International Adoption & COVID-19

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In spite of what you may have heard, international adoption is still happening! If adoption has been on your heart, this is a great time to begin your journey. While there are delays regarding the final steps of travel and finalization, AGCI was still able to unite 4 children with their forever families during the pandemic—three children in Bulgaria and one child in Haiti! Below, we break down the current status of international adoption in each of the countries we serve in.

Bulgaria: All aspects of adoption are continuing. Official referrals & waiting child referrals have also recently resumed! AGCI assisted in advocating for virtual visits so families could meet their children in the midst of the pandemic. We also assisted in funding the purchase of tablets to make these virtual visits happen. Families and children can now meet virtually and conduct a series of visits in lieu of the first trip. After these visits, the legal adoption process can begin! Families are also now able to travel! We have two families who just returned home with their 2-year-old daughters and another family has recently united with their 9-year-old son!

Burundi:  All aspects of adoption are continuing with the exception of travel.  Families are able to submit their dossier and once matched, adoption cases are proceeding.  We have continued to receive many court decrees during COVID-19.  AGCI is currently welcoming families open to adopting children 5 years or older.

China:  All aspects of adoption are continuing (dossier submission and review, pre-approval for referrals, referrals, Article 5) with the exception of travel and finalization. Travel approval has not been issued by the Central Authority of China so families have not been able to travel. Adoption is finalized in-country at time of travel.

Colombia: All aspects of adoption are continuing with the exception of travel and finalization. Dossiers are now submitted electronically, which allows translation and review by the Central Authority. Colombia’s matching committees are meeting virtually and continue to provide official referrals! Waiting child profiles have been prepared and provided to accredited adoption agencies and there continues to be a need for families. The committee currently meets virtually to consider families for waiting children. Virtual visits are allowed between children and families at the time of the official Central Authority referral so that families may begin to get to know their child.  We are working with the Central Authority to develop plans to process adoptions in a more streamlined manner as there are many pending cases ready for finalization once travel resumes. The Central Authority is continually reviewing and adjusting laws to prioritize adoption and allow the legal process to be expedited in some regions.

Haiti:  All aspects of adoption are continuing in some manner! Virtual visits have temporarily replaced socialization trip #1. The Central Authority plans to continue virtual visits between the 2 trips. The Central Authority is also issuing official referrals! Dossiers can currently be submitted so new families can register their dossier.  The Central Authority is working with US Embassy to provide virtual visits for US Embassy services and for Article 5 processing. We are excited to share that we have several families in the process of scheduling these! Adoptions may be finalized in-country. So far, AGCI has united one child from Haiti with his family during the pandemic!

Philippines:  All aspects of adoption are continuing in some manner! Dossiers may be submitted for review.  Waiting child profiles have been provided to accredited adoption agencies and the Central Authority has reviewed and matched children with families throughout the pandemic. The Central Authority has also issued placement proposals. We were also recently notified that the travel of foreigners will be allowed soon!

South Africa: South Africa has been impacted significantly and our team has recently returned to their offices. They are excited to accept and review dossiers and expect to match children and resume processing adoption!

If you’re ready to adopt, don’t let the pandemic deter you! There continues to be a need for families. Families beginning the process at this time are not currently experiencing delays. 

Questions about the process? Reach out to us.