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Leslie G said...

Can you give us a summary of the process and approximate timeline for an Ethiopian adoption? I know adoption processes vary from country to country and are constantly changing....but as best you can, with us understanding it's not written in stone and subject to change.....
March 29, 2010 8:20 PM

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Melinda replied...

We have been told that it usually takes from 8-14 months depending on the age(s) of the child(ren), but I know of someone who waited about 20 months for an infant boy.

Ethiopia is typically one of the least expensive and shortest waits for adoption. Once the home study and dossier are complete, the Ethiopia Ministry of Women and Children will make a referral (at which point the family can accept or deny it). It may take a while to receive a referral, depending on the time of year, because the Ethiopian government shuts down between August and October for vacation.

A few weeks after the referral is accepted, there is a court date at which any relatives who may have a claim on the child(ren) must appear and acknowledge that they understand the finality of adoption and relinquish the child(ren) - or choose not to do so. At that time both prospective parents may have to appear in court as well. (That requirement has changed twice in the last month, so it fluctuates whether it is a legal requirement or not, but it is recommended to do so even if not legally required at this moment.) Also on that trip, the parents will have some time to spend with the child(ren) to get to know them. This trip is normally a week or so.

After court has been passed, the child will go to live at a transition home run by our adoption agency for the next 2-3 months while the rest of the paperwork is finalized. At that point, one or both of the new parents may travel to pick up the child(ren) and bring them home. Sometimes an escort may be allowed to bring the child(ren) to the USA to be united with the family. (At least, this is the way I understand the process to work.)

There are millions of orphans in Ethiopia, many of whom have been "given up" by their poverty-stricken families in hopes of giving their beloved children a chance at a better life. Of course, there are also many children who are true orphans and have no living relatives.

We can't wait to meet our children and bring them home. So many people have said, "It's so great what y'all are doing", but I really think WE are the blessed ones. WE are the ones who are privileged to have such wonderful gifts become a part of our family.
March 29, 2010 11:02 PM

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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the information you have posted regarding the adoption process. We were recently accepted into the Ethiopia program at AWAA as well. We have turned in our agreement and sent an application to the home study agency.
How far have you made it with the home study process?
April 1, 2010 5:43 PM

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Melinda replied...

We have finally gotten our home study documents squared away, and home visits should be scheduled soon (we hope!).  :)
April 1, 2010 9:07 PM

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Jason and Stacy Cole said...

Thanks for stopping by our blog! Feel free to link to our blog and tell others about it. We love to tell people about God's plan for adoption and our privileged to be a part of it.

The Cole Familty
April 2, 2010 10:07 PM