The Fingerprint of Adoption


Just as a fingerprint is totally unique to an individual, so is an adoption to a family. How can that be? On the topic of fingerprints, Wikipedia states, “the conditions surrounding every instance of friction ridge deposition are unique and never duplicated.” Why would one family that is adopting from Bulgaria, be different than another family adopting internationally from the same country? If the process is the same for each family, how can it be unique? Simply put, the answer is that with every adoption there is a human or circumstantial element.

It is difficult for families to comprehend why we may not always be able to give them a direct answer concerning the timing of their adoption, when we have had other families complete the process. Here are just a few examples of how your adoption can differ from another families:

1) the time it take you to complete your dossier

2) the person reviewing your dossier

3) the timing of the review process for your dossier

4) the social worker or the clerk involved in the process

5) the judge assigned to your case

6) the time of year you travel or receive your referral

7) how many other families may be impacting your process

There are many other factors that do not cross our minds that impact your adoption. I remember when my family was going through our first adoption, I savored every drop of information I could find. I lingered on every word of any other family that had ever adopted from Ukraine. I had my adoption planned out to the last detail… what I didn’t count on was that my adoption would be different than all of my friends. This is something that comes up often with the families I now guide to complete their adoptions. The families scour every group or Yahoo list and make many new friends, comparing notes on their adoptions, and their timelines. When families narrow in on how they think their adoption may go, it can create much disappointment. It is important to know that our staff’s goal in each country we work with, is to expedite your adoption, ethically, legally and to the best of their abilities, however the factors of the human element and circumstances may impact in many ways. Just as each family is unique, your adoption story will be unique as well.


Photo Credit

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.