Apparently the China Center for Adoption Affairs was visiting adoption agencies in the US last week. Our agency mentioned something about it in their last monthly update but we haven't heard anything from them about it from them yet. The purpose of the meeting seemed to be for the CCAA to see how the children are getting along in their new families. But some agencies seem to have allowed some waiting families to attend the meetings. It doesn't sound like they were allowed to ask them any questions about the wait directly but some interesting information did come out of the meetings. This information has been making its way around the China adoption forums and Rumor boards....
- The wait times are going to continue to increase and could reach 3 years. I think we know at this point that the wait is going to continue to increase unless they start referring full months again. I don't think we will have to wait 3 years but will most likely have to wait at least 2 years in total.
- The CCAA received 30,000 dossiers in 2006 and 10,000 dossiers through May of 2007. To calculate how many total families are waiting for a referral we would need to add in the last two months in 2005. Assuming they received about the same number per month in 2005 that is about 2,500 dossiers per month. So that comes out to about 45,000 families waiting for a referral.
- The CCAA is currently referring 600 to 700 babies per month. So if we figure they got 2,500 dossiers a month in 2005 and they need to get through 2 months worth of referrals to get to us that is around 5000 families in front of us if they refer 600 babies a month that means it should take about 7 months for us to get a referral.
- Abandonment of children in China is decreasing. This is definitely a good thing for the children but is one of the factors that has added to the increased wait time. It makes sense that as the Chinese economy grows and strengthens and more of the people are lifted out of poverty there will be less abandonments. Seems you can't read a newspaper lately without seeing an article about the changes occurring in China.
- Domestic adoption in China is increasing, only 1 out of 5 of every adoptions is international. When we started researching Chinese adoption we read that one of the reasons that there were so many babies available for adoption in China was because the Chinese did not like to adopt. Apparently China has been encouraging their citizens to adopt. With a population of 1.3 billion there must be many childless couples to adopt these children. I think this has something to do with the Hague convention for adoptions that China is implementing. The basis for adoptions for the Hague is that children should be kept with their birth families. If that is not possible they should be adopted domestically and only adopted out internationally as the last resort.
- The CCAA is trying to get more orphanages to submit babies files for adoption but it seems that the orphanages may not have the resources. The incentive for the orphanages to submit paperwork is the $3,000 fee that we pay to them. But if they can adopt these babies domestically without having to prepare as much paperwork that is probably what they are doing. There is also talk of increasing the fee to get more orphanages to submit their paperwork, although I am not sure that is the right thing to do if the babies can be placed domestically. Although if there are babies that are not being placed domestically and they are just sitting in orphanages we would be more that willing to pay an increased fee to help them get the paperwork going.
- The CCAA is committed to the International Adoption program, they say to have patience and we will get a baby. To be honest there have been times throughout this process that Jen and I have gotten so numb and truly felt that we will never get a child. It is nice to know that China is committed to the program and is not planning to shut it down because the wait is so long
Lots of good information here, although most of it is second hand so we are considering it with that in mind and looking forward to what our agency has to say in their next monthly update. Most of it is what we have been hearing all along so there are no big surprises. With all of the above info in mind it is pretty easy to see why the wait times have increased so significantly. But we are inching closer, not sure how accurate my 7 more months calculation above is but it seems like it could be realistic. Although since we started this process the wait has consistently been 6 to 7 more months so we are prepared to wait longer or as long as we have to.