Adoption Wait Time: What Determines Wait Time During Adoption

One of the noble and beautiful ways you can grow your family is through adoption. However, the process of adopting a child is not always a straightforward journey.

One of the things that make adoption challenging for prospective adoptive parents is the adoption wait time. The wait time is simply the length of time it takes you to be matched with a child.

The adoption wait time varies and there are many reasons for that, which includes the type of adoption, the country or state you are adopting from, and the age of the child you want to adopt.

In this post, we will look at the adoption wait time, what factors influence it, as well as the ways to cope with the wait time.

Let’s dive in:

Adoption Wait Time: What Determines Wait Time During Adoption:


Types of Adoption and Their Wait Times:-

There are different types of adoption, and each of them has its own wait time. These types include international adoption, domestic infant adoption, stepparent adoption, and foster care adoption. 

Let’s discuss each of them

Domestic Infant Adoption:-

Domestic infant adoption involves adopting an infant within the country you reside. This is one of the most common types of adoption in the United States.

In most domestic infant adoption, the birth mother or family are the ones who decide which adoptive family to give their child to.

Most, if not all of the domestic infant adoption happens these days are open adoption.

In an open adoption, Some of the things that determine the wait time for domestic adoption are the adoption agency you use, the availability of the infant, and your preference as the adoptive parents.

Usually, the wait time for domestic infant adoption can range from a few months to several years.

International Adoption:-

International or intercountry adoption is the type of adoption that involves adopting a child from a different country.

The wait time for international adoption varies depending on the country of adoption, the age of the child, and the adoption agency.

Other things that affect the wait time in international adoption are –

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  • The total number and overall characteristics of children in need of adoption
  • The number of adoption applications on the table
  • The age and needs of the children or child you are approved to adopt
  • How long it takes the country of adoption to approve your application and complete their investigation (these are beyond your control)

You will expect the International adoption wait time to be a few months to several years.

Foster Care Adoption:-

Foster Care Adoption is the type of adoption that involves adopting a child from the foster care system. Out of all the types of adoption, foster care has become the most popular way of increasing your family.

During foster care adoption, many complex steps need to be taken before the adoption process will be completed. Those are what make the wait time much.

The wait time for foster care adoption varies depending on the state, the availability of children in the foster care system, and the age of the child you want to adopt.

The wait time for foster care adoption can range from a few months to several years.

Stepparent Adoption:-

This is the type of adoption that involves adopting the biological child of a spouse. Stepparent adoption is an essential legal step and it offers many advantages to your family, for example:

  • There Are Financial Benefits – When you have legal custody of a child you are sure that your child is entitled to receive insurance benefits. That’s a financial benefit for you.
  • You’ll Be Recognized As A Parent – As a legal parent, you’ll find it easy to do many things for the child, including taking him/her to school when the time comes. Other things like obtaining medical reports and getting doctors’ appointments won’t be a big task for you.
  • Sense Of Finality – From an emotional perspective, when you legalize your adoption, you will feel happy, you will have a sense of finality and you are confident that your entire family is stable, especially the adopted child.

The wait time for stepparent adoption differs depending on the state you are adopting from and its court system.

The wait time for stepparent adoption is normally shorter than other types of adoption, it typically ranges from a few weeks to several months.

General Factors That Influence Adoption Wait Times:

Several factors can influence the adoption wait time, in this section, we will look at the different factors. Let’s do that.

1) Adoption Agency:-

The adoption agency plays a very important role in the adoption wait time. If you work with some agencies, you may have a shorter wait time than others, it is therefore very essential you choose the adoption agency that aligns with your preferences as the adoptive parent.

2) Preferences of Adoptive Parents:-

Another great determinant for the wait time in adoption is the preferences of the adoptive parents. For example, if you are only willing to adopt a child of a specific race or ethnicity, or age, it may take longer to find a match.

3) Age of Child:-

The age of the child you want to adopt can also influence the adoption wait time. Infants and toddlers are in high demand, and it may take longer to be matched with an older child.

4) The Country or State of Adoption:-

Another thing that determines the adoption wait time is the country or state of adoption than others.

Ways to Cope With Adoption Wait Time:-

If you don’t know what I want to share with you in this section of the post, then the adoption wait time will be stressful and emotionally draining thing for you.

The good news is that I won’t allow that to happen to you, so below are some of the ways to cope with the wait time:

Educate Yourself About the Adoption Process:

Understanding how the adoption process works can help you manage your expectations fully and cope with the wait time.

To do that, you should take time to research the different types of adoption, their requirements, and the timelines. Nowadays, it is very easy to research any topic.

Search on the internet, or use Chat GPT to find out about whatever topics you want. It is as easy as that.

Seek Support

You can also seek support from your family, friends, and support groups about anything that concerns adoption.

The support groups will always provide a safe space for you to share your feelings, experiences, and frustrations about adoption. So, feel free to participate in any group; ask any questions you have.

You will be amazed at what help you can get from your friends, family, and support groups.

Practice Self-Care:

This is the best time for you to practice self-care to manage your anxiety and stress. Self-care can include meditation exercises, and hobbies.

4 Stay Positive and Flexible:

You must remain flexible and positive during the adoption process. The wait time can be long, and you may also face several setbacks or changes.

But, staying flexible and positive can help manage the stress and anxiety that will come during the adoption process.

Stay in Communication with the Adoption Agency:-

To make things easier for you, you should stay in communication with the adoption agency you are working with.

The adoption agency can provid support and updates to you during the adoption process. Staying in communication with the agency can also help you to manage your expectations.

Consider Open Adoption:-

Open adoption is the type of adoption where the adoptive parents and birth parents have some level of contact after the adoption is finalized.

Open adoption can help you manage your wait time effectively by providing you with a connection to the birth parents and the child you will eventually adopt.

Prepare for the Arrival of the Child

Prospective adoptive parents can prepare for the arrival of the child by getting their home ready, buying clothes and supplies, and taking parenting classes. Preparing for the arrival of the child can help adoptive parents manage their wait time by providing them with a sense of control and purpose.

In Conclusion:-

The adoption wait time can be the most challenging and emotional part of the adoption process.

However, when you understand the different types of adoption as well as all the actors that influence the wait time it will be easier for you to manage your expectations.

It’s also necessary to look for support, stay positive and flexible, practice self-care, and stay in communication with the adoption agency during this period.

By taking these steps, it will be easier for you to cope with the wait time and be ready for the arrival of your child.

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