SN List rule changes – the end results

I’d like to give three examples here:

Example #1:
8 month old girl with cleft palate shows up on the list. Under the old rules, she would have been more likely to be adopted by someone not yet logged in, which would mean she could easily stay in the orphanage another year, and be 20 months, almost two years old, before coming home. Under the new rules, it’s more likely that she’ll be closer to 12 to 14 months old before coming home.

Example #2:
2 year old girl with spina bifida shows up on the list, and her file requires that for the first month her file can only be locked by a family who is already logged in. There is a family who is just starting out who would be interested, should their agency tell them about her, but they can’t lock her file so the agency plans to wait four days before the end of the month to talk to this family about her. Three weeks later, someone who is logged in hears about this child from their agency, talks to a doctor, and decides to adopt her. The family not yet logged in misses out, but they don’t know they’ve missed out. And, most importantly, the child gets to travel home with her family in a few months’ time, not a year later. And take it from someone who has brought home a very young child and an almost two year old – that extra time spent in an institution is huge. Any child who has any chance at all of spending six to eight months less in an institution, should be given that chance.

Example #3:
18 month old boy with an unrepaired heart issue shows up on the list. Someone not logged in yet has told their agency this is exactly the type of child they are hoping to adopt, but they can’t lock his file or claim him for a month. The agency tells the family about him five days before the month is up, they do their research and tell the agency they wish to adopt him. At the end of the month the agency locks his file and the family submits LOI, and four months later they are logged in. The child does not wait any longer to have someone come get him – the only change was that the family had to wait one month to lock his file and claim him. Their time frame for traveling is not extended out by one month, the wait is not one month longer for either the family or the child.

I am having a hard time coming up with an example where the new rules / guidelines could in any way be detrimental to the children.

We still do not know for sure how this is going to work in practice. Most agencies think only the easy to place children will only be available to those logged in for the first month, but others say it will be all children. Either way, I can’t see that it will change the travel time if a not-yet-logged-in family manages to lock the child in a month later. If they are not yet logged in, then that stage of the wait is determined by them (and their social worker, and USCIS), not CCAA.

As for some of the questions asked yesterday:

I’m sorry some agencies are interpreting the rules so that families must talk to a doctor before the agency will lock a file, or that they are being forced to make an instantaneous decision without time to do proper research. I am almost positive I’ve seen it said, something from the CCAA, that their intention is to give families time to make their decision, and that is what the 48/72 hour time frame is for, so the family can make an informed decision with the help of medical professionals. They understand it is in the best interests of the children if the families have their eyes wide open when they obligate themselves to a particular child. Not being allowed the time to do proper research to be sure they are prepared to handle a particular child’s special needs is not in anyone’s best interest.

As for how many files an agency can lock in – that depends on how many clients they have, doesn’t it? They can lock one child at a time for each client. Most agencies have their families fill out a list of what they feel they can handle and what their preferences are, and then when the list comes out they have it in their minds what they are looking for (age, gender, and special need), and then they attempt to lock the files for any child who fits what someone is looking for.

If you are already logged in and you are staying with the same agency, then you have a LID. If you started in the NSN line and are switching to the SN program, then your original LID will remain, and your agency can use that information to lock a child’s file for you.

And finally, only the agencies can access the list. I am aware that some agencies let a client sit in a chair beside them and go through the list, if their agency happens to be local to them, However, in most cases what happens is you fill out a form of what special needs you feel your family could handle, and then the agency either locks a file for you to look over (if you are wanting a child with a minor special need), or (for a more major issue) may talk to you about several children on the list (who have been on the list for a while) and let you talk it over with your family before deciding to lock a file and put in a LOI.


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40 Responses to “SN List rule changes – the end results”

  1. southslopemama Says:

    RQ, thank you for this great analysis and examples! I totally agree with you–I can’t find any way in which this is detrimental for the children, and think these changes are great and fair for everyone!


