Adoption in the Age of COVID-19
There are presently 1.5 million adopted children in the United States. Prospective parents are now facing new challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. Fertility treatments have been postponed while surrogacy, foster care and adoption have all been affected.
Don’t Give Up Hope
In May, an exciting event occurred in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. An American family, the Boyers, went back to the Congo to live with two boys they wanted to adopt. They became one of 69 adoptive families, which included 14 from the U.S., that were finally issued exit letters to leave the Congo. They are now all home but will probably have to be in quarantine for a while. Smiles were evident as masks were taken off.
International Adoptions Affected
Especially in China, which has been impacted since early February, international travel has been significantly impacted during the COVID-19 crisis. This has had a major impact on international adoptions as China is the leading origin country for adopted children. In an unprecedented situation, adoptive families are rethinking travel plans.
When considering travel, you should realize that quarantine time frames can change. You may want to also consider what can happen if you are quarantined while abroad.
Another consideration, if you do travel abroad for your new family, is that some Americans are being discriminated against after returning home from overseas. You obviously do not want this to impact your adopted child’s period of adjustment, so keep this point in mind.
Zoom Helps Out in the U.S.
With court hearings being done online due to the pandemic, a solution became available to one adoptive family in Arkansas in April. The parents were fostering a 2-year-old child they knew that they wanted to adopt. However, the date that the parents were terminating their rights was April 16, which was the date planned for the adoption. With courts closed, the adoption hearing took place through a video call on Zoom. It was still special, just celebrated in a different way.
Flexibility may be required when adopting right now. Delays are inevitable as courts and agencies adjust to the new normal. Remember that you need to notify the adoption agency if someone in your household is sick.
If you are feeling a lack of hope right now, counseling and conferences with other parents are still available online. Support is available 24/7. Aside from practicing safe distancing and regular hand washing, you want to take care of your mental health by not reading or listening to sensationalized stories and gossip from unreliable sources.
The Sun Will Come Out Again
You may feel disappointment when delays threaten your plans for adoption. With the urgency to share your love with a special child who is waiting for a permanent family, it has become a difficult time. Fear and sadness are being felt right now by many who are waiting.
Know that waiting may be in your and your soon-to-be child’s favor. The adjustment period in a new home will be better handled after quarantine when things return to a new version of normal. At that point, bringing a child into your home will be filled with the joy and excitement that you’re expecting.
Your adoption agency can help you if you need mental health services or have questions regarding creating a home for a child during the pandemic. When it comes to legal issues and adoption in 2020, you’ll want to partner with a trusted PA adoption attorney.
At the office of Cofsky & Zeidman, we understand that the pandemic has changed the timing and legal process for adoption. You can turn to us if you need a local PA adoption attorney who can assist you with a full range of legal issues, whether the adoption is foreign or domestic. Contact us at (856) 429-5005 for more information. You’ll have your questions answered by a professional legal firm with offices in Haddonfield, Woodbury, and Philadelphia.