“So, How Long Did It Take You to Adopt?”

We asked our readers: How do you respond when someone asks, "How long does it take to adopt?" Read the answers from adoptive parents.

hourglass and calendar to measure how long it takes to adopt, how to respond when people ask

On our Facebook page (facebook.com/adoptivefamilies), we asked readers, How do you respond when someone asks you how long it took you to adopt? What do you consider your adoption starting point? Here’s what you said:

I let them know our journey really began before we talked to our agency—but I know what they’re asking and give them start-to-finish of the formal process. People need to understand that not all the wait time is ‘waiting,’ and that, no matter how quickly you are placed, it’s usually a long journey.” —KERRY

Depends on who is asking. If it is someone who is genuinely interested, I tell them the whole story (one year in the China program, then we did the math and realized we’d be in our 50s before we had a baby, one year in a domestic program without any requests to talk with an expectant mom, then eight short months to get our perfect match in Taiwan!). If it’s an acquaintance, I just say eight months.” —WENDY

I tell them mine was not a typical timeline for an adoption; I must have waited too long to start the domestic adoption process and my son was meant for me. We started talking to a home study agent at the end of November and I handed in my application to the agency on February 5. On February 22 I got a call saying that a little boy had been born and I was chosen to be his mom…could I get on a plane the next day to meet him? I had nothing, I even had to rent a car seat, but it was worth it. He’s amazing and I would have waited forever for him.” —AMY

Nine months from start to holding our little girl!! (Fate, I like to think.)” —KATIE

Mine was a private, domestic adoption, and it took nearly two years from the first day of paperwork until I got the call—but things moved fast after that. After the call, I had only a month until my baby girl was born. I’d say, know that it is a long process, and be selective about sharing your news. Even if everyone is happy for you, most will not understand the process.” —DEANNA

“I answer honestly that it took years (we did foster-to-adopt).” —LISA

We were prepared for a four-year wait, but were ‘active’ only 45 days before being matched with our daughter’s birth mother. From when we paid our retainer fee to the finalization hearing it was 11.5 months. I tell people our timeline is definitely not typical, but we were very blessed.” —SARA

I ask if they want to know from the time we sent in the application or from when we first met the kid. And usually I tell them both. I want people to know that it is a long process.” —VENUS


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