  2. zgirl1 Says:

    Hi RQ. Waiting4Katie08 and I are with the same agency. They are very adamant with their position that the CCAA does not want clients to use the 48/72 hour window to talk to doctor, and they are pretty insistent that you talk to a doctor before locking. They acknowledge that this could put you at a disadvantage if other agencies allow their clients to lock before talking to a doctor, but they say that this is how the rules are set up, even though not all agencies follow them. So I don’t know. It can be stressful for parents, though, and we almost lost $200 this way (I was on the phone with the doctor when I got the email that the file had been locked by another family. Luckily, the doctor didn’t charge us).

  3. Noendinsight Says:

    our agency has always required families to be LID before adopting a SN child.

  4. MadisonChayse66 Says:

    I was always amazed how families were able to lock a child’s file without a LID as well as no SN approval from the Government. We require both before even starting to request a SN child.

  5. chickensoupforchina Says:

    I admit that I am still learning about all the rules and procedures for SN, but the way I understand it from our agency is consistent with what Zgirl is saying. Now, whether they are right in their interpretation or wrong, I don’t feel informed enough to know. However, they were very clear that they wanted families who were 100% sure they would accept the referral prior to locking the file.

  6. RumorQueen Says:

    If that were the case, if locking a file were the same as a LOI, then why bother with the ability to lock a file at all? Why not just say that the first to submit an LOI would be matched officially with that child?

    The extra step is in there to give families a chance to be sure, before they obligate themselves with a Letter of Intent.

    I understand that some of the statements from the CCAA aren’t very precise and leave a lot to the agencies’ interpretations – not just a language interpretation, but a general meaning interpretation. I think there has been enough from the CCAA to clarify on this one though – and most (almost all) agencies lock files so that families can make a decision of whether to submit LOI – they do not require an obligation to submit LOI before locking the file.

  7. chickensoupforchina Says:

    I agree, and had the same questions for my agency. It didn’t make sense to me and I told them so, but they were adamant that this is what they were told. Again, I have no idea if their interpretation is accurate. I’m just reporting to you what was said to me by my agency. I’d also like to repeat my disclaimer that I don’t feel nearly as well informed as others with regard the SN program as others.

  8. Noendinsight Says:

    It can be very expensive to have a doctor review a file. There is no way we would do that unless the file was locked for us first.

  9. theseven Says:

    Does anyone know when the next group of waiting children will be posted?

  10. Baxter Says:

    I’m still trying to figure out the rules too. My agency strongly recommends that you have a doctor review the file and once you are sure, they will lock it. The reason I was given is because they can’t access the file for 2 weeks. I’ve only been notified once about a possible match and by the time I had a doctor review her file (18 hrs), she was locked by another agency. This was an expensive lesson and I’m not sure what to do the next time they call. I’m also concerned that other agencies are locking files immediately (maybe even during the night when the list appears) and THEN calling families. Since my agency doesn’t do that, I wonder how long I’ll have to wait. I’ve been on the list since 5/09 with a LID of 10/06. When I recently updated my home study, my SW mentioned that I’m probably at a disadvantage because my agency is so large (and they don’t lock files prematurely). I’m not sure what to do.

  11. zgirl1 Says:

    RQ: my understanding is that the 48 hours is to give you time to prepare the LOI, photographs, and other related paperwork. The agency wants to proofread your LOI and documents to make sure they are properly written, and the 48 hours gives everybody time to do their part.

  12. WNCwait Says:

    I am glad some things are changing with the shared list, special needs kids and the rules in general. It seems to be more consistent for all agencies, and more importantly, the children. We were recently matched to a child from the shared list, and our agency gave us 24hours to decide yes or no, (we were told 24hrs because she was a direct match with the needs we requested) I luckily had an MD ready and very willing to review her files; then we had 2 weeks to do our official LOI. We are thrilled to say the least that it has all worked out for us the way it has. We were matched in February. Our agency is one that I feel has truly played by the rules and we are blessed to have them on our side. We already had a LID prior to match.

  13. waiting43 Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. These scenarios sum up what so many of us have been trying to explain in the SN forum, but are still receiving opposition.

