Two Adoption Agencies Closed Down Last Week!

Adoption Ark and Christian World Adoption Closed for Business!

Adoption Ark and Christian World Adoption Closed for Business!

At first, I thought I was dreaming,  but the shock has started to wear off. Plus, the Associated Press has reported it now as well: Adoption Ark and Christian World Adoption have both announced they are closing their doors and filing for bankruptcy in the span of one last week.

I was first alerted to this when I saw the emails sent out to families on Facebook, both agencies have since taken down their website pages  and posted the contents of the emails sent. Rather than post it in its lengthy entirety, you may read it yourself here on the Christian World Adoption site.

Adoption Ark, which I did not know originally had also closed also has a similar, though much shorter message, on its former website.

Both adoption agencies claim that they had no choice but to closed based on the difficulties in international adoptions, the reduction of “sending countries”, tighter restrictions and, the final blow, the Russian Adoption ban. Americans adopted 8,668 foreign children in the 2012 fiscal year, down 62 percent from the peak of 22,884 in 2004.

These are my favorite words to quote so far:

“Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council for Adoption, said he expected that many more agencies would be closing.”

I never thought I would hear me saying this, but I hope the NCFA’s Chuck Johnson is right!

Adoption “Non Profits” Showing Losses, but HUGE Income and Assets

CWA was founded in 1991 and Adoption Ark came into being in 2003. Both were listed as “Non Profits“. It is truly amazing what one can learn from looking at the IRS documents. It’s always good to follow the money; the words “non profit” tend to sound a bit false.

According to their IRS tax returns Adoption Ark, was bringing in $1,197,504.00 in income from their international adoption fees in 2008 and saw that number decrease to a mere $548,241.00 in 2011.  Looking at their returns, I can see that they did indeed cut back on salaries and wages by half, but the net losses piled up. Check them out yourself:  2011, 2010, 2009

In contrast, Christian World Adoption,  is very different! For one, they do not consider any of their “income” to be fees from services, but all “contributions”. If I could raise one eyebrow, I would. Also to note, their high point in 2008 shows $3,249,987.00 in net assets which dropped to $1,870,646.00 in 2011. What if find most interesting is the amounts paid to the president and secretary of the organization which stayed a pretty consistent $99,000.00 annually for all three years of their available tax returns for 2011, 2010, 2009. Now, one might be thinking that CWA president was less greedy, but alas, they both claimed to work an average of FIVE hours per week! I wish I had a job that paid almost 100K a year for five hours a week.  That means that they both got paid about $380.00 per hour. Nice work if you can get it, I guess. Make sure you look at the assets lines for CWA. And they are declaring bankruptcy.

As International Adoptions Dies Down, What Does it Mean on the Domestic Front?

While this is good news in the overall arena of adoption, I do not think we can afford to let our guards down at all.  We were just saying the other day how desperate the industry is getting, and I believe that we will see adoption agencies that also focus on domestic relinquishment gearing up their attacks on expectant mothers at risk just to keep their doors open and their “not” profits flowing.  In order for them to stay in business, agencies will need to continue to get babies from SOMEWHERE.

Expect to see more partnering of adoption agencies with Crisis Pregnancy Centers and false “Help for Pregnant Women” in the form of Adoption Agency funnels such as Bravelove. I have heard from more than one source who has said that many former “adoption attorneys” are now finding that the majority of their work is in surrogacy law. The breeding will continue and the need for a continued voice and education is required.

The bright side, I hope, is that people who want to adopt have to turn to the foster care programs for children in need, but do not expect to see that happening as fast as we would like.

However, despite a feeling that we must continue to be vigilant I will be the eternal optimist that I am and say that  these are the beginning death tolls. We are witnessing the crumbling of the Adoption Empire at its very foundation.

Burn, baby, burn!

I will not be sending flowers.

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

11 Comments on "Two Adoption Agencies Closed Down Last Week!"

  1. RIP. Such good news!

  2. I too wondered how IA drying up would affect domestic adoption.

    Yes, there will be increased pressure on expectant moms in crisis ….BUT, we need not worry about a return to anything near the haydays of adoption.

    The majority of moms relinquishing today want open adoption. While some will get duped into false promises of openness, fewer adopters want to risk even duping a mother lion who want to remain in contact with her cub.

    What I thus forsee is an increase in surrogacy, egg and frozen embryo sales, and likely some former adoption business owners will convert over to these methods of providing “product.” Third world women will be exploited in mass numbers over the next few decades and, the saddest part of all is that a continuing number of childrwn will come into this world anonymously with no means of finding their true genetic identity and medcial history.

    What is coveted most are children who look those who pay for them like them and who have no strings atatched. Eventually…if the earth reamins here long enough, some form of cloning will be able to manufacture babies from the DNA of anyone who wants one. Which would be an improvement on the use of anonymous genetic material.

