Before we adopted, my friend Nikki did a post like this that was very helpful for us. We have been asked many questions about this process, so I thought I would go ahead and write a blog post about it. If you are considering adoption here are some reasons why the Philippines is a GREAT program.
1) THE COST
While all adoptions require a great deal of sacrifice on the adoptive parents part, the Filipino program is relatively inexpensive compared with many other domestic and international programs – up to $10,000 LESS depending on your agency.
2) IN COUNTRY STAY
For us a huge factor was the in country requirements. With four small children, we didn’t want to be separated from them for extreme amounts of time. The requirement for the Philippines is 3-5 days in country. There is only one trip required, and that is the trip to pick up your child!
3) INCOME STANDARDS
This is one which many families enter with knees shaking. Good news! THERE IS NO MINIMUM INCOME REQUIREMENT in order to adopt through the Philippines. The only U.S. requirement is that you meet these guidelines – http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=73c63591ec04d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD
4) LOTS OF INFO
The Philippines is extremely thorough with the information that they give you regarding your child. They want your adoption to be successful as much as you want your adoption to be successful. They don’t want you to bring your child home and discover some huge issue that was hidden from you. They are extremely upfront about all information.
The timeline in adopting a waiting child from the Philippines, is relatively fast. This does not apply if you are on the waiting list for a baby. If, however, you are willing to consider a child that may have some special needs (some extremely minor in nature) then, you can expect from the time you turn in your application to the time you bring your son or daughter home to wait about 8-12 mos.
This was a HUGE deal for us! If you are adopting a child that is a little bit older, they will usually grant your request to skype with your child once you have been officially matched. The times and how often are left up to the child caring agency and what is convenient for them. We have found that skype has been the best gift. It has taken away the nervousness of being strangers and has given us a chance to begin to get to know our son. I can’t even begin to describe what a gift this has been!
Here is my shameless plug for my amazing agency. Christian Adoption Services has been INCREDIBLE to work with. I have heard nightmares about other agencies, and I can confidently say we have nothing but glowing things to say about our agency. Jim and Jenica run the Philippines program, and they are both absolutely wonderful to work with. They really did everything for me that they possibly could have, and answered my one million questions. If you are looking to adopt, this is the agency to go with!
This is by far, one of the most important reasons you should consider the Philippines. Being a Hague country is a huge catalyst for preventing child trafficking. Many, many well-meaning couples decide to adopt, but they have a list of requirements of what type of child they are willing to consider. Unfortunately, this has opened the doors to trafficking. Children that aren’t really orphans are adopted on a regular basis. I strongly encourage you to research this issue before jumping into the international waters, and should you decide to go with a non-Hague country, please do your research and choose and agency that is completely above-board.
In a Hague country, the children have papers describing exactly why they were orphaned. If they, like my son, were abandoned, then you can rest assured that for at least a YEAR or MORE the child caring agency searched and searched through multiple means to find the child’s family and get anyone to come forward to care for them. If the child was surrendered, then there is a fingerprint or signature of the parent that made the decision. The records are very thorough and there is not mistaking, these children are truly orphaned. The Hague requirements protect against so much.
Thinking about international adoption? You should consider the Philippines!