The Approval and Referral Process

In conjunction with the adoption of Daji, the approval and referral process lasted approximately two years; this was the same timeframe as with Yanmei. However where with Yanmei the approval took approximately a year and the referral another year; with Daji, the approval process took 8 months and the referral process (including waiting to travel) 16 months. 

The wait seemed far, far longer this time around. There are probably a number of reasons for us feeling that way: 

First and foremost, the wonders of modern technology, and not least the Internet, enabled us to take a far more active interest of where we were in the referral process. We never once checked the progress when we adopted Yanmei. This time we joined a group on Yahoo for dossiers sent to China in July 2001; we followed DanAdopts site on the net and participated in information meetings. Not least the Yahoo site proved a valuable source of information, but also frustration as the referral times got longer and longer.

We'd had such an enjoyable, memorable and powerful/intense experience with Yanmei, that we looked forward to doing it again. We have heard that this is the case with many families experiencing adoption - after experiencing it once, it's like a drug.

We are getting older, less patient and more concerned about a growing age gap there would be between parents and adopted child. In Denmark the difference between oldest parent and child can only be 40 years (with some exceptions for 2nd time adoptions), and a parent can never be older than 46 when sending off the forms for adopting a child.

We sent off the adoption forms in September 2000, six months after bringing Yanmei home - six months being the earliest point in time that one can apply for adoption. We already knew that if accepted it would be for a child between 2 and 4 years of age, but at least 9 months younger than Yanmei. 

This section describes the approval process, that is from sending the official request to start a new adoption until we were approved to adopt a second child by the Social Services; and the referral process, that is from selecting a country from where to adopt, until receipt of the invitation to travel. Day for day, week for week, it describes the meetings, the information supplied and the information received. 

It should be noted that the process is different for first time and subsequent adoptions - being a second time adopter, we were exempt from the adoption courses that now are mandatory in Denmark.

The approval and referral process ends upon receipt of the official document, aptly named: "Notice of Coming to China for Adoption". With this document in hand, you are ready to travel to China and a long, long wait will soon be over. 

 The Notice Of Coming To China For Adoption - the official document needed to be able to tarvel to China for the adoption