FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Even before Sarah and Bryan Ray married in 2008, they knew they wanted a family. But they didn’t know just how hard it would be. “We had many heartbreaks along the way. We suffered a couple miscarriages. We had failed adoption as well,” Sarah Ray said.
After years of trying, a week and a half ago they finally got their baby- three week old Braxton McClain from Georgia. They weren’t particular about race or sex. Just a baby. “We were lucky in that realm that we didn’t care what we had and thank goodness we were blessed with him because I couldn’t imagine having any other baby. He was the one that was meant for us.”
Figuring that out though was tough. Back in January their adoption agency in Indianapolis, Independent Adoption Center or IDC, filed bankruptcy and closed immediately. The decision left thousands of hopeful parents feeling broken and with no promise of getting their money back.
The Rays went to a new agency called A Bond of Life or ABL. Their adoption coordinator said she doesn’t think the way IDC closed was right. “Adoption is a small world. The majority of the agency’s representatives are familiar with other agencies that might have situations that are available that could have helped their families,” Laronda Southworth said.
Southworth said it worried her families would give up. “I don’t want them to lose faith because we have families that need babies and we have babies that need their forever families.”
But now those families have to start over, all of the background work and money spent. The Rays spent $11,000 with IDC and nearly $40,000 over the years. “It’s money. And it was what we needed to do to start a family. So he was worth it and we’ll pay it back and now we’re a family.”
The Rays were only a few months into IDC’s average 18 month wait. They got Braxton five weeks after calling ABL.
They did get legal advice. Their lawyer said he worked with IDC for years and was just as shocked. He also said they could try to sue but since its bankruptcy it’s likely they wouldn’t get much, if any, back.