‘We can’t lose this’: Vancouver Island’s only adoption centre saved from closure


WATCH: The only adoption centre on Vancouver Island is saved, for now. The service was slated for closure at the end of May. Aaron Guillen tells us what and who is responsible for the extraordinary turn of events.

This is the start of a new era for CHOICES Adoption Agency.

The agency had been in crisis since the beginning of the month. The non-profit had been struggling with funding issues.

Many prospective adoptive parents were in danger of not finding a child.

“We feel like we’ve gone from a limited pool to an even more limited pool,” said Patricia Pearson, who was on the waiting list back when the agency first announced its impending closure on April 3.

But those who the agency helped in the past have now come forward to keep it open.

Barbara Scott found two sons of her own through adoption.

“What it did was make a lot of people wake up and realize, wow we can’t lose this,” says Barbara Scott, newly elected board chair of CHOICES.

“You take it for granted when it’s always there.”

On Wednesday night, a new board of directors were elected at a packed last minute meeting.

Victoria Mitchell, an Esquimalt woman, gave up her son for adoption through CHOICES.

She’s now part of the new board.

“It’s a dream come true,” says the newly-elected vice chair.

“It’s the way it’s meant to be. It’s a fateful opportunity.”

Patricia Pearson, who’s on the waitlist, is now encouraged that CHOICES will be able to help her and her husband find a sibling for their daughter.

“It was CHOICES or nothing,” says Pearson.

“We’re just trying to do everything we could to make sure that could happen and we’re really excited about it.”

While this move has saved the agency for now, the organization is still facing a significant deficit.

“We should have some funding,” says Scott.

“We are doing society work for BC residents.”

To dig themselves out of the hole, they’ll have to consider promoting the agency into the rest of the province, begin looking for more birth moms, and finding other countries open to international adoption.

Aaron GuillenAaron Guillen

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