Adoption center closure leaves would-be parents with heavy hearts, light wallets

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Friday, February 3, 2017
Adoption center closes
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Thad and Valencia Harris are heartbroken and out of thousands of dollars.

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Thad and Valencia Harris put their hearts on the line and money on the table in the hopes of having a baby. The Raleigh couple has gone through IVF and this summer, started adoption.

They created a brochure and established a toll-free phone number to better market themselves to prospective moms.

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The Harrises say they feel abandoned and deceived after a baby adoption agency abruptly closed its doors after decades of business.

The Independent Adoption Center is filing for bankruptcy.

"It's emotionally draining," Valencia Harris said.


"It's hard. I just worry about her rather than worry about me. It's just hard," said Thad Harris. "Obviously, this is a huge blow. I don't know if words can describe it. You almost feel numb."

The Harrises have invested more than $15,000 and now are one of many families fighting to get back their money.

A former employee told ABC11 that the agency was working with 84 families statewide. A total of 55 clients were in the process of being paired with a child.

Rebecca Edwards, a lawyer with Wake Family Law Group, told ABC11 that one of her colleagues received a couple of calls from people related to the IAC closing.

Edwards also noted that since IAC announced publicly that it filed for bankruptcy, customers would have an avenue to attempt a recovery in the bankruptcy proceedings.

The Harrises do plan to fight back, while continuing to pray one day very soon they'll be able to bring home their first baby.

"We're just trying to push on as best we know how to continue making our dream come true of growing our family," Valencia Harris said.

IAC has moved out of its Glenwood Avenue location. The staff took down all signage Tuesday and cleared most everything out of its office.

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