Closure of Victoria adoption agency put on hold amid push to save it
The slated closure of a Victoria adoption agency has been put on hold amid an outpouring of support from people trying to keep it open.
Choices Adoption Agency said since announcing its May 31 closure earlier this month, it has received an "overwhelming response" from the community.
As a result, the adoption agency is holding an Extraordinary General Meeting next Wed., April 24.
"The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the decision to close the agency and, should the membership so choose, to nominate and elect new board members," Choices said in a statement.
The process of closing down the agency will be put on hold prior to the meeting.
"There's no doubt that families are wondering, worrying and upset about what services are going to look like for them, but I think they'll welcome the opportunity for their involvement," said Choices board chair Jane Cowell.
Choices is asking anyone who has offered support following the closure announcement to attend the meeting. Anyone interesting in joining the board is asked to attend the Choices office at 850 Blanshard Street at 6 p.m., while new members can attend at 7 p.m.
The private adoption agency announced its plans to close after offering domestic and international adoption services and pregnancy counselling for 30 years.
It said the decision wasn't made due to lack of demand, but due to a decline in the number of international adoptions.
Choices said at the time that 140 families using the agency would be referred to other agencies and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
The announcement also sparked an online petition demanding the agency remain open, capturing more than 1,100 signatures as of Thursday.
Victoria Mitchell and Barbara Scott are among the group pushing to keep the centre open and say they're confident it can happen.
"It's been going for 30 years. Other agencies have closed so that means we have a bigger pie anyway," said Scott, a former board chair.