By Audrina Bigos

(CBS) – An email has crushed the hopes and dreams of families who thought they were on their way to adopting a baby.

CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos has one family’s story.

Five months ago, James and David Hickey grew their family, and now they thank god for little Franklin every day. But they had always hoped for two children.

The Tinley Park couple started their adoption journey three years ago, signing a contract with the Independent Adoption Center, doing screenings and home studies and paying IAC monthly.

They have dished out about $15,000.

But their hopes for a growing family came to an abrupt end with an e-mail this week, saying IAC was closing immediately.

IAC was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closing its doors, citing the “changing environment of adoption” – fewer birth parents.

“Can it even happen again? Are we going to ever be able to have another kid now?” James asks.

The shutdown is stopping 1,800 adoptions that were in progress across the country.

“I’ve been practicing adoption law for 35 years, and I’ve never seen it happen like this,” says adoption attorney Steven Kirsh, who is working with other IAC clients in the same situation as James and David.

James Hickey says: “To find out the way we did and without any warning was hurtful”

A spokesperson for IAC says the non-profit will likely file for bankruptcy Friday. Once that’s filed, families will be notified by the court when they can file claims to get their money back.