Wednesday, September 30, 2009


two items:

1) BDO has updated their website:

2) the proposal has passed court!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ministry update

Please see the following update posted by the ministry of Ontario today:

BDO website updated

BDO's website has been updated with the outcome of the creditor's meeting. Please check it out or copy and paste this link:

Monday, September 21, 2009


The proposal was accepted with a resounding YES! Court has been scheduled for Sept.29th.
Congratulations everyone - we did it!


Friday, September 18, 2009

BDO update

Please see BDO's website for an update regarding Monday's agenda.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New FAQ's are up on BDO's website

BDO has updated their FAQ's today with more Q&A
Please see their link on the right of this page for more information

Some Q&A with BDO

The following are some answers from BDO to some of the questions coming from our AB families. I have relayed them as accurately as possible, the way I perceived was correct. For more information or clarity, please contact BDO. I believe most are addressed on the new FAQ's posted on BDO's website.

Q. Does a yes vote oblige you to pay the renewal fees.
A. No, a new retainer agreement will be sent out.

Q.Who is the restructuring group?
A. The proposed new board of directors are the restructuring group. They submitted a plan along with many other groups and their plan/group was deemed most viable.

Q.Why a new business? Why ask us all for an appropriate amount to complete all of our adoptions rather than rely on new clients?
A. Some people complain that the fee is too high, others that it is too low. If the agency is running smoothly, why not accept new clients? This was a decision that was made when the proposal was created.

Q. Is fund raising ties directly to this proposal? If I do not want to fundraise, will I have to pay more fees?
A. The organization itself is planning to fundraise, not the families. Families will not be required to fundraise. The organization will undertake fundraising to help reduce costs.

Q. Can you abstain from voting? If you abstain, can you jump on board if this proposal takes off?
A. Yes. If you abstain then you may decide later to pay the renewal fee and join the agency. However, if too many families abstain and not enough vote yes, then this proposal may still fail. The results of the votes will have to be presented in court after the creditor's meeting, at which time if many abstain and still less than 51% say yes, then the proposal will fail.

Q. Can you put adoptions on hold if extenuating circumstances require it?
A. Probably. This would have to be confirmed by the restructuring group, but it is unlikely that this would not be allowed.

Q. Have any applications been submitted for the new Executive Director?
A. Yes. 5 applications have come in. The executive director will not be a board member

Q. Will the transition home be shut down.
A. Unknown. If good relationships with the orphanages can be established then this could be a possibility.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

- A Message from FIA Committee


This posting regarding the filed proposal for Imagine Adoption is from the Chairs of the FIA Steering Committee.

The posting was reviewed by a representative of the proposed new Board of Directors for Imagine Adoption and in consultation with BDO Dunwoody Limited as the Trustee in the Bankruptcy.

Since the posting of the proposal on September 4th and the financial projections on September 8th, there have been questions for clarification. While some questions have been asked directly to BDO, others have been asked in open forums or directly to members of the Steering Committee.

We recognize how important it is to have the most accurate knowledge about the proposal in order to make the best decision for each family. In order to ensure that families can feel confident that they are receiving accurate information the Chairs of the Steering Committee have decided that all communications in regards to answering questions from the FIA will cease.

Therefore, please refer to the BDO web site where FAQ and other information is being provided. Also, you can submit questions to the email address of

As this is the same email as being used for Voting, please insure to place the word “Question” in the subject line. These will be forwarded to the responsible parties to provide responses on the BDO site. Alternatively, you may contact BDO directly with your questions.

Good luck as you consider the next steps for Imagine Adoption and the process of international adoptions. The creditor meeting on September 21st will conclude the status of the proposal.

Thank you.

Rob Eagleson, Co-Chair, FIA Steering Committee

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The following information is provided since posting the proposal on September 4, 2009. Questions were directed to BDO or received from families in collective groups (steering committees or otherwise). BDO will continue to receive questions and provide clarification as quickly as possible through FAQ postings.

After I vote, how soon will BDO move forward with court approval?
Creditors have up to the creditors meeting to cast their vote on the proposal In the meantime BOO will be tracking votes as they are received. If you have decided how you will vote, you are encouraged to submit your vote as soon as possible.

If at the creditors' meeting the required voting thresholds are reached to approve the proposal. BDO will proceed with Court approval There is a minimum 10 day notice period required before a Court date. The Trustee is reviewing the possibility of expediting the Court approval process.

