the only good part is we've came together," McGrath said.
DHHS officials says they are working with the IAC attorneys to find a suitable placement for documents.

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