Effort being made to save adoption agency

Federal immigration officials and lawyers working to salvage Ontario-based Kids Link International Adoption Agency from bankruptcy are giving hope to couples who plan to adopt African children promised to them by the now-defunct firm.

CALGARY — Federal immigration officials and lawyers working to salvage Ontario-based Kids Link International Adoption Agency from bankruptcy are giving hope to couples who plan to adopt African children promised to them by the now-defunct firm.

Joel and Jodi Thurmeier of Calgary are among those who hope they’re finally on the brink of holding the Ethiopian baby they want to adopt.

Jodi Thurmeier said the sight of Edmonton-area couples who returned this week with their adopted children has added to their confidence.

“It’s what keeps our hopes up. It makes us very hopeful all the people with referrals will get through the system,” said Jodi.

The Thurmeiers were among about 400 applicants across the country who were shocked when the Cambridge, Ont., firm suddenly collapsed last month, leaving huge questions over legalities and paperwork involved in adopting children from Zambia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Ecuador.

But with the help of officials in Ottawa and immigration lawyer Ted Geisbrecht, who was appointed by the bankrupt company’s trustee, the couple is hoping to receive a call from authorities that their baby’s visa has been issued, said Thurmeier.

“The Canadian government stepped in very quickly and started expediting cases,” she said.

Eight days ago, the paperwork for their adoption made it to the Canadian high commissioner in Kenya, which oversees the country’s affairs in east Africa, said Jodi.

They’re hoping the adoption of their four-month-old son, Wondimu, will then be put on the fast track.

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