A couple weeks ago, I asked if people had questions about the adoption process, especially as it relates to China. Here are some answers to your great questions! Let's start with the easiest one first.
How did your family decide on China?
Once we decided to obey God's calling to adopt a child, we found ourselves praying a lot for direction. Family, friends, and people reading our blog were all praying for the country to be made very clear to us. It's overwhelming when you are considering international adoption. I have always been drawn to Asia and Latin American countries, and so we started there. For whatever reasong, we did not feel drawn to Eastern Europe, Russia, and Africa. Those are all wonderful areas from which to adopt, and it is unexplainable why we were initially more interested in the others. You kind of have to trust your gut instinct, pray through it, and go with it. Then, as I started researching specific country requirements, we learned that every Latin American country required an extended stay (like 4 week minimum but one as long as 2 years), or you had to travel more than once. It was our preference to travel one time, meet our child, and bring him/her home. This website (http://adoption.state.gov/) was a starting point for learning about each country. There is a difference between Hague Accredited and Non-Hague Accredited countries, too, and we ultimately decided to pursue an adoption with a Hague Accredited country. I have always felt drawn to Cambodia, but their international adoption process is currently closed while they work to attain Hague Accredidation. We were initially very interested in Taiwan; however, we learned that adopting a child with CL/CP from Taiwan would take much, much longer than in China, just for sheer size difference. China has a population of approximately 1.3 billion, while Taiwan's population is 23 million. There are more children with CL/CP available for adoption in China than any other country in the world. Because that was our focus, China made the most sense. As we have learned more about the China adoption process, we were very pleased, as more adoptions have occurred with China than any other country. The process is quite predictable and streamlined due to the years of experience. There is a lot of great programming and resources working to support the orphans in China, which only helps the outcomes for children and the people working in the orphanages and foster homes.
What are the travel requirements in China?
When we pick up our little one from China, we have been told we will be there for approximately 10-17 days. This can vary and depends on from which province of China you adopt. When adopting from Beijing, for example, we have heard it can take a bit longer (like maybe 21 days). The first part of our trip will actually be in the province where our little one lives. Our child would live with us at the hotel after we initially meet, and the adoption will be considered FINAL in that province after completing the appropriate paperwork. The second half of the trip occurs in Guangzhou, which is on the south coast of China. This is where the US Consulate is located, and you have to have a Consulate appointment prior to leaving China with your child. You obtain your child's visa to enter the US sometime after that Consulate appointment.
So how is that for some answers?? Next time, I will address the following two questions:
What qualifies a child as special needs?
How do families handle the cost of adoption?
If you have any new ones, please feel free to leave a comment on my blog or post on FB. :)