An Adoption Calculator

As a Family Law attorney I not only handle divorces, child support and custody issues, and other matters related to the dissolution of a marriage. I also help families with adoption issues, and I recently discovered a website that has what’s called an “adoption calculator” to predict the length of time it takes to adopt a child from China. I cannot vouch for the analytics behind the calculator, but it is an interesting exercise. Don’t be alarmed if you use it and your predicted wait time is 3+ years. It seems so effortless when you watch the guys on ABC’s Modern Family as they plan to adopt their second baby from China in three years. But the reality is far different from the sitcom.

The adoption process rightfully requires some serious effort and financial commitment on the part of the adopting parents. A homestudy is required as is submission of numerous financial documents, references, birth and marriage certificates, visa applications etc. Each country has its own process and requirements. Once you have the dossier completed then it’s time to wait for a match with a child. Once matched, you will receive a medical review of the child’s condition and you can then proceed to plan your trip to take custody of your new child. A final court hearing will then finalize the adoption. If you’re lucky this entire process will occur within 36 months. Remember when Sandra Bullock told the world that it took her 3 years to adopt her “Cajun cookie”, son Louis? That seems to be the common wait time.

Adopting a child is a life-changing event, and so many parents choose to start or add to their families by welcoming a child from another mother. It isn’t an inexpensive or speedy endeavor, but one that will forever change both your life and the life of the child. Adoption is well worth the time and effort and expense but you must be patient with the process. After all, a child is worth the wait.

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