Adoption Spotlight: China

At one time China was one of the most popular international adoption programs.  However in the past few years they have added more guidelines to their adoption procedures.  These guidelines are not meant to deter families interested in adoption, but more to help guarantee the welfare of their children.  As always, this is just an overview, so if you are interested in adoption, please seek guidance from an adoption professional.

About ChinaAdopt China

Population:  1.3 billion peopleLanguage(s):  Standard Chinese or Mandarin (for other languages see   http://geography.about.com/library/cia/blcchina.htm)
Currency: Yuan
Capital:  Beijing

Who Can Adopt

  • Married couples between 30 to 50 years old.  The age of the couple will influence the age of the child assigned.
  • Couples must be married at least two years.

*Note:  If previously divorced, couples must be married at least five years, and no more than two divorces per couple.

  • No more than four children in the home.
  • Couples must be mentally and physically in good condition.  Certain illnesses and disabilities may affect adoption eligibility.  See further information regarding health requirements at the U.S. Department of State.
  • For further requirements see U.S. Department of State or speak with an accredited adoption professional.

China Adoption Highlights

  • Primarily female infants, ages 8 months to 18 months are available for adoption.  In some cases toddlers and boys may be available.  Special needs children are also available.
  • The cost for adoption is approximately $20,000 to $30,000.
  • The approximate wait time is three years.
  • The in-country stay is about two weeks and only one trip is required.
  • Children can be adopted from either an orphanage or foster care.
  • A home study and post placement report is required for adoption.

If you are interested in learning more about international adoption, please send me an e-mail at thehowellfamily3@gmail.com.

On May 8th I will be hosting an information meeting about international adoption at the Watauga Public Library.  Send me an email if you are interested in attending.

http://adopt.childrenshope.net/programs/china/index.php
http://www.whfc.org/adoption/china/default.htm
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/china
http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/chinapopulation.htm.

Adoption Spotlight: Ethiopia

Next in our adoption spot light is Ethiopia.  This is just an overview, so if you are interested in adoption, please seek guidance from an adoption professional.

About EthiopiaAdoption Ethiopia

Location:  Northeastern part of Africa near the Red Sea

Population:  74.8 million

Language(s):  Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya and Somali

Currency: Birr

Capital:  Addis Ababa

Who Can Adopt

  • Couples with or without children from ages 20 to 50.  Anyone past the age of 55 is reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • Couples must be married for at least one year at the time of application.
  • No more than two divorces.
  • Families with mental and health issues are considered on a case by case basis.

*Note:  I found conflicting information related to singles applicants.  If you are single and are interested in adopting from Ethiopia, seek guidance from an adoption professional.

Ethiopian Adoption Highlights

  • Infants to children 15 years old are available for adoption.
  • Healthy and special needs children are available as well as sibling groups.
  • Adoption from Ethiopia only requires one trip which usually last five to seven days.  One parent can travel alone if necessary.
  • The wait time for Ethiopia varies but can be estimated between 15 to 20 months once your paperwork has been submitted in-country.
  • Adoption expenses for Ethiopia range from approximately $21,000 to $28,000 for a couple adopting one child.
  • Pre-adoption and post-adoption home studies are required.  Families must also submit yearly informal updates until the adopted child turns 15 years of age.

If you are interested in learning more about international adoption, please send me an e-mail at thehowellfamily3@gmail.com.

On May 8th I will be hosting an information meeting about international adoption at the Watauga Public Library.  Send me an email if you are interested in attending.

http://adopt.childrenshope.net/programs/colombia/index.php

http://www.whfc.org/adoption/ethiopia/default.htm

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ethiopia.

Adoption Spotlight: Colombia, South America

Over the next few weeks I will be doing a spotlight series on the adoption process of various countries.  For me the most logical place to start is Colombia, South America since this is where I adopted my little man.  This is just an overview, so if you are interested in adoption, please seek guidance from an adoption professional.

About Colombiacolombia adoption

Location:  Northwest corner of South America

Population:  46 million

Language:  Spanish

Currency:  Peso

Government:  Republic

Capital:  Bogota

Who Can Adopt

  • Couples married for at least two years.
  • Single women can adopt children seven years or older.
  • Couples 45+ are eligible for adoption of children 7+
  • Families with mental and health issues are considered on a case by case basis.
  • Families looking to adopt must have a clean criminal history.

