Why Does Adoption Take So Long?

After 12 months of personalized research between international adoption (more specifically, a young daughter from India) and doing all my research, I find that the average the time it takes to adopt a toddler via international adoption from the countries we looked at (Haiti, Russia and India) is two years. On the other hand, I now know families that have registered with the county — in these cases Los Angeles Country — taken all their training hours and been placed on foster-to-adopt lists in under a year.

Waiting less than a year for an adoption is more like it.

Has anyone out there been able to speed up the international adoption process? I realize that it’s quicker to adopt an Indian daughter if you are Indian and live nearly anywhere. It also helps to possess wads of adoption cash.

Domestically, I spoke to a single dad of two adopted American children and although he won’t go on the record (he is a gay dad who had to lie about his partner throughout the Home Study and adoption paperwork) this gay did swears that the second adoption only took a few months because everyone knew he was ready to plunk down $80,000 for a perfect little blond, Caucasian newborn.

(Off the record, this dad told me that his first adoption of a transracial child — also a private adoption via birth mother and attorneys — took much longer than adoption number two. He confirms that thick bank accounts can speed your process along.)

Over the last decade, U.S. families have adopted on average approximately 20,000 children from foreign nations each year.

Generally speaking, to qualify as an adoption for immigration purposes, the adopted child has the same rights and privileges as a child by birth (such as inheritance rights, etc.). “Simple”, “conditional”, or “limited” adoptions are more accurately described as guardianship and are not considered adoptions for U.S. immigration purposes.

The Hague Convention establishes important standards and safeguards to protect intercountry adoptions. These protections apply to you if you choose to adopt from a country that is also party to the Convention. Your adoption will be known as a Convention Adoption. It will be important early on to determine if you wish to pursue a Convention adoption, and you do, trust me you do.

How long should it honestly take to adopt a child in need? Tell me what you think here:

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff
  1. by Kristina Harrigan

    On July 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I adopted my oldest child from here in the states. We went through Catholic Charities. From the start until the day we brought her home from the hospital was about 2 years. So even domestic adoption can take as long.

  2. by What the ? « The adopted ones blog

    On August 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

    [...] Why Does Adoption Take So Long? from the Adoption Diaries Blog… [...]