Four Benefits of Adopting a Waiting Child from a Photolisting


I remember the days before my first adoption, in which I would look through all the waiting child photolisting sites in hopes of finding “my child.” Fervently looking in to the eyes of every child, I would search to find a connection to a specific child, and would then pray over those who were waiting for their forever families. I would spend hours a day, week after week, searching in hopes of finding the magical “connection” to a child that I would “know” was mine, but as fate would have it, my child was not there, though many families do experience this type of connection to a child’s photo.

Adopting a waiting child is not always a fit for prospective adoptive families. Children who are on Waiting Child Photolistings are often older or have significant special needs. They are usually “waiting children” because there is not a family in the country program open to their characteristics. But for families open to adopting a child who is older or with known medical needs, exploring the possibility of adopting a child from a Waiting Child Photolisting could be an excellent fit!

What if your search has led you to a child you feel connected to? The benefits of pursuing the adoption of a child from a Waiting Child Photolisting are many:

1) It may eliminate the long waits that many families experience waiting to be matched by their country of choice’s Central Authority, which can be several months or even years.

2) Knowing ahead of time who your child may be can add a sense of some comfort and control over the process. Especially if you’re able to receive medical and social information on the child before choosing to move forward with his or her adoption.

3) If the country decides to match you with the child requested, it may be much faster than a “traditional” match. A shortened wait can also mean a shortened adoption process, which can also save money, as well as time. In some countries, adoptions of children from a waiting child photo listing take less time to finalize and bring your child home.Additionally, since the children on Waiting Child Photolistings often have known medical needs, it is possible that the legal process could be expedited to ensure that the child is able to join his or her forever family quickly, and receive treatment for his or her medical needs.

4) There are also many organizations that give grants specifically for waiting children or children with special needs, often due to their age or their medical needs. Families open to these needs may be able to fund a significant amount of their adoption through grants set up for these purposes.

Whatever it is that leads you to pursue the adoption of a waiting child – the eyes, the name, the biography, the need, or even the country – adopting a waiting child from a photolisting can offer many benefits.  Most importantly, it provides a loving family to a child in need. MLJ Adoptions has a number of children who are waiting for their forever family in our Bulgaria program and others.

Remember that when looking at a Waiting Child Photolisting, the adoption of that specific child can never be guaranteed. Children who are waiting on families often have known special needs, are older, or are in sibling groups of three or more. For the families hoping to adopt children with these characteristics, pursing a waiting child is a wonderful way to meet the critical need for a family for these children!

Lydia Tarr works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Bulgaria and Ukraine. She is the adoptive mother of four children from Ukraine and was recognized as a 2013 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Program.