How Long Does Adoption Paperwork Take?

    Well, this adoption awareness series is slowly puttering along and I’m back today with another question that I got asked: How long does the paperwork take?


    In case you’ve missed it, here’s the series so far:

    You can also checkout the whole adoption awareness series here.


    How long does adoption paperwork take?




    Adoption paperwork is no joke, there’s a reason it’s been called “paper pregnancy”, the only problem is that there is no nine month expiry like there is with traditional pregnancy.

    So, how long does adoption paperwork take?

    Well, it really depends.

    Generally you will be getting your home study done while you are gathering country-specific paperwork (criminal record checks, medical checks, etc) so that can improve your efficiency when it comes to paperwork.

    Though, depending where you live you may not have someone available to complete your home study right away. I know that is often the case for one of the provinces here in Canada.


    Taking Time to Answer some Adoption FAQ's


    We started our paperwork by applying in November of 2011 with social services, applied to an agency in March 2012 and started our home study on April 4th. By May 17th we had completed our home study and the necessary paperwork. So, the bulk of our paperwork was done in about six weeks, but it was about six months from the start to finish.

    But, if you know our adoption story at all though you’ll know it wasn’t quite that smooth. You can take a look at our adoption timeline here.

    Another thing to take into consideration is that your paperwork may expire. We needed to update our home study, criminal record checks and our fingerprint checks a few times. This depends on the wait and the requirements from your agency, some may have different expiry dates for different pieces of paper.

    All in all, the gathering of the paperwork was not very long or very hard. It was the waiting that was the hardest part (and being in limbo when we couldn’t find an agency/country). Hmm, maybe I should add a post to this very-slow-series about the waiting period . . .

    Is there anything else adoption related you want me to share about this month?


    Where to Start When You Want to Adopt

    I wasn’t planning on having such a break after my previous post in this adoption awareness series but it turns out suddenly doubling the kids in your home can really affect one’s free time!

    Here’s an outline of what I have/hope to share about this month (more may get added or I may not get to them all, we’ll see what life brings!):


    Where to Start When You are Thinking About Adopting - domestic adoption and international adoption


    When we knew we wanted to start the adoption process it was hard for us to figure out how to actually get started. It involved a lot of searching the internet and doing our research. Because the adoption process is so different for every province/state/country I can’t give a complete step-by-step but I can try to give a general guide with some of our experiences thrown in that will hopefully be of help.


    Where to Start When You Want to Adopt



    The first step is to figure out if you want to go the domestic or international adoption route.

    For us, I knew I always wanted to adopt internationally so it was an easy decision. I also knew the traditional domestic adoption route was really long (around 10 years) and that helped to cross off that option.



    Now here’s where things can start to vary.

    At this point you’ll need to figure out locally if you need to apply to Social Services first or apply to an agency.

    Our province doesn’t have any adoption agencies so we started by applying to Social Services and researching agencies in different provinces that would work with us.

    If you are adopting internationally there are so many different country programs to look into, this may affect your decision as to which agency you use because most agencies only work with a few countries.


    Where to Start When You Want to Adopt



    So depending on where you live your home study will either be done through your agency or directly through Social Services. I know some places have crazy waiting times to get started with the home study. Thankfully there was no such wait here so we started pretty much as soon as we had our ducks in a row.

    The country you are adopting from will determine what papers you all need to compile. Over time we had been with four agencies and three different countries and needed things like tuberculosis tests, Interpol checks, etc.


    Where to Start When You Want to Adopt


    The difficult part here is that no place has the exact same process so you need to figure out what you need to do based on the location you live and where you are adopting from but I hope this was a bit helpful in pointing you in the right direction!

    You can also check out our adoption timeline to get the full picture on our adoption.

    If you are in Saskatchewan I wrote a post way back in 2012 with how to get started with adoption in Saskatchewan (it was intentional at all but it was on this exact day seven years ago that I wrote that post!)

    If you have a suggestion for topic or question you would like me to address in this adoption awareness series let me know!


    How Do You Know if You’ve Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?

    It’s Adoption Awareness Month and I have a number of ideas of posts to share for this month. I got a few different questions asked and I plan on answering them all over the next few weeks.

    Here’s a peek into what I hope to share (and I’m sure I’ll come up with more):

    • how do you know if you’ve been called to adopt? (that’s this post!)
    • how to get started
    • how long does the paperwork take?
    • what if I don’t instantly love my adopted child?
    • how to talk about adoption with your adoptive child

    Let me know if you have other questions you would like answered or topics you want me to cover!


    Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?


    Okay, on to today’s question!


    How Do You Know if God is Calling You to Adopt (or Foster)?

    I’m just going ahead and adding fostering in there because it is the same answer.

    I have two answers to this question: the long one and the short one.


    Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?



    The short answer is: you usually don’t know if you’ve been called to it.



    The long answer is much more detailed.

    I pretty much covered this in a post about faithfulness earlier this year but I often go back this line that Francis Chan wrote in You & Me Forever:

    Err on the side of action.

    If you were to live until 80 and were looking back on your life do you think you would be more likely to say “I wish I wouldn’t have adopted (or fostered).” or “I wish I would have adopted (or fostered).”

    I think we often regret the things we didn’t do instead of the things we did do.

    And the truth is, if you are a Christian you have been called to help the orphaned and poor.

    We are not told exactly how we each are to do this but we are all supposed to be doing something.

    Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
    James 1:27 (NLT)


    Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?


    Some verses that have really stood out to me in the last few years are out of Ezekiel. If you are familiar with the Bible at all you probably know about the story of Sodom. It was a city that God destroyed (you may remember that Lot’s wife looked back while running away and turned to a pillar of salt, cause that’s not normal!). Sodom was a severely messed up city (you can read about it in Genesis 19). I mean, if you read the chapter you can kind of understand why God would want to destroy it.

    But, do you know why God actually wanted to destroy the city? It tells us in Ezekiel 16:49-50:

    Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needyThey were haughty and did an abomination before me. 


    That seems crazy. I mean, there were a whole host of guilts I feel like could have been listed against Sodom but what was actually mentioned? Having pride, excess food and prosperous ease and yet not helping the poor and needy.

    Does excess food and prosperous ease sound familiar? It should! If you are reading this now it means you have a lot more resources than many people in the world!


    What if, instead of waiting until we felt called to adopt we stepped out in faith and started the process and waited to see if God closed the door?

    What if we erred on the side of action?


    Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?


    While some people will feel called to adopt, some will have it on their hearts from childhood, yet others will step out in faith because they believe all Christians are called to help the orphaned in some way and they know they can provide a home for a child who doesn’t have one.

    I don’t think everyone needs to adopt (though I would highly recommend it! 😀) but if you are finding yourself drawn to adoption or wondering if it something you are do or are called to I would suggest taking the next thirty days to intentionally pray about it and do some research on the topic.


    Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.
    Matthew 18:5


    If you want to read more verses about orphan care or even pray through them check out this post.

    If you would like prayers while you consider what your role should be in caring for the orphaned and poor feel free to leave a comment or email me and I’ll be praying for you!

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