Strongsville – On Tuesday FBI agents raided a Strongsville adoption agency, two months after operations were halted there by the United States Department of State.
Now, for the first time we’re hearing from families that used European Adoption Consultants and, in some cases, were just weeks away from meeting their new child.
“It’s horrible,” says Autumn Jones of Highland Heights. “It’s horrible on you, on your family, but you can’t imagine what it feels like for that child. It’s sickening.”
She and her husband were four months and 27-thousand dollars invested into the process of adopting a disadvantaged child from Poland through EAC.
“Us and everyone out there, we're stuck with no one to go to, no resources, there’s nothing.”
Their case has been shifted to a Maryland adoption agency, but with so much of EAC documentation in limbo, or in the custody of the FBI after Tuesday’s raid – despair grows.
Over the last five years they have adopted two boys from Russia. They want to adopt three more children – a goal made much harder by the federal raid.
Back in December the U.S. Department of State debarred European Adoption Consultants (EAC) from continued operation citing “a pattern of serious, willful, or grossly negligent failure to comply” with standards for international adoption.
On Tuesday the FBI raided their offices and the home of its founder – but they wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the raid other than to say they were “executing a warrant.”
Among the allegations by the state department, the EAC "…failed to adequately supervise…preventing the sale, abduction, exploitation, or trafficking of children."
And that they failed safety procedures that prevent "…solicitation of bribes; Fraudulently obtaining birth parent consent…" to get the children here.
The organization posted on their website in December: “Despite the fact that we disagree with many, if not most, of the statement and are considering the option of appeal, we still have to make a plan of transfer of all cases by the end of this month.”
“Do I think the organization was bringing in a lot of money through adoption fees? They were. Did they do a lot of right for children? Yeah,” Autumn said.
“You got to believe there is something to [the raid], but you don’t know.”