  14. Mamman Says:

    I am with an agency that locks files immediately and then calls the families. However, they say that it is not the way the CCAA wanted it to work originally. As others have said, the 48 hours are to make everything else ready, for example you need to adjust your LOI’s that you previously prepared, to that specific child. There are also some other things you need to do, plus the agency has some things too. One of the agencies in our country – the most conservative and “rule following” one – started out by following the rule that the families had to look at the file first and then have the file locked, but I think now all our three agencies understood that they simply can’t keep it that way to stay in business. They would go bankrupt, since they wouldn’t be able to bring home almost any children from China anymore, and they have lots of families already logged in.

    To me, this is typical for the CCAA. They don’t mind it if the rules are not followed exactly, as long as they don’t “know” about it. And as long as it is not concerning rules of a more serious matter. Me saying this may upset some, but I think I saw it in many cases, that they clearly must know that people/agencies are not following all the rules, but they don’t do much about it even if they could. I hope that will change with this new director.

    Personally I think they should increase the time to have a file locked before sending LOI to one week. And take away the rule that you must have looked at the file first and know you will submit your LOI, since so few agencies follow it anyway, which makes it very unfair to families who are with agencies that follow the rules. Following the rules should be reinforced, not the other way around.

  15. RumorQueen Says:

    Here are the original rules, verbatim:

    Online System for Special Needs Children is a green channel established by China Center of Adoption Center (CCAA) to place more special needs children faster and find better families for them. To ensure the operation of this program and put the system into full play, adoption agencies should abide by the following operation rules:

    1. Recommend families which are with love for children, fully prepared for adoption and are waiting to adopt special needs children.
    2. Information about the prospective adoptive parents can be submitted after a family is found for a special needs child. 48 hours is the time allocated for inputting this information, rather than looking for families for the child.
    3. Each adoption agency is only allowed to lock the file of a specific child once.
    4. If more than one family intends to adopt a specific child, please follow the principle of priority. Adoption agencies are expected to explain the situation to the families.
    5. CCAA has allocated a USB key for each adoption agency, which is for exclusive use at the location of the agency. The website, IP address and address of the workplace should be reported to CCAA for records.

    Online special needs program of those agencies which violate the above rules will be terminated once disclosed.


    The rule in question is: 2. Information about the prospective adoptive parents can be submitted after a family is found for a special needs child. 48 hours is the time allocated for inputting this information, rather than looking for families for the child.

    Some agencies interpret this that a family must be sure, others interpret it that they find a family who is interested in that child and they lock the file while the family decides for sure. However, it does not specifically say that the family must have already talked to a doctor and be positive of their decision before locking the file. It does not say otherwise, either. This is what I mean by it being open to agency interpretation. Correspondence I’ve seen since the original rules (that I can’t take the time to find right now, sorry) has made it seem clear (to me) that the CCAA realizes families are using that time to talk to doctors and be sure they wish to adopt this child.

  16. RumorQueen Says:

    I should note that number three has been amended at some point. An adoption agency can now lock a file a second time, but there must be a time frame of (I think) two or three weeks in between.

  17. Mamman Says:

    I don’t think these rules are the only communicatoin between agencies and the CCAA. At least I know our agencies are talking to the CCAA on a regular basis (in China), going through these things thoroughly. That is why I don’t think the rules are as open to interpretation as it seems. It is a pity though, that the CCAA are not better at being clear in their written documents, at least those presented publicly. Maybe they send more detailed ones to he agencies? Don’t know.

  18. chickensoupforchina Says:

    I wonder if this rumor of not locking until you are ready to commit is among agencies new to SN. My agency is new to the program. Just curious.

  19. zgirl1 Says:

    Chickesoupfor China–I don’t think it is a rumor. It’s what my agency does and has been doing for awhile. They are not new to the SN program. Maybe their interpretation is wrong, but it’s how they run things.

  20. portlandval Says:

    RQ, I am in STRONG agreement about getting children into homes as quickly as possible. 3-6 months is an eternity for a two year old child. A year is half their life. How I wish my daughter had come home a year earlier but that is water under the bridge now. Glad to see clarification to make things better for the kids though it might be tough on the PAPs.

