If you have decided to adopt, you probably already know that the process can be incredibly long and difficult. The adoption process contains many obstacles and hoops that are put in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child’s life, so it only makes sense that embarking on this road takes a huge commitment. For many families, adoption is a huge blessing that places a child in need with a loving home, but, with this in mind, you also need to prepare yourself for the adoption wait time and what it may entail in order to reach the end result, the miracle of a child.
How Long Should You Be Prepared to Wait?
The long process of adoption can vary in time. Families have waited from a couple months to well over a year for their child. The wait time of an adoption depends heavily on the type of adoption and the child that the family has chosen.
It is important, however, to be prepared to a welcome a child from the moment you say go, as some adoption wait times can be just a few months. Some couples and families go into the adoption process expecting a long, tedious wait, and are shocked when this does not turn out to be the case.
For some, they were united with a child only after a few months, while for others, it took a year or more. A big deciding factor in adoption wait time is where the family is adopting from. International adoptions and local adoptions can have different processing times, and for some families, this can make a huge difference.
In this situation, wait time starts the moment you sign on with an agency until you are selected by a Birth Mother or find another placement in another country. Typically with international adoptions, there are a few things you must do before the process can officially start. The first steps usually entail the following:
- Selecting the Country You Wish to Adopt From: Choosing the country you wish to adopt from is very important because most international countries have very specific adoption requirements. These requirements are especially pronounced in the preparation for the home studies. Different countries will have different procedures when it comes to who prepares the home study and what is included in the study. To avoid delays, problems, mistakes, or unnecessary costs, choose the country and then prepare for the home study accordingly.
- The Home Study Process: The point of a home study is so that the adoption agency, an intermediary, court, adoption professional, or government can conclude whether or not a person is suitable to become a prospective adoptive parent. It is mainly used to ensure the safety of the child, but can sometimes be used to ease any worries and apprehensions the birth mother and father may have.
- Travel to “Home” Country: Most countries require people interested in adopting to travel to the country where the child is living. This is often done to help the child and potential parents become acquainted. Some countries may require you to travel two or three times before the adoption is finalized. Typically, these visits are 10-20 days and entail finishing the finalization process, obtaining a visa for the child, and visiting with the child to develop bonds and chemistry.
Domestic adoption, or adoption within the US, can be a little different. The waiting period for domestic adoption can depend upon a few different factors. These include nationality of the child, race, cultural heritage, health, and age. Your budget is also a large factor here, as it can decide whether you will find the child yourself, if you will use an agency, a lawyer, or go through an adoption program or foster care.
Overall, the waiting period for a domestic adoption can span anywhere from months to several years. You must also consider open and closed adoptions with Birth Parents, as this can affect wait time as well.
- Deciding Your Avenue: This wait period depends wholly on you. It entails deciding where you want to adopt from, how you want to adopt, the age of the child, and the other details of your adoption.
- Starting the Process and Taking Custody: This period simply refers to how long you must wait between when you start the process of adoption and actually take custody of the child you wish to adopt.
The last two adoption waiting periods are decided by the specific adoption laws state you live in.
Waiting After the Adoption Process
Even after the adoption process is completed, there is still going to be some waiting time. After the paper work, the research, the legal work, the home study, getting your finances in order, and meeting your little one, you’ll have to wait for your child to actually be placed with you. During this time, you can focus on important child care preparations. For ideas, go here.
preparations. For ideas, go here. The adoption process can be long and hard, but once it’s all finished, you’ll find that the wait was worth it. Whether you’re adopting internationally or locally, the waiting periods can be one of the hardest parts of the entire process. A few months to a few years can seem scary, but know that in due time your precious child will soon be placed with you.