Monday, July 18, 2011

The Waiting...Empty Strollers....Both Ends Burning


We are still awaiting news of our Preliminary Approval (PA) from China.  We are waiting much longer than the "usual" but we hope that is b/c they are taking their time with our PA that the next approval from China (Letter of Approval - LOA) will go a bit faster. Then on to the "US wait".

On the topic of waiting...

I have a friend online who is going to DC in late August for the "Empty Stroller" march on Washington. Families are marching for their waiting children that are sitting in orphanages around the world. The march is being organized by the Both Ends Burning Campaign, a global movement to transform the broken system of international adoption. During the march, protesters will be pushing empty strollers wrapped in red tape to represent the bureaucracy that prevents children from being with families.

For more information, see two videos below...the first provides a horrific impact of the broken process in Vietnam.  The second provides an overview of Both Ends Burning Campaign and their objective.

And if you need another reason why --

Emma will sit in either foster care or orphanage care for months longer than is necessary b/c of the delays during the process (on both the US & China side). While the process is required to keep adoptions "legit" by the Hague convention (the international body that governs adoptions), the time delay to complete each step due to staffing levels, lack of automation, etc is something that is frustrating beyond belief. I truly believe that if the people that process this paperwork and/or make these decisions had to look at these children's faces, the process would be radically different. 

As an example of the process... our I-800A took less than 2 hours to be approved once an agent was "assigned" to the file but it sat "in queue" for 49 days prior to being assigned.  It also cost us $1,000 to USCIS to be processed.  For <2 hours of work. While we didn't have a child referred to us yet, many other families do! Their children sit in orphanages for months longer than necessary.  


Many ppl point to the adoption credit as a step in the right direction for the US.  While the US gov't has done miracles for the adoption community with the most recent tax credit (it will rebate families ~40% of the costs of the adoption), it doesn't fix the underlying problem of WHY it takes so long for adoptions to be processed (and why its so expensive). I can't help it, I have done tons of business cases at work before and the process of international adoption is ripe for opportunity.

Anyway, for those of you interested, please sign their petition here!  


8 comments:

Lori said...

Bravo!

49 day in queue and 2 hours to process the I800a...is even worse than I imagined.

Lillie Family said...

Yep! The reason I know it was < 2 hours was I was calling daily at the end to see if an agent was assigned to our case and he wasn't assigned until Friday morning and it was in the mail in TX on Friday in time to get to us in MI on Monday.

The sad thing is, I shouldn't have been calling b/c they could have then been processing! They shouldn't take calls from ppl!

connie said...

Got your message on my blog, and consider it done, my friend!!!!! I'm on it!
Blessings to you!

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