Abbotsford adoption agency closes doors after 25 years

Hopes Adoption Services in Abbotsford is forced to shut down, due to financial hardship. About 180 families are affected.

Carmyn and Mike Brandner are among the families affected by the closure of Hope Adoption Services in Abbotsford.

Carmyn and Mike Brandner were upset last Thursday to receive notice that the agency through which they had adopted two children, and were awaiting a third, was closing.

The couple is among about 180 families affected by the announcement from Hope Adoption Services of Abbotsford that it is shutting down after 25 years.

They had adopted two daughters through the agency, and were three years into a five-year wait for a baby from China.

“We were, and still are, completely heartbroken (about the closure) … We have such a close relationship with everyone at Hope … It’s because of them we have a family,” Carmyn said.

The couple are now concerned with what might happen with their pending adoption and in having to form trust and relationships with people at a different agency.

“We feel like we’re on our own. We feel like we’re starting all over again,” Carmyn said.

Lorne Welwood, co-founder of Hope Adoption Services, said every effort is being made to ensure the impacted families are supported through the transition. Many will be referred to other agencies.

“We’ll communicate with them on an individual basis as we analyze what needs to be done on their case,” he said. “I think in the next couple of days, the process will be a little clearer.”

Hope Adoption, run from an office at 2975 Gladwin Rd., provided services to men and women facing unplanned pregnancies and to those wanting to adopt, both in Canada and internationally.

However, Welwood said changing times have meant not enough income was coming in to support the monthly costs.

He said the agency required $40,000 to $45,000 each month to break even. In November, only $17,000 was recorded, after months of economic uncertainty.

The decision to shut down was made in consultation with the provincial director of adoption.

“We’ve been at low spots before and have had unexpected recoveries … So we were praying for another recovery, quite frankly, but it didn’t happen this time,” Welwood said.

Money for Hope Adoption was raised through donations and from clients, who were charged fees for such things as home studies and the processing of paperwork.

Welwood said, over the course of an adoption, a couple would pay about $5,000 to $7,000 to the agency, as part of their approximate $30,000 in overall costs.

Societal changes have resulted in fewer domestic adoptions, as more women opt to keep their babies or terminate their pregnancies. He said there are currently only about 50 babies adopted in B.C. each year.

Foreign governments have also tightened regulations, resulting in longer waits and fewer adoptions being approved.

Welwood said it was a difficult decision to shut Hope Adoption’s doors, given the close relationship staff had formed with clients since he and his wife, Ann, opened the agency in 1986.

“It’s been really hard,” he said.

The agency will be working closely with the adoption services unit of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Families affected are asked to call 250-387-3660 or visit the website

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Car giveaway set for MEI on Friday

One lucky alumni member will receive a new Mazda 3

How would crowded Fraser Valley hospitals deal with patient surge? Officials won’t say

Amid coronavirus case and crowding issues, health officials won’t say where more patients would go

Sasquatch Mountain Aussie Day celebration raises $800

Proceeds of bikini runs, toonie tosses and more go to wildfire victims

Abbotsford Police issue 81 speeding tickets in school zones over 2 days

‘30 in 30’ traffic-enforcement blitz took place last Thursday and Friday

Salvation Army kettle campaign raises $121,000 in Abbotsford

Christmas fundraising up $20,000 over previous year

VIDEO: Chilliwack arson victim lights up rural property like a runway

Chris Thompson had enough after twice having barns torched in suspicious circumstances

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read