What are the voting thresholds required to move the proposal forward?
In order for a proposal to be accepted by the creditors 51 % of creditors holding at least 2/3 of the value of the proven claims of each class of creditors must vote in favour of the proposal as per Section 54{2) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

What happens if I vote against the proposal, and how much money would be returned to me?
Pursuant to Section 9 of the Proposal, if the proposal is accepted by the creditors, no funds will be payable to the families (except as provided for in Section 12 of the proposal regarding the recovery of funds).

If the proposal is not accepted, Imagine Adoption will remain in bankruptcy. A dividend rate of approximately 7.3% is estimated. This amount may be reduced given the legal review that may be required throughout the bankruptcy process.

How do I vote by email?
Creditors may cast their vote by completing the voting letter and returning it to BOO by mail, fax or scanning a copy of the voting letter and returning it by email Contact information can be found on the voting letter.

There is only one signature space on the voting letter. If we are a couple, are we both required to sign the document?
No, only one signature is required on the voting letter and only one vote will be accepted per family.

Where I can find the proposal and voting letter?
All pertinent information including the voting letter can be found on the BDO website

We never received the claims form from BDO. How can I make sure I receive the proposal package?
Section 51 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act requires the Trustee to provided notice of the creditors meeting at least ten days prior to the meeting. These were mailed on September 8th.!f you have not received your package by September 12, 2009, individuals are asked to contact BDO. Alternatively all documents will be posted to the BOO website.

How long will it take to complete our adoptions and/or referrals? Will referrals occur starting immediately?
The new management will report back in February 2010 regarding adoptions, time lines and overall operations. They hope to restart referrals and concluding adoptions quickly. The will be better able to
answer these questions by February 2010.

Why is February 2010 a key date?
It was recognized that the new management would have to report to all stakeholders quickly. Four months was considered a reasonable estimate of time for the restructured company to have completed their assessments of all adoption programs and complete a comprehensive report to the stakeholders as to the status of the company. This date has been integrated in Section 14 of the proposal as the first key milestone ..

What is being done for those whose home studies are due to expire soon?
The ministry discussed this with BOO on September 8. They recognize the bankruptcy and proposal has caused a delay beyond control of the families. There will be further clarification shortly (some extension is being discussed).

When should we expect the cash flow statements?
The cash flow statements will be posted to the BOO website September 8 or 9th.

What is the $4000 recovery fee for?
This amount required by families is to provide some start up funding for operations of the restructured company. Other funding will come from the Bankruptcy estate, possible fundraising and from the balance of the fees required to complete adoptions

Why was it determined to have two installments of $2000?
The split payment of the recovery fee is to protect the families. There is no reason to collect extra funds for the first 4 months. The balance is due in March 2010 when a viable operating plan is certain.

We signed on with IA before the fee increase in November 2008. If we were to continue with this adoption, what exactly would our fees be?
Families would pay the same amount they owed before the bankruptcy in addition to the $4000 renewal fee. This is noted at Section 9 of the proposal.

Would we have to pay a higher renewal fee if we're adopting siblings?
No, the renewal fee is $4000 per family, for either single and sibling adoptions.

When is the $4000 renewal fee due?
The first $2,000 will be due upon signing the renewal contract with the restructured Imagine Adoption. The second $2,000 will be due in March 2010 as per section 9 of the proposal.

Will there be any large scale fundraising initiatives?
The new Board and management are considering this. A charitable organization is being reviewed for fundraising. The cash flows assume some fundraising with exact details still to be discussed.

Has the new Executive Director been confirmed yet?
There have been several individuals in contact with the new Board regarding their resume and interest in this position. The Board of Directors will conclude hiring the Executive Director if the proposal proceeds. It will be a formal application process. Based on our discussions to date, there are good qualified options.

Would children be referred from orphanages or would the Transition Home be re-opened and staff re-hired?
Point 14 of the proposal confirms that the status and ongoing role of the Transition Home will be assessed by February 2010. Operational issues including costs along with optimal care facilities for children will be considered in answering this question.

Has the referral process been discussed specifically?
The specifics for referrals will be decided by the Board of Directors and Advisory committee. If/when the company is brought out of bankruptcy, a board will assess and report on the referral process. A date driven selection of families for referral is anticipated. BDO will monitor this process/information.