Colombian Adoption Highlights

  • Most Colombian adoptions are orchestrated through ICBF (Colombian Institute of Family Welfare).
  • Babies to children in their teen’s are available, as well as, sibling groups and special needs children.
  • Adoption from Colombia requires only one trip which usually last between 3 to 8 weeks.
  • When adopting a baby (considered 0 to 1 years) families can have no more than two young children in their household.
  • Families can not specify if they want a boy or girl, but a preference can be stated.
  • The wait time for Colombia varies but can range between 6 months to 36 months once your paperwork is approved.
  • Colombian adoptions cost approximately $20,000 to $25,000 for a couple preparing to adopt one child.  Cost can vary from state to state.
  • Some items that ICBF require for adoption are:  pre-adoption and post adoption home studies, psychological testing and FBI clearance.

An Outsiders View of Bogota, Colombia

The primary question that people ask us about our time in Colombia is “were you not scared?”  We were scared, but not for the reason that one might think.  I was not afraid of drug trafficking and violence.  What terrified me was being in a foreign land and being a mother for the first time.  Talk about scary.  We actually felt very safe in the area of Bogota that we stayed in.  There were gates around our Bed and Breakfast, and we used common sense and refrained from going out after dark. All the stores that we went to were in walking distance and most had an armed guard either at the door or nearby.

We would explore around our neighborhood and take daily trips to the grocery store for things like Coca-Cola and Oreos which reminded us of home.   Everyone was friendly even with the language barrier.  Colombians love their children, so they would dote on Jordi when we were out and about.

Looking back I regret not participating more in the culture.  I was too busy trying to figure out this mothering thing and did not take in all that Colombia has to offer.  I was so focused on getting my new baby home that I did not take the time to appreciate the world I lived in for three weeks.  I would love to go back one day and take Jordi, so he can see where he was born and experience first hand the Colombian culture.

*Note:  If you are interested in learning more about adoption from Colombia, please let me know.  Hopefully in the near future I will be hosting an information meeting related to international adoption.  Email thehowellfamily3@gmail.com.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/colombia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia

http://colombia.adoption.com/foreign/colombia-adoption-overview.html

http://adopt.childrenshope.net/programs/colombia/index.php.

Adoption: Preparing for the Home Study

If you have been through the adoption process or are currently going through the process, you know that the home visit can be very intimidating. Below are some things that are involved in the majority of home visits and some tips for getting prepared.

*Note: The agency you have selected to prepare your home study will give you a list of items/documents that you need for the visit. The requested information varies by the type of adoption and the state you live in, so be sure to follow the instructions provided by your agency.

adoption family

Information Requested by Most Agencies

• Autobiographical Statement
• Financial Documents
• Medical Reports
• Background Checks
• References

Tips for Getting Ready

• Be prepared to answer questions about your background, family, employment and life style.
• Have an idea of how you will deal with issues related to the child’s adjustment and discipline.
• Make sure your home is equipped with proper safety equipment (ex. smoke alarms).
• The case worker will want to make sure you have adequate space to accommodate a child/children. Where will the child be sleeping?
• Don’t overly stress about the cleanliness of you house. Yes, you want your house to be clean and safe, but most case workers understand that some clutter is to be expected.

For more information visit –

http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_homstu.cfm
http://www.ehow.com/how_2084843_prepare-preadoption-home-study.html
http://adoption.about.com/od/adopting/a/homestudy.htm
http://www.nathansonadopt.com/

Have you adopted and gone through the Home Study Process?  What would you recommend? Leave a comment below..

Getting Started in the Adoption Process

The process of adoption can be overwhelming. Below are some tips for those who may be considering adoption or those in the early stages of the process.

• Educate yourself about the different types of adoptions out there (ex. domestic, international, special needs and foster care.)

• Decide which type of adoption is right for you and/or your family.

• Research the cost of adoption and develop a plan on how to handle the various expenses you will encounter.

• Select an adoption agency or facilitator to guide you through the process. Make sure you check the credentials of the agency or facilitator and don’t be afraid to ask for references. Most agencies have reference families you can contact.

• Complete an application and follow the guidelines set by your agency/facilitator (ex. home study, adoption classes, dossier, etc.)

On a Personal Note
It is very important that you find an agency or facilitator that you trust and feel comfortable with. The future of your family is in their hands. I am personally grateful to Julie, Marianne and Lucia who helped bring my family together. There were many times when the process was not going as quickly as I wanted, but they helped me stay patient and they kept me informed. They were also very considerate about the many times I tried to micromanage and my tendency to want to “control” the process..