When a child first learns to walk, usually he wobbles around. His steps start and stop, and are rarely stable. As he gets better with more practice, his pace, steps and stability all become more consistent. While the wobbling is endearing and exciting for a parent, the goal is consistent walking. Developing a habit, learning a new skill and even investing in friendships may involve some stutter-steps at the beginning, but hopefully evolve into consistency. As many have learned, sometimes the difficult way, excitement will get us started, but consistency takes us farther over time.
International adoption can feel a lot like a child learning to walk. Some country programs experience stutter-steps, years with increased adoptions followed by very few, or even frequent changes in eligibility requirements. For some families, the risks of a pilot program are worth it; they hope that the ups and the downs at the beginning will eventually become the consistent pacing of a mature adoption program.
For other families, finding a consistent adoption program is the primary goal.
If a consistent adoption program, proven to be stable and predictable over time, is what your family desires, adopting from Bulgaria could be a great fit!
Six families have received referrals for children from Bulgaria this year for a total of twelve children being matched!
Family 1: Biological Siblings, female age 3 and male age 2 – 31 month wait
Family 2: Biological brothers, ages 8, 6 and 4 – 11 month wait
Family 3: Biological Siblings, male age 6, male age 4, female age 4 – 6 month wait
Family 4: Female Child, 2.5 years – 23 month wait
Family 5: Female Child, 14 months – 26 month wait
Family 6: Biological Siblings, male age 7, female age 4 – 13 month wait
In the same period of time last year, January to July of 2015, we received referrals for seven children, for seven different families. In both 2014 and 2015, MLJ Adoptions families received 18 referrals for children. Hopefully in 2016, that number will increase!
As with any country program, the more open you are to age and additional characteristics, the quicker your family can be matched with a child. We do estimate that families will wait between 12 and 24 months to be matched with a child or children. Not all families will wait 12 to 24 months; families open to adopting a sibling group of three usually waits less than twelve months, and families hoping to adopt a child under three years old may wait longer than twenty-four months. Even the data above for this year will show numbers that are often in that range. Wait times are not only impacted by the characteristics your family is open to, but how many other families are waiting to be matched and the children in need of families at any given time.
There is no perfect adoption program. Every country program is going to evolve over time, and at any point things could change. However, the consistency in Bulgaria’s international adoption program appeals to many families. Maybe it’s right for your family, too!
For more information about adopting from Bulgaria, please contact us.