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International Adoption - China

Maya's Story (China)

A long time ago, in a land far, far away (or so it seems)

To be fair, our adoption story started many years before we even submitted the initial paperwork. My wife (Sandy) and I married immediately after graduating from college, and proceeded through 15 years of wonderful bliss. We both worked, and steadily climbed the ladder of success. During this time, we would occasionally discuss having children, but could never develop a 'quorum' between the two of us. The result? No kids and a fairly affluent, and admittedly selfish, lifestyle.

One day, sometime in June of 2000, we found ourselves discussing children, and by-golly, we actually had two votes for "yes"! We double checked our votes, waited a few days, and tallied again. No hanging chads here, we were going to raise a child!
Well, we knew we were no longer spring chickens (at 39 years of age), and a medical issue with one of us (does it really matter who?) was going to further complicate the situation. It was a pretty easy decision to adopt.

So, where from, and with whom? So many choices, at first it seemed hard to narrow it down. The policy for adoption in America provided ample stipulation for the birthparent to re-assume the child after the baby was born. This statistically happens often enough that it discouraged us from considering adoption in the states. Sandy 's college experience included a minor in East Asian studies, and she'd spent time in China on a student exchange, and as a function of her career. Combined with China 's "one-child" policy (see http://axe.acadiau.ca/~043638z/one-child/ for a reasonably objective look at the policy) it seemed the need in that country best matched our need.

Okay, the fact that Chinese baby girls are irresistibly cute also swayed our decision.
We relied mainly on friends, and the Internet to research a wide variety of Adoption Agencies. We quickly learned that the Chinese government controls the flow of adoptions, and only deals with 'approved' agencies. This helped narrow down the field all by itself. Due to the government controls, no agency could really promise a faster delivery than another. Larger agencies are typically allotted more slots, but they also typically have more customers, thus negating the advantage. We focused on reputation, convenience, and (to a lesser extent) cost. New Hope was our final selection since they had experience, the head office was near by, and the costs seemed reasonable (click on the New Hope logo for more information). The excellent references given for the staff in China were very reassuring.
In August of 2000, we submitted our request to New Hope , and started the process. And, whoa, what a process!

I should probably list everything, but I'll just throw some off the top of my head:
Friends must fill out reference forms.
INS forms and approvals.
Family member must fill out reference forms.
FULL (and I mean FULL) physicals (with additional forms for your Doctor).
Financial analysis (replete with forms).
Designated Godparent, who must also fill out forms.
Multiple in home visits to determine our capabilities (fortunately, no forms). (more...)

Read more of Maya's Adoption Story: http://home.comcast.net/~jnsfleming/


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