Who decided the Board of Directors, are there conflicts, how will changes occur?
The Directors were in contact with several of the key organizers for this restructuring plan. Their credentials, experience and availability of time for this volunteer role were all factored in to assemble the Board.

Board members must always declare conflicts within an organization and during meetings. There are some families in the adoption process on the Board. They understand the conflict rules. BDO has reviewed this issue with the Ministry who indicated that some Board representation by adopting families is acceptable. A legal comment was also obtained. The Board is not all families; thus it should be balanced.

The process of changing Board members will be reviewed by the new Board. Typically, board positions are 2 or 3 year terms with options to renew.

If a family is unable to adopt from another country and has already paid their fees, will they have to pay any extra money to switch to the Ethiopia program?
If you switch to Ethiopia and the fees already paid to IA are less than those fees paid by the Ethiopia adopting families, you will need to pay the difference plus the renewal fees. This is as included in Section 9 of the proposal.

What are the conditions for helping families who are signed on to countries other than Ethiopia? Is it based on what the Ministry will allow?
Section 14 of the proposal confirms that all country programs will be assessed. This will be to determine if, how and when a Canadian adoption from the other country can proceed. If it is possible and viable, the new agency will facilitate the adoption for you.

What is the status of the Ghana program and why were there not more details outlined in the proposal?
Section 14 of the proposal confiirms that all countries will be assessed, this will include Ghana. The situation of the Ghana program is unknown and seems to be beyond the control of any Canadian agency. Therefore, it was difficult for the restructuring group to know details to include in the proposal. The Ghana program will be assessed by February 2010 at the latest.

Out of the 350 families, how many families were with the Ghana program?
There are 26 families in the Ghana program.

With the uncertainty of the Ghana program, are we able to transfer file ASAP into the Ethiopia program?
Yes. Section 9 of the proposal confirms that "if the program through a particular country is not available, affected families will have the option of transferring their adoption process to another Country and maintain the same status and priority based on their application state date of their original program country".

Would this be our original country start date? The date we signed the retainer agreement?
The start date of any file is the date the dossier was sent for a referral. This occurred immediately after all reports were provided to Imagine Adoption. This way all files will be processed in order of start date based on when families provided information.

As someone who is invested in the Ghana program, how can I possibly make any decision on voting when there is still no indication on whether or not the Ghana program will continue?
As per Section 14 of the proposal, all countries will be assessed. This includes Ethiopia, Ghana and others. However, there is uncertainty for all countries including Ethiopia. The proposal will ensure families are adopting in date order once country programs can proceed. Unfortunately, there is uncertainty for all countries at this time including Ghana and Ethiopia.

Do I have any options under the proposed plan if our adoption with the Ghana program is not possible, or if I decide not to proceed with the Ghana program?
See above. Families have the option under the proposal to transfer to the Ethiopia program and still maintain their priority based on the date their file went to Ghana.

Are there any other adoption agencies in Canada that will facilitate adoptions from Ethiopia?
BDO does not have this information. We understand that CAFAC (who also facilitates Ethiopian adoptions on behalf of Children's Bridge) has posted to their website that they are at full capacity as of September I, 2009.

Will wait listed families have the opportunity to adopt through the restructured agency if approved?
Yes. New families will be considered in 2011 to start the process.


A Message from FIA - The Decision is Yours

As we reflect over the past few days since the proposal was released,
it is very clear that we all have some very important and personal
decisions to make. On our FIA Steering Committee call this evening,
we heard the excitement, faith, worries and questions that our
regional representatives have heard from families across the country.

Emotions are high right now, which we believe indicates the passion
and commitment we all have to completing our families. It is
important that every family feels comfortable with whatever decision
they chose to make and have the information they need to make this

We all have many questions, and we encourage you to continue sending
your questions to FIA so that we can answer where we can, or forward
your questions to BDO if we do not have the answers.

This is not a decision that should be rushed, and we believe that you
should only vote once you feel comfortable doing so. But we also ask
that once you do feel confident in your decision based on the
information you have, to please vote at that time rather than waiting
until the creditors meeting on September 21. If the majority of
families do want to see this agency restructured, it is in our best
interest to have that happen as soon as possible.

We've all fought so hard to get this far, and we have faith we will
make it to the next step, which we hope will be a restructured agency
that can bring our children home.

