The state of international adoptions is (in my opinion) at an all time low. There is such a mess out there right now it makes my head hurt. There are very few countries out there right now with STABLE programs. Some of the largest programs are having major problems.
Someone may ask why families (like mine) would choose an international adoption in the first place with the expense and drama that IA entails. For us, we feel strongly that EVERY child deserves a family... regardless of geography. For us, the Korean program was the best fit.... and yes, domestic adoption as well as foster care were considered.
China- The wait for a non special needs child is likely four years or more although China will not give a specific or even ball park timeline for families applying. In addition, those families waiting for a referral are being asked to keep all paperwork up to date. Several documents have an expiration date. This means spending possibly thousands of dollars on home study updates and refiling paperwork with the US government while waiting for a referral.
Russia- After the horrible events of last week, there is a chance that Russia will suspend adoptions for families in the United States. Although it seems that the program is currently up and running... the future is unknown.
Ethiopia- Now requiring families to make two trips which increases the cost significantly. Also, wait times continue to increase for families due to the popularity of the program. In addition... "The Department of State shares families’ concerns about recent media reports alleging direct recruitment of children from birth parents by adoption service providers or their employees." US Department of State
Kazakhstan- Once a very popular program but after hearing several horror stories I wonder how much longer this program will be around. Usually referrals happen in country and families choose their child from several files. Stories of families traveling to Kazakhstan to adopt a healthy baby only to be shown a couple of older children with significant needs are now all too common. In addition backlash from the Casey Johnson story has caused several families to hang in limbo waiting for paperwork from Kazakhstan.
Haiti- Although about a thousand children have come to the US to be adopted since the earthquake, thousands more wait in limbo due to missing required paperwork. Haiti is currently CLOSED to new adoptions by US citizens
Nepal- This was a program we took some interest in before deciding on Korea. Thank goodness we chose Korea. This program looked like it was off to a great start but quickly stalled. I was shocked when I read... "We encourage parents who have filed an application with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) in Nepal, but have not yet been matched with a child or received an Adoption Decree issued by the Government of Nepal, to consider a change of countries." US Department of State
These are just a few of the changes/current events in international adoptionland. Even if a family thinks they found a country they feel comfortable with, they still have to meet that specific country's criteria to adopt... like...financial and medical requirements. It makes me so sad for families. Sad that there are such limited choices/programs right now. Sad that things just keep getting more difficult and more expensive. I have spoken to many families who would love to adopt but either don't meet the requirements for the country or just flat out don't have an extra $30,000.
More than anything though.... my heart breaks for the children... all TWO HUNDRED TEN MILLION of them. Yes, 210 million. One would think that with a number like that, families who want to open their hearts to a child in need of a family could do so without having to wait YEARSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! Only a fraction of those children will ever be adopted. It's insane. I's mind boggling.
It. Doesn't. Make. Sense.
The system is flawed... so much corruption. It's a mess and 210 million innocent children are paying the price. Now I know that rules and laws need to be in place and families need to be screened and educated and all of that. I totally agree.... but there has to be a better way.... a more efficient way. There has to be a better way to get more children into more families sooner.
Really, is this the best we can do?
Sorry I am on such a rant. I am just so frustrated with the bad news and bad press.