  21. bailey Says:

    I am happy for the waiting children and waiting parents that these changes have been made. It breaks my heart to think about the amount of time DS was in an institution.

    If an agencies reason for not locking until a family is absolutely positive is because the agency can’t lock the file for 2 more weeks if it is unlocked, then the agency is not acting in the best interest of the children and their clients. A doctor’s review is very important to most families and it is expensive. It is also an emotionally taxing process for all outcomes after a doctor’s review. These agencies seem to be looking out for their own interests.

  22. chickensoupforchina Says:

    Hi bailey,
    I’m not clear on how you think an agency is looking out for their own best interest by not locking a file. If anything, they lose business by doing this. My agency was clear that they understood this practice would put them behind other agencies that would lock a file immediately. They have stood their ground that this is what was told to them by the CCAA, and they will continue to follow the rules as they understand them regardless if it hurts their business.

    I’m not arguing that that they may be interpreting the rules differently than most. Nor am I arguing that interpretation is correct. I don’t know. However, I fail to see how losing business is acting in their own best interest.

  23. RumorQueen Says:

    csfc – some of them simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of the list, and they are making excuses that keep them from having to deal with it. I don’t know which agency you are with, and whether this applies to them or not. But, for a few multi country agencies who are fine with their current business model, they don’t want to put the manpower towards dealing with the list. It means keeping someone up at night when a new list comes out (many have two people stay up – one to work the list and a support person to handle paperwork in the background), and it means keeping a person up 48 hours later to catch the babies that come back on the list who were locked and not LOI’d. And now it may require another night, 30 days after a list comes out. The agencies who really work the list have several people assigned to it who spend a great deal of time with it. Some agencies haven’t aimed their resources towards the list, and when their clients demand answers, these are the convenient answers.

    Again – not saying this is true of all of them.

  24. chickensoupforchina Says:

    I see what you are saying, and yes it is a multi-country agency so I understand the point you are making. They are standing firm that this comes directly from the CCAA, but given your example I do see another perspective. Thank you.

  25. josiane Says:

    Hi RQ,

    I guess I’ve been a little puzzled with what you posted on the wall today, something didn’t sit quite just right. I asked our agency to explain what the actual procedure is. They explained that after meeting with the CCAA and checking every information the CCAA had sent on the SN program, they are very sure about the way it is suppose to be done. The CCAA directives are clear that the 48 hours time period is not there for an agency to reserve a child on a list without having talked first to the adoptive parents they think could be interested by this child. It is only when the adoptive parents (after having consulted a doctor) say the are ready to accept the proposal, than the agency can block the child’s file on the list. Considering everything that’s been posted here on the subject, I asked our agency if they had any proof of this. They sent me a copy of letter the CCAA had sent to all of the agencies. The CCAA states clearly : “About 48 hours (time period), we explained and clarified before that the 48 hours after lock-up is the time for agencies to input the basic information of the adoptive families, instead of looking for prospective adoptive families and the decision-making of the families. That is to say, prospective adoptive families should have already thougt over the adoption and made their decision to adopt before the agency lock the file of the child as required by the family and input basic information of the family within 48 hours. If, as some agencies have understood it, the adoptive family start to study the child’s file after the lock-up, consult relevant specialists and confirm with their medical insurance companies about the medical expense of the child, etc. 48 hours is apparently not enough. Therefore adoption agencies and families should interpret the concept of 48 hours correctly, regulate their own working procedure and be responsible for the adopters as well as the adoptees so that we can create a better working procedure and atmosphere in the operation of online special needs program.

    I know it is frustrating, because some doctors demand a lot of money to check on files, that is why I guess it is important to really get well informed on the medical conditions you are willing to deal with. You should give your agency as much details as you can related to these conditions, so they can try to make the better match possible between a child and a family. Let’s face it, lock a child’s file too early and having to make life-changing decision in 48h (or now 72) is ridiculous. It’s not the parents best interests and mostly it is absolutely not in the child’s best interests.

