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How Long Does it Take to Adopt? A long time. Here's why.

Adoption Process Pre-Adoption

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  Written on 27 Aug 2015

Ask any couple who has adopted about their thoughts on the process, and if there is one complaint tucked away amongst their overall positivity — and there is almost always a good deal of positivity — it’s that the process takes a long time.

Adoption, both international and domestic, can take as little as four to six months. However, turnarounds as fast as that are the exceptions. In some cases, adoption might take 2-3 years or more, depending on an array of circumstances.

Factors that contribute to the length of time it takes to adopt include:

• Background checks on the prospective parents, including a Home Study process. 

• Financial and credit history checks, and parents’ readiness to adopt financially.

• Interviews with the adoptive parents.

• Evaluation of their suitability to adopt.

• Meeting U.S. adoption regulations.

• Fulfilling the adoption requirements of the country in question.

Add all this up and it looks to be a complex, sometimes lengthy process — and it is.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The purpose of the having so many factors involved in the adoption process is a simple one: to protect the best interests of the child.

Ensuring a prospective parent is suitable for adoption is a key goal for obvious reasons. In almost all cases, parents want to adopt for good reasons. In most cases, they are good candidates to adopt, too, capable of providing a loving home and in a situation that allows them to properly take care of a child.

However, for the safety of the children up for adoption, those rare cases in which a household is not suitable must be weeded out. The reasons a parent might not be found suitable can be complex, probably too complex to go into here. The important thing to remember is that ultimately, all decisions are made based on what is best for the child, not the parent.

It’s also important to ensure the child is suitable for adoption, too. This is especially true in international adoption, where children may be in an orphanage but are not actually orphans. Some countries have rules about attempting family reunification prior to adoption, or about trying to adopt to someone within that country before adopting internationally.

There also may be special considerations regarding the child — a disability, for instance — that necessitate finding a home capable of addressing those considerations.

Once again, it comes down to what is in the best interest of the child.

That can mean that the process may stretch out longer than some prospective parents like, but we think most would agree that it’s better to have to wait if it means every child is placed in the right home for them, and every adoptive parent is matched with the right child for their household.




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