Best Regards,

The FIA Steering Committee

BDO cashflow statements

This was just released from BDO dunwoody today.

You can find the direct link here:

There is also a FAQ section on their website to explain some of the projections here:

Questions from an Imagine adoption family

As a fellow creditor of Imagine I would like to share some questions/comments regarding the recent proposal. As creditors, we all have an important decision to make and I personally believe information is the key to good decision making. I have been consulting to the nonprofit sector for 20 years, which leads me to the questions I have about the restructured organization.

 What role will fundraising play in the new organization?
 Can a financial plan be posted?
 Who will be deciding on the next Executive Director? Will the families have input into this key decision?
 How did the Board of Directors get selected? Can we have a more democratic process going forward?
 What will be the criteria for determining if the new organization will continue in March 2010?
 What does the proposal mean when it says that if the new organization doesn’t succeed our money will be returned on a “pro rata” basis?
 What key activities will be happening between September and March 2010?
 Why have we not approached the Ontario Government to help fund the cost of starting up the organization rather than looking once again to families who have already lost a great deal financially? Why are we not asking the government to take responsibility for not properly monitoring this not for profit organization?
 Will anyone be starting a class action lawsuit against Sue Hayhow and the Board of Directors to try to retrieve some money for the new organization?
 If most of the creditors have withdrawn their claims, why has the Goodyear family not done the same, considering their hands on role with the organization?
 In most organizations, the Executive Director selects their own staff. Why have we assigned full time positions to individual without the input of the ED? Can we hire people on a contract basis until approved by the ED?
 Can staff temporarily work from home offices to keep the costs down until the organization is back on its feet?
 Can we use volunteers to help offset the costs?
 How can families get involved outside of the FIA or with the FIA?
 When will referrals begin again?
 How can we create more transparency and not repeat the mistakes of Imagine?

I also have some recommendations of a newly restructuring organization:

 I would like to know who the ED is before voting to accept the proposal. The leader of the organization will be crucial to the success of a future organization and as a creditor and someone asked to contribute another $4,000, I would like to have a voice in this. I’m going to assume that this will not be a former Imagine Canada staff.
 I believe the Board of Directors should be elected by the creditors and there should be a possibility for other families to get involved. There is a sense that a lot is happening without the comment or consent of the families.
 We should collect a summary of all of the skills and experience of the families and utilize this very willing and able group of individuals to ensure the organization succeeds. Let’s use the skills of those who are now our “family”. Some of us who didn’t make it to the first meeting might like to get involved and have an impact including those who have already adopted. Let’s get more inclusive. We all have a very big stake in the success of a new organization.
 A list should be made available with all families and their dates for submitting their dossiers and the age and sex of the child. To deal with confidentiality we could assign a number to each file rather than a name. This would help build a sense of trust with families.

I look forward to anyone’s feedback on these points.

Sandra Paquette

September 8, 2009 11:46 AM

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Updates for you as you wait - Message from FIA

Hello Families of IA,

We wanted to let you know that BDO is currently waiting for final sign off and
they're very anxious to release the restructuring plan proposal to all the
creditors before the long weekend.

We have been advised that the plan is very detailed. Along with your mailed
copy of the plan, you can expect a summary which will include financial
information, timelines and operating structure, and oversight measures.

Any questions or concerns you have regarding the *proposal* can be addressed at
the next creditor's meeting with BDO (the date is currently TBD). Until then,
you may also email these questions to any one of the FIA Committee members
listed in the contact section of the Families with Hope website:

Although we can't guarantee we'll have all the answers, in consultation with the
inspectors, we will try to provide clarity on the content of the proposal where
we can.

Questions regarding the *details of the new restructured agency*, will be
addressed by the proposed new board of directors if/when the agency resumes
operations. Please remember that because BDO is solely an accounting firm, they
are not qualified to answer questions regarding the operations of an adoption

The members of the FIA are pleased that we've reached our goal to have BDO work
with key stakeholders to create a restructuring plan proposal. Although this
situation is very unique to BDO and outside of their mandate, with the help of
the restructuring group, they managed to compile a plan within record time.

Once the plan is presented to you, it becomes your time to review the details
and to make a personal decision on how you will vote. Sue Taves of BDO has
advised that she will expedite the process for the families once she sees that
the *majority* has voted in favour of the proposed plan, instead of waiting for
100% of the votes. We're very happy with her offer to do this because it means
we can move on to the next step quickly.

