Ask any parent who has adopted and they will tell you that if there was one frustrating part of the experience, it was the anticipation of waiting, and then waiting some more.

The process does not take a long time in order to make your life difficult. There are several key factors that contribute to international adoption taking longer than some people would like. 

Here are just a few important ones. By no means is this everything.

Are the prospective parents suitable to be parents?

It should go without saying that prospective parents must be vetted to ensure they are suitable candidates to adopt a child. This includes background checks, interviews, looks into finances and medical histories, and other means of coming to a determination. This process can take some time, for reasons that are probably easy to understand. 

International requirements must be fulfilled.

On both the U.S. side of things as well as in the child’s country of origin, a host of regulations must be followed, procedures adhered to, and requirements met in order for adoption to move forward. Extensive documentation is often required, checks must be made to ensure the child has been made available for adoption through adherence to foreign law. All these procedures can vary from country to country, too.

If the child is an orphan, orphan status must be verified.

Children may have been relinquished to an orphanage for a variety of reasons, not all of which make them qualified for adoption. Therefore, it’s important for foreign central authorities to verify that the child is a true orphan and that adoption is possible. In some countries, family reunification must be sought first, and failing that, adoption by someone in the child’s country of origin before an international adoption is approved.

Above all else, the child’s interests must be protected.

Some of the above may seem as if it adds a lot of complication to a process that could be more streamlined and easier to navigate, but ultimately the process can take a long time for one important reason: in order to protect the best interests of the child.

Extensive background checks, international regulations and more are in place to ensure that the child ends up in a safe home, is not a victim of human trafficking, and that the adoption is best for their long-term future. 

Prospective parents want the best for their future child, too, so while the process can involve a lot of waiting, in the end they understand all that waiting is for a good reason.

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