Waiting for a child referral in an international adoption may seem like forever. Then the phone rings and its information overload as you hear about a child and receive pictures by fax, e-mail, or in the mail. You may suddenly feel like you have too much information or not enough. Be prepared before the phone rings.
What Is a Child Referral?
A child referral is when an agency matches what they know about you and your family with what they have learned about a child from an orphanage and the caregivers. Some adoption referrals are sketchy on details, but may include the following:
Photos - may be in color or a black and white fax.
Medical information - May include: child's age, weight, height, lab tests (HIV, TB, Hep), medications given, diagnosis, and any complications. Also how the child is growing and developing physically. What should you do with the medical information contained in a referral?
Background information -
May include: Information on the child's birth parents if available. Such as their ages, occupations, religion, and why the child is being placed for adoption. Many of the children are foundlings meaning they were found abandoned.
Developmental information -
Milestones met or missed such as rolling over, sitting up, walking, and talking.
Social information - Comments on how the child interacts with his/her care givers and other children in the orphanage or foster home.
Based on the information you receive - what happens if you decide to say "no" to a child referral?