  26. RumorQueen Says:

    josiane – the problem here is that other agencies have correspondence that says something different, that makes it seem clear that, while the 48 hours is not for them to find a family for the child – it is there for the family to make sure they want to submit a LOI for the child.

    Is this a case of two people at CCAA understanding it differently and giving out different advice? Or is it the case of advice a year ago versus advice a few weeks ago? I honestly don’t know – but there are agencies who have recieved clarification that the 48 (now 72) hours is there for families to make the extra steps necessary to make sure they can handle this particular child’s special needs.

    As others have said, getting a doctor to look over a file is expensive. Having dozens of families all trying to contact a doctor and make a quick decision before someone else does is also not in anyone’s best interest. Not only for the financial impact of talking to a doctor maybe a dozen or so times before you manage to be first, but the heartrending impact as well, of making the decision to adopt this particular child, only to be told it was locked just as you were calling the agency to tell them to lock the file for you.

  27. chickensoupforchina Says:

    Oh, one other thing Off Topic-
    LOVING Undress Me In The Temple Of Heaven. I can’t put it down. Thanks for the book rec. Would love to see more like this.

  28. sierrasmom Says:

    I do understand about being LID first etc, but what about the part of agencies not having designated lists. I still feel there are people , like me, who have adotped and may want to adopt again. There have been many children who have been on lists a long time who have been adopted because some one saw their face, read their files, and decided to take a leap of faith and go for it. These children may still have been waiting on a list if no one saw them. I wish these children can be put on agency’s websites and rotated. I really believe it gives these children a better chance than the shared list! Maybe I am wrong. I certainly hope so.

  29. cindy in AL Says:


    I understand what you are saying and agree with your concerns. The children that most benefited from the designated list are the hard to place children. They seen to need greater exposure to find their family for example the children close to aging out.

  30. RumorQueen Says:

    Since China signed with Hague, no one has been supposed to have information about a child that was open for adoption on the open internet anywhere – no pictures, no name, nothing identifying at all. That practice should have stopped a long time ago, so I guess I’m a bit confused. If a family was interested in adopting a special needs child then agencies were supposed to talk to people about what children were available on their lists. I can’t see that the shared list will be any different for the hard to place children – if an agency knows a family is interested in a hard to place child they can tell the family about the children available on the shared list. Once a child has been on the list for a bit the odds are that the child will be available long enough for them to talk to the family and see if the family is interested before they lock the child so the family can contact a doctor.

    I am aware that a few agencies had a password protected area where families already vetted by a social worker could look over children on the agency’s list, and for those agencies I’m guessing they will find a way to do something similar to help get the word out about the harder to place children on the shared list. If they could do it with just an age, gender, and the special need, but with no names or photos, then that will probably be okay under the CCAA’s new rules. Probably, not sure, but I’m betting someone will be talking to CCAA about it to see if it will be okay.

  31. gatorbait Says:

    Hi RQ and others,

    I hope the changes do help families who have been waiting a long time for their children :) They do deserve to be parents right now. But the truth of the matter is, I know I and others have had access to several agencies lists without being a client of the agencies. We did have to complete an application to access a password protected site, and being we adopted before we were usually approved since we were searching again for an older SN child, but usually no fee needed to be paid up front. So, I could look for children, and advocate for others that are harder to place. I found our newest daughter on Rainbow Kids, and without that photo listing, I never would have known about her. She was with an agency I did not apply for access to. My husband saw her photo and agree to adopt her. As I posted on the SN forum, she actually had very short cropped hair and looked like a boy, but her smile won my husband over. We are not the only people like this. I have corresponded with many parents who saw a picture of a child whose profile did not fit what they thought they would want to adopt, and they had a change of heart. Many people are visual thinkers/ learners.