  3. Kathleen | May 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm |

    I’m not sure why you are so happy about this. Adoption Ark worked solely with foreign governments to place children who would otherwise have languished in ORPHANAGES. They did not encourage these mothers to give up their children through financial or any other means. The children available for adoption in the countries they worked with were mostly over 2 and/or special needs. Now who will take care of these kids? I’ve been to the orphanages. I’ve seen the conditions they live in. They are not places of love.

    • Just the simple sign of ANY adoption agencies closing brings tears of joy to my eyes. If you do not understand why, then I suggest you take some time, read around here and other sites and blogs I link to and then, perhaps, with a open heart, you will begin to understand.
      If not, oh well. I can’t help you then. I’m still happy.
      And have you ever heard of international corruption in ORPHANAGE based adoption situations? It’s all the rage these days. Try Google.

      • I too am more than a little taken aback by this article. Am I misunderstanding something. Is this an outcry against people taking abandoned children into their families? Or is it simply against the corruption that can arise when people manipulate things that are meant for good?

        • Of course one would like to believe that adoption is all about taking in poor abandoned children that need homes, but that is sadly no the case nearly as much as it should be. Did you know that in 2011 Christian World Adoption Agency brought in almost 3 million dollars? And over a million of that was contributions and grants? And that was a BAD year!In 2010 they brought in $4,376,934.00. So what does that tell you about helping all those poor children? Do you think that maybe a bit of corruption might have been playing in here? Don’t fool yourself in thinking it’s all good and that these poor children wouldn’t have homes if not for the wonderful kind agencies. I lost my son for NO good reason except I was foolish and trusting and fearful and he netted an agency over 30K. Yes, I celebrate when they close. Its a 13 BILLION dollar industry that breaks up families to create another for profit.

          • Do you also have an email I could respond to? I fear saying something that will come across too personal for posting. At any rate if you want to email me, you are more than welcome to.
            I am so very sad that you had a bad counselor who must have somehow convinced you that you were not capable/nor would you ever be so, to care for your son. That has to be more devastating than I could ever imagine. I want very much to work in the field of adoption though and have for many years. I have personally spent some time in orphanages abroad. The experience, coupled with my own personal feelings regarding abandonment in my own life have made me as passionate to adopt/help families to adopt as you are to see it close. The needs of these children were so simple, and they literally devoured any attention they were given. They seemed so desirous of direction and shaping and instruction. Coming from orphanages they were targets for people wanting to get them into a world of drugs and sex and abuse. While I mourn the loss of a child that was desired, I applaud an institution that truly desires to take what someone DOES NOT WANT and allows another to shepherd and love him/her. All things can be/are corrupted. Does that then mean that what was meant to be Good should be abolished? Do you believe that NO good has come from adoption agencies?


  4. I am very disturbed to read this chain. I have to agree with Sabrina. I have lived abroad in third world countries where children are abandoned and no one claims them. And I have tried to enter the foster system in the US but been completely dumbfounded by the ineptness and ineffectiveness of the system. I do not know your personal case but really really urge you to really need to look at what your saying about international adoption and look at the facts not just some financials to make your judgments. The children that are largely up for adoption internationally have been discarded, they are special needs, and people in their own countries do not want to adopt them – that is the REASON they are on the adoption lists internationally in the first place. These children suffer in orphanages because of too much bureaucracy and because good intentions without real life real world knowledge screws up getting these kids homes. I think you should take the time to talk to someone like Sabrina.
    I have adopted a child from Korea, I have kept in touch with the foster parents and will fully support my child reconnecting if his birth mother wants to. But I am prepared for the fact that his birth mother may never want to meet him. He was born premature to an unwed woman whose boyfriend left her when she got pregnant. She could not bring the shame to the family to have a child, so she gave him up. He was under 3lbs when born and extremely ill for over a year. We adopted him and they said he may have brain damage and a host of other problems. I am glad to report he is fantastic and doing great. But, he would have ended up in an orphanage by the age of 5 and while attitudes in Korea are changing his likelihood of being adopted was very very very low. Korea has a fantastic foster system and they look after their orphans very well. But, nothing replaces the love of a family. I hold no ill will to his biological mother at all, but my focus is what is best for the child and our loving home and many others like us is the best hope these children have.
    This is not some sinister baby market, these are children who have no hope. Just go to, read their stories and then tell me we should shut down these agencies and condemn these kids to institutions or in some cases to death because they will never get the medical treatment they need.
    There are bad people in the world all over, and there are bad agencies, but do not condemn a whole system because of the actions of a few.

