When the wait to adopt seems too long


Shelley Brownell
Focus on Adoption magazine

"We've been waiting for a local infant proposal for two long years. Is there anything we can do?"

It's time for you to review your homestudy and your options. Re-read your homestudy to be sure that it still reflects your family situation. Have there been any changes over the last two years that may need to be added? After reviewing your homestudy, phone your agency or social worker to make an appointment to discuss your options.

When talking with your social worker, ask how many times your homestudy has been shown and whether the birth parents who read it provided any feedback. Ask what types of families birth parents are choosing for their babies.

Inquire to what degree openness is a factor in birth parents choosing a family and what types of babies have been placed by the agency--their cultural and racial backgrounds and their health. These are also important questions to ask other agencies if you are considering registering with more than one.

After receiving the answers, consider if your homestudy matches with the type of placements that are being made. This may help you to consider your options. These might include:

  • Continue registration for domestic adoptions and explore intercountry adoption
  • Register at more than one agency
  • Register your homestudy on the internet
  • Pursue only an intercountry adoption
  • Consider one of BC's Waiting Children--many children are waiting to be adopted
  • Become foster parents--BC has a shortage of foster homes
  • Decide to remain childless

Some families place their profile on www.canadaadopts.com to increase their opportunities for an adoption. It is important to tell your agency if you are pursuing this option and to use them as a contact for birth parents--agencies must have a role to ensure that provincial regulations are met.

When considering all these options, carefully consider the financial and emotional costs of each. be ture to yourself and carefully consider the type of child you feel you can parent.

Deciding to remain childless may also be an option. Some people become involved with their nieces, nephews, or children of their friends. Others become a Big Sister or Big Brother.

By increasing your knowledge of all the options and talking with other people in the adoption community, it may help to bring a sense of choice and control back to the process of adoption and the inevitable waiting

Shelley Brownell works with Family Services of Greater Vancouver Adoption Agency.