    We did not have the financial ability to apply to every agency that had individual lists and shared lists when we started the ‘chase’ again in 2008. If the CCAA does go to a Shared List only policy, and I have had three agencies tell me this this week that will be the case, then a family will have to be LID and commit to an agency before they can be considered, unless the child has been on the list for over a month. Well, I looked at the Shared lIst last Friday, and there were over 1,000 children on it, many who had been there since last Summer. The dates they were entered are on the same line as their DOB’s. There are no pictures, though. Obviously, those children are “hard to place” especially since I have been reading about people with LID’s dated from almost 3 years ago in the SN line still waiting. Apparently, these children are not the ones that are easy to adopt to families for whatever reason. But with no pictures to possibly pull at your heart strings, these children may never get placed. Let me give an example just from the last week. I have been advocating for a particular child who is 9 that I have video of and pictures of, and that is what everyone has requested to see. Most want to see her picture more than ask me more questions about her, and I do understand this because I am a visual person too. People do generally want to see a picture. It does change hearts and minds to put a face with a number and name.

    Like I said before, I am OK with the CCAA changes. I am sure there will be many more to come, as the adoption program continues to forever evolve. I am OK with families with LID’s being matched first. That is all good because that means children will be coming home sooner. I just hope that the CCAA will keep a list of the harder to place children with pictures for us advocates to post about and help them place these children if they do get rid of the agency only lists. With a list of over 1,000 currently waiting children that apparently do not match any of the current families’ LID’s criteria, someone needs to advocate for them.

    There will still be families with later LID’s getting matched before others because they are open to older children or different SN than the majority of people. If the majority of people would like a younger child, regardless of the SN, then they will wait longer than a family just applying who will take an older child just because of the numbers. Nothing personal, just pure math. There are only so many SN children that are younger, and only so many that are older. If less people want the older children, than the odds are greater that they will be matched first because they have, dare I say it, less competition.

    I truly do wish the best for everyone waiting on a match. I wish there was a better system, and I think CCAA is trying their best to tweak this one to make it he best system possible.

    Take care all,

  32. RumorQueen Says:

    This policy did not stop the picture listings – the Hague stopped that. Or, it was supposed to have stopped it, anyway. I don’t see it ever being okay (as in, within the rules) to try to “advertise” kids with identifying information ever again – and that includes a picture. Only a child’s parents are supposed to have the legal right to post a child’s picture online. Some agencies take that to the extent that families can’t post pictures after matching, that they must wait until the adoption is final.. but most say it is okay once a referral (for NSN) or PA or TA (for SN) is in place. But under no circumstances that I’m aware of, is it okay for an agency to post a child’s image or other identifying information online.

    You said you didn’t have the funds to sign up with multiple agencies to have access to all of their lists – this solves that problem. All agencies now have access to all of the kids, you don’t have to go from agency to agency to agency to have access to the available kids, one agency can access them all.

  33. RumorQueen Says:

    I agree that I think the CCAA is working to try to tweak the system to make it work as well as possible.

    We’ve come a long ways from the days when agencies made parents compete for children. It’s much better than it was.

  34. sierrasmom Says:

    Thank you gatorbait for saying so well what I was trying to say.

  35. sierrasmom Says:

    Also there are still agencies that have “Camp” kids on their websites and will be allowed to continue to. I’m sorry, I just liked it that some of these kids had agencies that were advocating for them. They weren’t one of a thousand, they were one of maybe 15. And all of us would spread the word and advocate for them.

  36. gatorbait Says:

    Thank you Sierrasmom :)

    I will keep an eye on the different Camp kids on agency sites that I can access. Anyway that these children can come home quicker, whether it is because of the new policies being implemented or people advocating for particular children, all serves the same purpose. It is a win-win for the children and their new families :):)

    I have read some posts where people feel that their choice of SN is being belittled by others. Please do not feel that because some of us advocate for older children or some that appear to have severe SN’s that any new child is not a blessing :) Special needs or not, it is always a great time when a match is made. I know there are some SN’s that my family could not properly handle. Every child needs a family, and every family knows what they handle. Regardless of whether a family chooses what some would perceive as a severe SN or a minor SN, they all deserve homes and I would hope everyone would rejoice each time a child finds their forever family.

