Adoption agency abruptly closes, shocking Charleston couple

February 3, 2017

Last year when Chris Lacey and John Mooney decided they were ready to become parents, they hired the California-based Independent Adoption Center to help them find a baby. The adoption agency certainly seemed reputable. It was established more than 30 years ago and local offices were set up across the country. Lacey and Mooney, who live in Mount Pleasant, met another couple who had successfully adopted a child through IAC. They were advised to hire a professional agency to help them navigate the process because so many scammers lie in wait on the internet to steal money or wreak emotional havoc. For Lacey and Mooney, IAC felt like the right choice. So they paid several hundred dollars to fill out an application, then several hundred more to attend a weekend-long training in Atlanta. Finally, they spent $13,400 in May to officially hire the agency. They were told the fee would cover everything except a South Carolina lawyer, who would finalize the adoption contract once they found a match. But the agency gave them no indication it faced dire financial problems. When IAC announced to its clients earlier this week it filed for bankruptcy and...

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