Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.


Adoption Timing

The results of the 2006-2007 Adoptive Families survey.

More than 1,500 Adoptive Families readers responded to our survey. The results showed the impact of countries' changes in adoption policy, which included incredibly varied timelines for families adopting from many of the top sending countries. Here are some highlights and breakdowns of what readers told us.

Timing Highlights of the 2006-2007 Adoptive Families Survey  

  • More than half of prospective domestic adopters were matched with a birthmother within six months, and took home their baby within a week of his/her birth.
  • Many domestic adopters worked with more than one birthmother before adopting.
  • Most families who adopted from Ethiopia were able to bring their children home within one year.
  • Almost all Ethiopian adopters received their referral within six months of completing their dossier.
  • China's new regulations have caused wait times to increase to 2 years or more for families just beginning the process there.
  • Most families who had already begun the process received their referral within in 18 monhts.
  • Families adopting from Guatemala were usually matched within three months of completing their dossier, but faced wait times of nine months or more to bring their child home after the referral.
  • 65% of Guatemalan adopters traveled more than once to visit their child while they waited.
  • Russia also provided quick referrals, but most families made three or more trips to the country before bringing their child home, as courts were less willing to waive the 10-day wait period.
  • Russia also allowed licenses of U.S. agencies to expire, leading to a hold on international adoptions for several months until those agencies were reaccredited.
  • Those adopting from South Korea faced the longest waits for referral, due to new regulations for placing children within the country.
  • Although travel is not necessary for adoption in South Korea, almost half of those adopting from that country made the trip.

Wait times for referrals and placement, as well as length of stay in other countries.
Timing Domestic
Ethiopia China Guate-
Russia Korea
Referral in less than 6 mos. 56% 81% 0 92% 68% 71%
Placement in less than 6 mos. 74% waited
less than
1 wk.
after birth
97% 94% 37% 72% 90%
stayed less than 3 wks. 89% 99% 95% 56% 100%

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