    Have a great night everyone, and congrats to everyone who just made it through review. WOW, that box jumped a lot :):)

    Take care,

  37. bailey Says:

    The logic behind an agency looking out for their own interests is based on a statement that was something like the agency’s was concerned they would not be able to lock the file again for two weeks. They could lose the chance to lock the file so perhaps they are locking first for those willing to submit an LOI right away without the review period. They could be more concerned about getting a file locked and not unlocked than a process that provides families with the time they need. It could be put pressure on people to agree to lock and submit LOI without a doctor’s review.

    If the agency simply stated that they are following rules and not that they were worried about when the agency could lock the file again, I would interpret it differently.

    It could be an incorrect interpretation based on little information but I am always concerned when PAPs don’t have the time to make the most informed decision possible.

  38. meryl Says:

    Hello …

    The reason for the CCAA rule that is under discussion: there was one specific agency “locking tons of files” then fishing for families online (who could then sign up with that agency and complete their dossiers).

    This new, wonderful rule prevents this agency from doing that anymore.

    Meryl in Minnesota

  39. Mamman Says:

    Thank you RQ for pointing out the fact about pics and Hague. I have discussed this several times in the sn room and only occasionally find someone who understands what I am talking about.

    Hague is one thing, but even if you put the “rules” aside when thinking about it, I don’t understand how so many adoptive parents can be OK with the mass exposure of he children that would result from all China PAP’s to be, to have access to a photo listing. The thought of hanging the children out like that is to me horrible. To me, it isn’t only about keeping the children’s integrity today, it also has a lot to do with their future and what they may come to think about what happened to them before they got adopted. To know, when you are fifteen, that when you were five and had no say in what would happen to you and you had no family to guard your rights, your picture could be seen by thousands of adoptive parents, who were looking at children to pick their match… and they could even all read about your specal need, sometimes of a very private nature, and maybe there was even some information about your personality – no, I don’t see how a teenager or an adult adoptee would be OK with that. And that is probably the precise reason the Hague has been written the way it has. In my opinion, matching must be done by agencies. But with the possibility for the families to say No, this doesn’t feel like a good match for us.

    I do see the dilemma though, with the harder to place children. I am aware of the many who found their children thanks to the possibility of looking at a photo. I am also aware that the chances for these children will decrease by not having them on agency lists, where the agencies often felt for them like they were “their” kids, thus advocating for them much harder than they might do for the shared list kids, who are “everyone’s”.

    The solution may be some kind of reinforcement from the CCAA towards agencies, to advocate for the harder to place children on the shared list. They already do have the possibility to show pictures to families who might be interested, without violating the rules. Not through photo listings in yahoo groups and such, as is done now, I think that would clearly be against the Hague. But they can do it on an individual basis. Maybe agencies could be assigned specific children to work extra hard to find families for? Don’t know how the reinforcement would take place though… could easily turn into something unethical.

    This is such a difficult issue! Everyone, with all the different opinions we have on this matter, only want for as many kids as possible to have a family. Even thogh I disagree with a lot of you, I do undestand that that’s what everyone wants. Families for the kids. I so hope there would be a way to improve the system – still following the Hague – so more children would find homes!

  40. krj Says:

    after completing an adoption of a child with a major SN, i see the time frame of 2-3 days to make a decision as absolutely detrimental for the child (and potentially, the parents). adoption period is life changing, huge. add in the complexities that come with medical needs, 2-3 days is NOT enough time to make a sound decision on BEHALF of the child.

    i was very, very grateful my referral did not come off a shared list. it took us 16 days. we wanted to be absolutely sure we could provide her with the best care. there is no way we could have tackled consults with a neurosurgeon, orthopedist, pediatrician, physical therapist, AND tackled my insurance, our home status (we had to have someone come into our home to make sure it was workable for a child in a wheelchair), etc, schools and after school programs for a child who is disabled…

    the list goes on. it took 16 days to get through it all and say yes to our amazing daughter.