International Adoption: Roadblocks and Rollercoasters
“I think it may be time to pull the plug on the Thailand adoption”
”This is not possible”
”Sorry, CAN NOT!”
These lovely quotes are all things that our two adoption providers have said to us in the last few months as we have attempted to adopt “internationally” from within Thailand. Despite these insensitive statements we have also met wonderful people and been told that it is possible…so we plowed through. The problem in international adoptions, despite the Hague convention and other agreements that are supposed to standardize the procedures is that each adoption is different. No matter what, you are going to be the first person in your exact circumstance. Granted, ours is a little more crazy than most…but in some way, you will be different. Here’s a little more detail on our last week. If you haven’t read about how our adoption journey started you can read that HERE.
A week ago we thought we were on a good path. Our provider in the states (who must remain nameless legally), had assured us they had done this before; we trusted them. Our home study provider, who I would still recommend to anyone, actually validated that she has done this before. Then we MET SOMEONE WHO HAD DONE THIS! We were feeling good. Our I800A, was turned-in to US Customs and Immigration Service and we were mere steps away from getting a child and bringing her home.
Then roadblocks and rollercoasters began (again).
Our provider in the US changed the procedures on us and acted like they didn’t know our situation. I will detail this more when I am emotionally ready, but they basically said we can not adopt the way we are doing it, and would need to start the process over again!
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Through many e-mails and late night phone calls we were able to come to an understanding and confirm that if we got a specific piece of paper (Article 16 report) from the central authority here we would be able to move forward. No problem, we thought, we know someone who did that! So we set up a meeting with our Thai social worker.
On the day of the meeting the Social worker excitedly told us that she had a little girl for us…but that she certainly can not provide us the Article 16 report. Despite us pointing out two occasions in the past where the report was provided to other families, she claimed those were “mistakes”, and they “will not do this again”. We talked with her until we were blue in the face, I considered gifts or cash (but I’ve heard the U.S. Government frowns on baby buying), I also considered putting my newly acquired Taekwondo yellow belt to use, but finally we were forced to leave with an agreement that both of us would do more research. It was heartbreaking. Not only had they told us (again) our dream of adoption here is dead, but they told us there was a real kid out there waiting to be adopted. Our souls were crushed.
Without the Article 16 report our provider in the US can’t process our paperwork, and the provider here will not provide the report…we seem to be at an impasse. I wish I could end this post on a positive note, but all I can say is we are still researching, pressuring, and praying that we find a way past this roadblock. If it doesn’t work out here in Thailand it will work out sometime/somewhere. We will find a way…
Now some advice for those adopting internationally: Walk through the whole process with your provider. Every piece of paper, each aspect of your situation, no matter how minor it may seem…from start to finish. Put everything in writing and save every e-mail. Take notes on every conversation and have them validate those notes. Adoption Service Providers may claim to have done this before, but like I said above, you are unique.
If you are planning to adopt, everyone who has adopted or knows someone who adopted is excited to help, but no one is exactly like you, and even if they are…laws and arbitrary country rules change. You can never be too thorough, and even then it may not be enough.
So we will keep you up to date and fill in some past details. As of now we are back in the fog. We are exploring options and a bit lost right now, but confident we will make it and bring our girl home…wherever she is.
Thanks for reading and keeping us in your thoughts/prayers!
Please share this on social media; you never know who is considering adoption and can benefit from our lessons.