The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Waiting Game

At the beginning of our adoption journey, we were often stunned at many of the long waits.
  1. The wait to be accepted by the Ministry of Children and Families to adopt.
  2. The wait to be matched with our child.
  3. The wait to pick our child up after acceptance.
Through reading, asking questions, and other mediums, we have found some of our answers to the "why so long" questions. We received an email the other day from our Facilitator in Ontario, which explains even more of the reason behind what often seems like an endless process.

We as an agency are accountable to both the Canadian and Ethiopian Governments, as we serve the best interests of the child at all times. We have an obligation to ensure that every child is legally adoptable, and that all documentation surrounding this child’s history is in place for the protection of the child and the adoptive family.

[...] 'Why does it take so long to refer a child to a waiting family, given the millions of orphans in Africa?' When children are placed into orphanages the onus of responsibility falls to the Orphanage Director to prove and ensure that the child is legally free for adoption. He/she begins by obtaining a written consent from the biological parent stating that they cannot provide for the basic care needs of the child. The biological family is also required to obtain governmental consent to place their child for adoption from the local authorities (a local municipal [...] office, as well as the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.) When a child is abandoned, it is imperative that the Orphanage Director obtains a hospital record and/or police certificate, together with governmental approval following a police investigation, in an attempt to locate the child’s biological relatives.

These documents can often take weeks and sometimes months to obtain from the various authorities, depending on each child’s situation. Once we have been satisfied that all documentation is in order, the child will then be moved from the orphanage and brought into our transition home. At this stage we attend at a local clinic/hospital to have the child’s full medical completed and we have all blood testing for HIV and Hepatitis conducted. If the children are provided with a clean bill of health, they can then be referred to waiting family. However, if it is determined that a child is ill, we spend the necessary time monitoring the situation while nurturing and loving them until they have been restored back to full health.

There are indeed many children in the developing world in need of a loving family. These children themselves are the centre of our world, and at the core of our existence. [...]

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