CCAI, working in collaboration with the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the Center for Adoption Policy, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Equality for Adopted Children, Joint Council and the National Council for Adoption, just released the results of an online survey that asked U.S. Adoptive parents about their experiences working with the United States government during an intercountry adoption process. Results were received from 2,938 U.S. parents who adopted from 17 different countries.
Created in partnership with the above named organizations and circulated via email and listserv, CCAI administered and collected the results of the online sample survey that asked participants 37 multiple choice and five open-ended questions about their intercountry adoption experience, including the amount of time it took to complete their adoption process, why individuals did not adopt from the country they originally intended to adopt from, how participants received updates from government and adoption agencies and the quality of communication with the U.S. Embassy.
Respondents provided specific recommendations to improve the experience working with the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in the participant’s adopted child’s home country and the intercountry adoption experience in general. Among the main recommendations:
- Strengthen the communication of updates to adoptive parents concerning their specific cases—increase the frequency, specificity, and honesty of communication.
- Increase the efficiency of the adoption process, particularly for children with special needs. Participants expressed concern over the extra time that their child spent in an institutionalized home due to the delays in finalizing the adoption.
- Reshape the regulations regarding the issuance of children’s visas to ensure greater certainty and efficiency of receiving them prior to departure.
- Treat birthmothers with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Participants expressed concern over the interrogation practices used in birthmother interviews.
- Consulate and Embassy staff should employ more courteous and sympathetic behavior in their interactions with adoptive parents. They should also be informed of international adoption laws and updated on any changes that could impact the adoption process.
The full Survey Report is available at http://ccainstitute.org/images/stories/foster/fyi/adoptive_parents_survey_results_3-1-12_for_release_6-28_1.pdf. A summary of main themes that emerged in the open comments are included in Appendix A of the report.