I haven’t talked about our adoption in a while, mainly because things haven’t changed. We’re still waiting for a referral. Though it occurs to me that a lot of people don’t know what that means. A referral is basically when our agency matches us with a child to adopt from Ethiopia. The entire rest of our adoption process is waiting for that referral. Here’s what the referral process looks like:
- Our agency receives a profile of a child by e-mail.
- They review the information and look to the next family on the waiting list open to that child’s age, gender, background and medical condition (we’re open to a child or siblings under 12 months old of either gender).
- Our social worker will contact us by phone with the referral information (which is why we’re a little jumpy when the phone rings).
- Referral information is forwarded by e-mail (this includes the name, photo, age, gender, background and medical history).
- Families are strongly encouraged to have the referral information reviewed by an international adoption clinic or pediatrician with experience reviewing child referrals from Ethiopia. A review by at least a pediatrician is actually required before we can accept the referral.
- We need to report back to our agency regarding acceptance within one week of receiving the referral; this timeframe is flexible if there are pending medical questions.
- Family notifies their specialist of acceptance and completes acceptance paperwork.
- Specialist notifies Ethiopia of acceptance.
- Ethiopia pairs the family’s translated dossier with the child’s referral information and submits to court.