After everything we've been through, we know this is an enormous leap of faith
for all of us. But we still hope that we can all be in the position of voting
in favour of the plan so we can get another step closer to bringing our children


Cilla Travassos
Chair, FIA Internal Communications

Message from FIA

Hi Everyone,

A very small win today, MCYS will be posting a Q&A on their website regarding the expected timing to get the restructured agency up and running (October 2009) to reflect the messages that they are sharing with families in letters from the Minister.
They’re also investigating the potential of extending our homestudies (including St. Anne’s). Hopefully we’ll hear soon.
Hope everyone is hanging in there.


Ellen Kalis
FIA Government Liaison

Imagine Adoption Restructuring Proposal

From BDO Dunwoody


BDO Dunwoody has posted the Restructuring Proposal on their website. Below you will find links to all the pertinent documents in the recent news section of this group. Affected families will be receiving a hard copy from BDO directly.

A general meeting of the creditors will be held at 30 Fairway S, Kitchener, ON on the 21st day of September 2009 at 10:00 o’clock AM.

For the Proposal to be accepted, the resolution must have a majority of unsecured creditors in numbers voting in favour, and of that majority there must be represented 2/3 or 66.6% of the creditors in dollars. This calculation is based on only those creditors who are present either in person or by proxy or by voting letter.

Any creditors who are present either in person or by general proxy who abstains from the vote would not be included in the calculation required to obtain the majority in numbers and 2/3 in dollars required to accept the Proposal.

Should the Proposal not be accepted, the bankruptcy of lmagine will be restored.


Video Message from Susan Taves:

Notice to Creditors of Proposal:


Report to Creditors / Instructions:

Voting Letter:

Certificate of Appointment:

Please help us share our story.

A message from FIA

Proposed Restructuring Plan offers hope for Families of the Bankrupt Imagine Adoption Agency

For the first time in six weeks, there is a sign of hope for the families affected by the July 14th bankruptcy of Imagine Adoption agency.

BDO Dunwoody Ltd, the trustee in bankruptcy, has posted a restructuring plan that proposes to bring the adoption agency out of insolvency.

On July 30 creditors voted unanimously to forgo their financial claims and instead requested that the trustee work on developing a plan to resurrect the agency. For many families this plan offers their only hope of creating or completing their families.

The plan outlines the operating structure, financial terms and monitoring parameters of the proposed new agency. Every family will be required to sign a new retainer agreement, to pay an additional $4,000 dollars in recovery fees, and once a new pay schedule is created, to pay installments of any outstanding agency fees.

The plan anticipates that it will take 36 months to complete all of the approximately 350 adoption files currently in process, whether they are at the very early home study phase or later.
“The plan has just been released and the families are only now having the opportunity to review it,” says Christine Starr; Chair - Families of Imagine Adoption (FIA) Steering Committee. “Clearly there are important issues still left to be addressed and the increased financial commitment demanded by the plan will present a challenge for many families.

Personally however, and in light of the painful reality of this situation and the limited alternatives available to us, I am pleased with the plan and feel strongly that it offers families our best hope of successfully completing our adoptions.”

Despite the difficult circumstances the affected families faced following the bankruptcy, many have much to be thankful for. The $100,000 donation by Yamana Gold made shortly after the bankruptcy was announced ensured the care and wellbeing of the children in the transition home in Ethiopia.

Minister Jason Kenney, of Citizenship and Immigration, also intervened to expedite the visas for these children and now 35 of the 47 children are in Canada with their families. Without this support the families’ hopes of salvaging the agency and completing their adoptions would have been impossible.

If the creditors approve the proposal the goal is for the agency to resume operations by October 2009. “Although there is some degree of relief now that a plan has been presented, we now have to urgently turn our attention to fundraising to help the children in the Ethiopian orphanages who have been left stranded by the suspension of agency funding,” says Starr. “These children and their caregivers are depending on us.”

Friday, September 4, 2009

Proposal from BDO

The BDO website is now updated with the Proposal information!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A message from FIA

Hi families!

We're happy to share that we've confirmed with Susan Taves of BDO that
everything is still a go for the plan to be presented on their website tomorrow.
The inspectors are just in the process of one final review and sign off.

FIA Internal Comms committee