Local agency abruptly closes, leaving adoptions across the country in limbo

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by Joe Conger / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @joe_conger

kens5.com

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 7 at 3:30 PM

SAN ANTONIO – They pulled into the driveway in the 5300 block of Prue Road in a rental car with Nevada plates: a New York couple making another anxious visit to a set of office buildings they already know are vacant.
 
They’ve made this trip nearly every day since they arrived in town last week.
 
“This place is totally shut down. Don’t know where to go from here. We’re in limbo,” said Ed Cappetta.
 
The Cappettas are in San Antonio for the adoption of a healthy, beautiful baby, born just days ago.
Although the paperwork’s been signed, the adoption is incomplete. And the agency handling it has suddenly closed.
 
“All of a sudden we get an email from ASA saying due to economic reasons they are no longer in business and their funds are exhausted,” said Cappetta.
 
The email was followed by news that the Adoption Services Associate’s director, Linda Zuflacht was ill. But the Cappettas are left wondering if the child they take home will legally be theirs to keep.
 
“Our biggest fear is six months we have to come back to finalize the adoption, and we can’t do it. We have no paperwork to go to court with,” said Cappetta.
 
The Cappettas aren’t alone. KENS-TV also received an email from a worried adoptive family in Connecticut, who had invested money in ASA and a birth mom who is 4 months into her pregnancy.
 
The Cappettas said they had used ASA years ago, when they adopted their daughter. In semi-open adoptions, birth moms and adoptive parents do have some contact with each other in the process.
 
The adoptions can be costly, easily topping $30,000, depending on the circumstances. The money helps provide attorneys fees, court costs, and health care for the baby and birth mom.
 
Clients are wondering what happened to all that money.
 
“She (the employee) said, 'This is it, bon voyage,'” added Ilona Cappetta about their last meeting in person with a counselor with Adoption Services Associates,
 
Cappetta  joined her husband in front of the door to the agency's main office. It isn’t just the paperwork that’s gone missing. So have the people.

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