Friday, August 10, 2007

Shocka! International Adoption is Unpredictable

Where do babies come from?
Countries with children available for U.S. parents can change dramatically

When Chicago lawyer Catherine Nelson adopted her daughter, Grace, from an orphanage in Vietnam, she considered herself very lucky. Nelson was single, and many countries refuse to allow single parents to adopt.

Six years later, Nelson realizes that she was lucky in another way. In the 2001 fiscal year, Vietnam granted 737 adoption visas for children heading to new homes in the United States, and Nelson's waiting time was a modest nine months. By 2006, that number had dropped to 163.

"Vietnam is still open but bumpy," says Judy Stigger, director of international adoption at the Evanston-based agency the Cradle. "It's become much more locally regulated in the various regions of the country, and it's much more unpredictable."


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