Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Change is in the air

We have heard repeatedly that international adoption involves change. Nothing is certain. We are dealing with two different national governments, impending Hague Convention guidelines, and a state government, to a lesser extent. Anyone want to bet that one of these does not present a wrinkle for us at some point. Such will be out of our control. However, we have changed something that is very much in our control and should greatly impact our adoption process. On Monday, we changed our adoption agency. (Karin took my picture signing the new agency's application.)

We can say nothing negative about the agency we are leaving, particularly our case worker. However, it was becoming more and more apparent that the wait time to get a referral, 10 months to a year, was a result of there being so many families ahead of us at that agency as opposed to any governmental policy over which we had no control. It looked as if we were to be behind approximately 90 families waiting for a referral. Other agencies do not have such long wait times as a result of not having as many families in their programs.

Prospective adoptive parents should note that it is very important to do background checks on agencies to make sure your agency is ethical. It is one thing to get a shorter wait time by virtue of an agency having fewer families in their program. Do not trust an agency that promises quick referrals and quick travel to complete the adoption. Vietnam has procedures in place to ensure that children placed for international adoption are in fact orphans. You should expect this process to take a minimum of four months AFTER you get your referral and before you travel. This timeline has not changed for us. We simply expect our referral approximately 6 months sooner because we are getting in with a respected agency as they restart their Vietnam program.

As far as we know, we are the 11th family to enroll in the new agency's Vietnam program. We have a head start on at least five of those families at this point because we can expect our completed home study within the next week or so. This agency will send our home study report to Vietnam upon completion to begin the process of referring a child to us. This means we have reason to expect the referral of a child sometime next spring as opposed to this time next year. It is possible that the adoption will be completed before the end of 2007 as opposed to late spring or summer 2008 now.

So, we now expect the timeline to now look something like this:

Home study report to Vietnam, December 2006;

Referral of child, April or May 2007; and

Travel to complete adoption, September 07 through December 07.

Who knows, perhaps we will be eating pho in Da Nang next Thanksgiving instead of turkey here in the States.


At 2:30 PM, Blogger Rita said...

Can you post the name of your new agency?

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Rob & Karin said...

Hi Rita:

Would please provide your e-mail address and I will be happy to drop you a note.


At 11:53 PM, Blogger jjm said...

Wow! That is a big change! I hope you are happier with the new agency and look forward to following your progress.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

I'm in the same boat you are... international adoption interest sparked by China, but switching to Vietnam because of long wait time. I would greatly appreciate the name of your new agency, and the name of your old agency if you are comfortable sharing. Via email I'd be happy to share the name of the agency I'm about ready to sign on with. Thanks. --Sarah


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