This is a question we're often asked. Some parts of the process are reasonably predictable as there are administrative parts that are under our control. However timeframes for parts involving other organizations are much more difficult to predict. We can give estimates based on past cases but the other organizations may change their processes or have more cases to deal with, so timeframes can and do vary.
A key part of the process is matching. This is when a specific child is selected and offered to a waiting family. We are often asked “how soon will I be “matched” with a child?"
While we can often give you statistics based on past cases, you must understand that there are many factors involved; each case and each child is unique. Families aren't necessarily dealt with in order of application, as officials try to find the most suitable parents for a child. Here are some factors influencing waiting time:
For all these reasons, it can be a long wait to adopt a child. It may be helpful for you to think of the worst case scenario and emotionally prepare yourself for the longest possible timeframe. That way, if you're lucky and the whole process is completed earlier, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
The waiting is the hardest part. You'll be busy during the education, assessment and homestudy processes, then completing your paperwork. Then, all of a sudden, it will seem like there's nothing left to do except sit and wait...and wait...and wait… through months of uncertainty. Waiting for a match can be excruciating. Couples usually feel a need to be doing ‘something’ but they don’t know what to do at this point. Everything is out of their hands until an adoption situation arises. This lack of control of the whole situation is something that many people find particularly difficult to accept and deal with. You may have suffered miscarriages and failed fertility treatments in the past and have endured so many disappointments that it's difficult to believe that this time you'll end up with a child in your arms. This is when meeting others who've already adopted is invaluable, increasing your own confidence and faith that it will happen.
One person wrote “It’s so hard to wait. Summer seems to be filled with a million happy families everywhere you turn taking their kids for bike rides, ice cream, posting updates on Facebook about Disneyland vacations and going to visit grandma and grandpa. It’s so hard not to get jealous, isn’t it? I remember those days well. I tried so, so hard not to be bitter, but to celebrate adoptions or births, but it hurt….” Not Succumbing to Bitterness While Waiting to Adopt
Here are a few tips for using your waiting time productively:
For some more useful information see the following websites:
A variety of articles on waiting are at Adoptive Families Magazine
A Christian perspective here
How to cope with anxiety during your wait here
See our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ICANZAdoption
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