Waiting Lists

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waiting lists

Rosters of couples or single people waiting for a HOME STUDY or, more commonly, a roster of people already studied and selected and waiting for a child who will need them as parents.

Waiting lists vary greatly from agency to agency and exist primarily as a function of the imbalance between the numbers of infants in need of families and the much larger numbers of couples and single persons who are interested in adopting children, especially infants. (Waiting lists are much shorter for individuals interested in adopting older children or children with SPECIAL NEEDS.

Some agencies require individuals to wait for at least a year before they may be studied while others will not accept applications after a certain number of applicants have registered and until they believe they will be able to do a home study and place a child with the applicant within a reasonable length of time.

Virtually all agencies maintain waiting lists of people who have been approved to adopt. Most agencies consider a group of approved families for the next child to be adopted. Many of these agencies also offer the birthmother the opportunity to choose the adopting family from a group of nonidentifying resum?s of previously approved families.

Most prospective adoptive parents do not like the prospect of spending several years' time on a waiting list, even if they understand the main reason for the wait to be an imbalance in numbers. Social workers believe that one good by-product of waiting lists is they may give applicants time that is often needed to seriously reflect on adoption and to work through any final infertility conflicts the family may have.

Parents interested in adopting a child with special needs usually are specifically matched to a child in terms of being able to deal with these special needs, and therefore, their wait may be very brief or very lengthy depending on the type of child the family feels they can accept and also depending on the suitability of their family for the child.

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