November 8, 2011

Adoption Process Timeline

A lot of people have asked where we are in the adoption process, how long it will take, what the next step is, etc. All good questions! Unfortunately, we don't know all the answers since there are a wide variety of factors. But I thought maybe a rough outline of the process might be helpful.

Back in early October, we filled out a preliminary application. There is no cost for this, and basically it's just to find out if you even qualify for adoption with any countries that your chosen agency serves. Each country has it's own requirements regarding age, marital status, income, etc. We qualified for several. Then we had a meeting with Bethany to further discuss these results to determine if we wanted to move on with the process.

At this point, we filled out a formal application. This is where the fees start accruing! Maybe that's what makes it "formal" ;) Currently, our formal application has been accepted. We have several forms to sign, a payment to make, and then we'll begin the Home Study process.

The whole thing SHOULD go something like this:
*Preliminary Application
*Formal Application - processing takes about 1 week.
*Home Study - a series of 3 meetings done by our agency in our home. I'm told to expect about 2 months for this. We will finalize which country we'll adopt from during this process.
*Dossier - the dossier is a compilation of massive amounts of paperwork that is submitted to the country you're hoping to adopt from. This includes things such as medical records, marriage license, birth certificates, letter of intent to adopt, all home study materials, financial information, post-placement agreements, and many, many other documents. The gathering of this information takes around 5-6 months, then review by the agency and mailing time; about another 2 weeks.
*Referral - being matched with a child. After the Dossier is logged in with your country's government (often referred to as the LID - Log In Date), you start to wait. Since we are looking at a "Waiting Child" program (for children who have special needs or do not fit into the "healthy infant" category), we can expect the wait to be about 6-12 months. But it varies greatly depending the country and the special needs you're willing to accept.
*Travel - after you accept your referral, travel to your country typically occurs in about 3 months. Again, this can vary. But by then end, you'll have your child!

As you can see, it's a pretty long process that we aren't very far into! Thankfully the agency walks you through every step and so far things have been very clear and organized. We were told by Bethany that we can expect it to take about 12-18 months. Honestly, we were surprised it could be that fast because we were expecting about 2 years. And it still could be that long, or longer...we just don't know.

Please pray for us as we continue to move through this process - that the Lord would prepare our and our children's hearts for another child, for a smooth and organized process, and for the finances to keep things moving as they should.  Jon and I were talking a few nights ago, and were struck by the realization that since we are hoping to adopt a toddler, chances are that child is already alive today. Suddenly everything felt more real and imminent. We started feeling the urge to rush and move through the paperwork and process faster than the leisurely pace we have been so far. And we even felt a connection. Somewhere, our child is being cared for by someone else. So if you're willing, please pray for that child too. Hopefully, he or she will have a home soon!

1 comment:

  1. We will continue to pray for your family, as you proceed in this amazing adventure! Please let us know if you need any help...we are here for you all!