We received this email today from our agency:
It is with a heavy heart that we write this email with bad news. Effective immediately, One World Adoption Services will be closing its doors.
We would like to provide you background on our closure. The Council on Accreditation (COA) has decided to suspend One World Adoption Services’ Hague Accreditation based on alleged complaints made approximately 3-4 years ago, from a Non-Convention (i.e., Non – Hague) country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. While we believe that the allegations in the complaints are without any basis, the COA found otherwise. We are sure many of you have heard about many of the problems plaguing the Congo. In fact, it appears that most agencies have stopped their adoption programs in the Congo based on that country’s problems. As of today, the Congo has suspended adoptions as they revamp their adoption laws. Although we had reached the point where we were no longer conducting adoptions in the Congo, the COA insisted on coming after us for the outdated complaints. We have attached a letter which will explain the background of the cases, the results, what OWAS did to respond, and the outcome.
One World Adoption Services did everything it could to fight this, however, despite the fact that this will effect multiple families that have nothing to do with these older cases, as well as more than 120 children, OWAS has no other choice but to cease its business as a result of COA’s actions. COA has been advised about the number of children, adoptions, and families that this will effect, but COA refused to change its position despite the Federal Judge’s statements on the record encouraging COA not to take this path.
We will be sending a letter in the next few days referring you to an appropriate agency who can continue your case. We have spoken to several Hague Accredited Agencies that will accept the transfer of cases in process. Of course, you have the right to choose to use any agency that is Hague Accredited. We will need to know to which agency to transfer your case by June 30, 2014. If we do not hear from you by that date, your case will be transferred to a Hague Accredited agency and you will be promptly notified.
If money is owed to you, you will receive an email over the next few days concerning the financial aspect of your case, and next steps for that. OWAS knows that many of you will have concerns, and they will be addressed as promptly as possible.
One World Adoption Services