When prospective adoptive parents (PAP’s) make a decision to adopt, they tend to have very idealistic thoughts about the child to come – one week old or younger girl/ boy, fair skinned, blue eyes, and clean set of teeth etc knowing very well that they don’t have such a choice even in a biological conception.
If you like to make your process go quicker and if it’s agreeable to you and to your spouse, make your preferences (such as gender, age, healthy vs special needs, geography) broader. With all due respect to PAP’s choices, some of their preferences can never be met so why bother? Let me explain – In India, due to strong societal stigma, most of the children in adoption stream are abandoned. In an ideal abandonment, within 24 hours of finding the child, agency must present the child either in front of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or the nearest police station and file an FIR (First Information Report). They must presume that the child was lost and advertise in two different newspapers for the parents to come and take the child. They need to wait for 60 days before they go before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to ask to declare the child free for adoption if no one comes forward to claim the child.
Hence, even if the abandoned child is one day old, minimum time it takes for that child to become eligible to place in adoption is two months (60 days as said above) so mentioning your desired child’s age to be 2 months or younger is a futile effort. Best thing that you can do is to give a higher range such as one year old and below.
About the gender, I can only say this: If you’re 100% sure of making a biological child with a choice of your gender, then go for gender preference in adoption but otherwise, why bother? It is believed that most o the children that are abandoned are girls and most of the PAP’s prefer girls. If the Indian agency has very few girls, then you may be in for a long wait.
Many PAP’s are not very open to accepting a referral of a child with special needs. PAP’s anxiety is understandable, as some may not have the resources to provide for the medical care. There are some conditions such as clubfeet and harelip that may not cost much to correct but it speeds up your adoption process.
Saying what I just said, you still have a choice to refuse the referral at the time of referral in spite of mentioning it on your initial application (for example, a child with special needs is much severe than you had wanted). So making your preferences broader can speed up your adoption journey significantly.
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