    • When the WHOLE system works as covering up the “few” bad actions of those individuals and agencies because it makes others question, their practices, then yes, I condom a WHOLE SYSTEM. What is it going to take before we say “Hey, this needs to be improved”? How many children need to be sold to feed the needs of the adoption market? How many mothers must live this life before it is enough? What will ti take before some people who might have had a good story are horrified enough and able to see past their OWN stories to recognize that there are great injustices that need to stop?
      And yes, you should read more here so you can understand why I feel the way I do.
      As for Korea.. I am not an expert on Korean adoptions by any stake; however, I know PLENTY of folks who ARE Korean Adoptees and they are not sitting back and saying, well I had a good life so let’ let this keep happening. And what are they doing? Comign bak to a country where they are not even considered citizens anymore and starting change on a national level that allows the singles mothers to not feel forced to relinquish:
      TRACK is Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea. We are a group of internationally adopted Koreans, Korean Americans, and Korean nationals based in Seoul working within South Korea toward the following:
      TRACK advocates for full understanding of the practice of adoption, both past and present, to preserve the rights of children and families.
      A world where the adoption community and Korean society have a mutual understanding and compassion that allows them to heal to create a bright collective future.
      Provide an opportunity to reconnect and dialogue with Korean society.
      Research and document the history of international adoption from South Korea.
      For more information, please visit TRACK’s Web site.
      TRACK is active in advocating changes in attitudes and legislation in regards to international adoption from South Korea. Because TRACK ‘s location at the source of international adoption from Korea, it is able to get to the root of the problem and tackle the problem at its source. TRACK works with single mothers’ organizations, lawmakers in the National Assembly, and other organizations to make sure international adoption is no longer the first choice for a child who becomes separated from his/her mother/father.

    • Pam,
      Respectfully, a few comments:
      1) The child you adopted wasn’t an orphan or at risk of becoming an orphan, based on your description. Saying that Korea “looks after their orphans very well” is a poor justification for you to adopt the boy you did from Korea.
      2) Korea’s government provides up to 16 TIMES the financial support to Korean adoptive parents (where child will lose original family and identity) than to unwed mothers who want to raise their own children (where child won’t lose original family/identity). Ironically, a big reason for discouraging unwed mothers the ability to keep their child is due to financial constraints (when they receive 1/16 the government support).
      3) In Korea, there are organizations (ie KUMFA) that support Korean unwed mothers (where the Korean govt fails them). With your concern for the welfare of vulnerable Korean children (and are willing to pay tens of thousands to adopt 1 Korean child, and remove him from his country, culture, and language), why didn’t you consider helping several unwed Korean mothers with far less $$$ during their temporary time of crisis with this huge decision with permanent consequences? Their children wouldn’t have to suffer permanent loss of family, culture, or language had you chosen to support more unwed mothers at far less cost to them and their children and far less monetary cost to you.
      4) Who gave you the “probable prognosis” the boy you adopted if you hadn’t “come to his rescue”? Was it the adoption agency and their affiliated social workers? Holt International has a history of falsifying, switching, or erasing some children’s adoption, birth records, histories, and identities to facilitate some adoptions (documentaries and personal accounts from adoptees and adoptive parents). Adoption agencies stand to profit $$$ in fees/salaries if they can get you to complete an adoption/sale.
      5) I’m not trying to say that you have malicious intent in adopting from Korea, but rather that you’re ill-informed (perhaps willfully uninformed) about Korean child welfare practices. Because you voluntarily chose to incorporate this system into your personal affairs, you have a responsibility to educate yourself on Korea’s child welfare practices and know the correct lingo. Based on your account, the boy you adopted was never an orphan, nor was he ever at risk of being orphaned. Please don’t use “orphanhood status” as a justification for your adoption. I second and TRACK as excellent resources in educating yourself about Korea’s situation. Korea is not a third world country – it was ranked as the 16th WEALTHIEST country according to OECD. Still, it’s always ranked amongst the top 5 child exporter, thanks to people who will pay $$$$ for children and defend their export system.

      And I am a product of Korea – imported from there. I’ve met many who understand Korea’s child welfare system, or lack of it and how it affects the children, the families left behind, and the families created. Since you are now part of that system, I encourage you to understand it too.

  5. Note: A common misperception about TRACK is that it is “anti-adoption.” That is incorrect. TRACK is a history and information project that aims to investigate the full truth about the Korean adoption system, and trusts that informed people can make their own decisions about their personal beliefs. We are pro-transparency.

    (direct quote from TRACK’s position statement online)

    Thank you for your information. I will try to be as best informed as possible with the specific organizations i work with and/or adopt from. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of the problems could be attributed to governments not knowing the best way to handle this situation, and I would argue that that is because the government has limitations. Take the US for example and the effects of systems that hand out money to help families. No system is perfect. People make mistakes, and make bad decisions, and we take advantage of others. Both those that are wealthy and poor have been at fault. We as individuals have to take more responsibility for our own lives as well as for the state of the lives around us. I think you would agree about the responsibility aspect. Ultimately I will have to disagree with you about the potentiality for adoption agencies to help unwanted/ abandoned children. I would rather overpay someone who is taking advantage of me then leave an abandoned child without a home. I wish you the best of luck in your crusade. Above all, I hope that the ends that you are affecting are what is best for the individuals most affected.


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