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Local Family Heartbroken After Spending Nearly $100,000 On Failed Adoption
DeLand, Fla. -- Rebecca Hinshaw set up the nursery in her DeLand home three years ago after hiring Homecoming Adoptions inside an office tower in downtown Orlando. She says the adoption agency claimed she and her husband could have a baby from overseas in 12 months.“We were told that was a sure bet, you would get a baby from China,” said Rebecca. The Hinshaws say they had paid $25,000 upfront. Since then, Rebecca heard all Chinese adoptions had slowed, but she says Homecoming Adoptions stopped returning calls.“It's been horrible," she said. "It's been a rollercoaster.” When the Hinshaws tried to get answers at the agency's Orlando office on Robinson Street, it was panic time. The agency sign was gone, the door was locked and there was no forwarding address. Rebecca reached a manager by phone who offered a $95,000 refund for services not yet done, but only when the agency had the cash.“I would have to wait until the money came in, so I would have to wait,” she said.Action 9 first investigated the agency in 2006, when another couple paid $30,000 for a Russian baby, but the adoption never happened. Later, the Department of Children and Families revoked the agency's license but it continues to operate after it went to court and claimed it was not a child placement service.Action 9 tried to reach agency owner Kendall Rigdon, an attorney, who is a partner at a law office in Melbourne. Eventually, Rigdon called Action 9 and said Homecoming Adoptions is still processing adoptions, and that it has been in contact with all the clients, and furthermore, Rebecca will get her refund.Rebecca welcomes the change of heart, but regrets the ordeal her family has faced.“It wasn't supposed to be this way," she said. "It’s heartbreaking.” According to DCF, the agency is investigating Homecoming Adoptions for all the activity since its license was revoked. The Better Business Bureau has received 13 complaints against the company. Rebecca Hinshaw calls the refund a godsend. She has found a domestic adoption agency and the family will use the money toward the adoption.Copyright 2008 by wftv.com.