Well, it's official. We are totally out of the Taiwan Program. Our first child will not come from Taiwan. Sorry. I'm just not comfortable with the fact that they may change the requirements for the other Taiwan program…even after we wait for a year. Not interested!
We did lots of research, and we are now leaning more towards Russia. This is a very popular program, and most of you probably know someone who has adopted from Russia. In 2008, 1,861 children were adopted from Russia by citizens of the United States. The only countries with more US adoptions were China (which we don't qualify for because of our age) and Guatemala (which has slowed it's adoptions in order to redo some of the adoption laws in their country). I love statistics! Check out this site for more information on adoption statistics. Did I mention how much I love statistics!?
I decided that after the disappointment that came from our first agency, I will do more research this time. I'm currently in the process of seeking references for different adoption agencies. My social worker gave me a link to the most wonderful site. There is a group of people from Louisiana called the Louisiana Eastern European Adoptive Families. Their website has so much useful information and it even gives you a list of people you could contact for adoption references. What a novel idea! Lets' be honest, I'm sure the list of references from the adoption agency have been checked out thoroughly by that agency. No way are they going to say anything negative. These are real people, with real children.
This week I e-mailed a few of the people on the list. I've received a great response. Adoptive parents are some of the nicest people you will ever meet! I've got a new blog follower, and I started following a new blog. …The Heap Family. If you are interested…check them out.
For those interested in adoption…this is a necessary step. I did not do this with my first agency and I regret that. Talk to people!! Ask them about their experiences. To help you out…I'm going to give you the list of questions I asked all my references. Be specific. If you ask someone "How was your adoption?" they are likely to tell you how wonderful their children are and how much of a blessing they are in their lives...and while this is great…you really need to know some specifics on how the adoption went down.
These are our questions:
- Which country did you adopt from? What area of that country?
- When did you begin the adoption process? When was the adoption finalized?
- What was the age and health of your child you adopted? Was this what you requested?
- My husband and I are seeking a health infant. We don't really care what the sex of the child is. Was your agency willing to work with you on this type of criteria?
- How accurate were the cost and time estimates that the agency gave you? Were there any hidden charges or delays?
- Did you have any problems with the agency? If so, were they resolved?
- How promptly did the agency return your phone calls/e-mails? I ask this question because my husband and I recently signed up for another country through another agency. They called us one day and told us that the country changed their requirements and we were not old enough to adopt from that country. They explained that there were some other options, they would check on those for us and get back to us. I didn't hear from them for almost four weeks (I called them nearly every day and sent 2-3 e-mails a week). We were very disappointed in their response time. I want to make sure the next agency we work with will answer our questions in a timely manner.
- Would you recommend your agency to someone else? Why or why not.
A special "thanks" to Brooke!! The book you gave me is wonderful! To get a copy for yourself click here.