domestic adoption waitQ: We have just completed our dossier for Ethiopia. The wait time with our agency has increased from 6 months to 12 months in the time that we have been gathering our dossier paperwork. We keep hearing about other agencies that have VERY short wait times and are wondering whether we should look into switching agencies. We like our agency so far and they are well established in Ethiopia, but we are worried that the wait times will only continue to increase and/or the program might change during our long wait.

A: Boy, this is such a hard question to answer. I feel for you! I don’t think waiting times should be the first consideration when choosing an adoption agency. I encourage families to choose an agency that is well established in the country from which they are adopting and provides good adoption education and post adoption services. In short, I’m looking for an agency that is more focused on child welfare than child finding. However, it is possible to find a great deal of fluctuation in waiting times even amongst these type of agencies, and realistically waiting times should be a factor, if not the factor. Keep in mind that if you change agencies, you will be out the money you have already spent. Do your research on the agency with the shorter waiting times. Ask specific questions about the longest, shortest, and average wait in the last year for the age, gender and special needs you are looking for. Sometimes, the shorter wait is only an optimistic guess, and you don’t want to switch agencies for a guesstimate.

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