Adoption: The Wait

I’m going to try to explain why the wait to bring Teague home is so long (10-12 months). When we started the adoption process we were told the wait between referral and travel would be 4-6 months. After a year of waiting, they revised those numbers to 4-9 months. Then we started hearing all kinds of rumors/complaints/etc. The current wait ties into the Korean overall adoption plan to reduce international adoptions.

As a whole, the country would prefer to keep their children in Korea and promotes domestic adoption. Their overall plan is to slowly phase out international adoption. The way they do this is to reduce the number of exit permits (EP) granted each year (basically how many children are allowed to leave the country). When statistics are printed it shows that fewer children are being adopted internationally each year, but this number is not directly related to the number of children available for adoption (which has stayed fairly steady). As this number has decreased, a bottleneck has occurred of children matched with families and waiting for an EP. There are a set number of EPs granted for each adoption agency. When they have reached their quota then everyone else has to wait for the next year. Last year the issue came to a head. The number of EPs for our agency ran out in the early summer. This meant anyone matched with a child after March 2011 had to wait till the 2012 year. Those families are just now (in April) getting approved EPs.

The situation is not likely to change anytime soon. Earlier travel might be possible in some special circumstances – a special needs child (Teague qualifies because of ptosis), an older child (Teague qualifies because he is already 13 months), a foster family situation, or Korean heritage. Even knowing Teague has two of the above there is absolutely no guarantee that we won’t have to wait, but of course we are hoping!

This article is a pretty good explanation.

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