Friday, 10 August 2012

What information is in a child proposal? A call for help

This is a call for help for all those of you who have adopted.  I received a photo yesterday of a young child available for adoption in my country and today received very sketchy information on the child.  The information is not enough on which to make any kind of decision and I am more than frustrated!  

When you receive the proposal on a child what information do you typically receive?  Please leave me a comment so I know what is reasonable to ask for and what is unreasonable.  I have already asked some questions but did not receive terribly helpful answers. The child has just turned six years of age.  If you haven't received a proposal but are in the process, what would you want to know?  What would you want to be included in the package?

I wish I didn't feel like I do, in that information is not forthcoming.   I am curious as to what those of you who adopted from China, Vietnam, Honduras, Russia, Korea and Ethiopia received.

Thank you for your support.  Have a great weekend. 


  1. :-O
    Elizabeth! What a twist of events!!!!

    I can't tell you what's in a referral, of course. But I can tell you what I would expect as a minimum:
    - A picture
    - A name
    - A date of birth
    - Some history (even if it's not very detailed... Like how long has the child been in the orphanage)
    - Height & Weight
    - Results from any health assessments that were done (if the child has been tested for Hep B, HIV, any hearing test, etc. ) I wouldn't expect all those tests to have been done, but if there is anything, it should be in the referral. You should be able to get whatever information you request if you pay for a doctor an an in-country agent to take the child...

    It would be nice to have a little bit of a bio, too... You know, just a short text talking in general about the child's personality. But that's a plus...

    Good luck! I'm very excited for you, I hope this works out!!!


  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    Wow, what a surprise!

    From Honduras I received.....

    - a photo
    - a brief medical with blood work
    - a homestudy that described how he came into care, steps taken to declare him abandoned, his life in care.
    - an assessment.This included things like if he could match or stack objects (fine and gross motor skills) and results were listed as below, at or above other children of his age. There was also discussion regarding his language development and home life.

    I felt that the information was enough to make a decision. In fact, I felt that the information received regarding his history to be excellent. I know the whole story of his abandonment and even the name of the women who found him. When I went to Honduras on the last trip, IHNFA gave me all the photos they had of him from age four months to the referral photo.

    Now from Nepal, I didn't get much but my daughter was much younger. I got two photos, medical, family history and not much else.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Thank you Gen and Wendy.
    Wendy,the homestudy and assessment are the kind of things I am looking for. Adopting an older child I feel like I want a bit more information than the very scant info I am getting. It sounds like this child has never been to school. Without something like the assessment, I am concerned. I am leaning on letting this referral go. Will email you both privately.
    Thanks again,

  4. Good news I hope?

    For Van (Vietnam) we received a medical check-up when he was three months old. It included basics like weight, height etc. There was a small neurological test i.e. able to grasp, follows finger with eyes that kind of thing. They also did HIV and Hepatitis tests. Our situation with Van was a bit unusual as we received the referral when he was a week old and our agency director spent time with him at that time. We basically accepted his proposal then but officially accepted after the three month medical (as technically that is when he was officially proposed). We didn't learn full details about his birth family until we travelled. Throughout the 10 month wait we received about 5 pictures at 1 week old. 5 or so pictures at 3 months old. a few pictures and a video at 6 months old which another travelling family took for us.

    Korea has been very different. We received a very detailed medical along with a report from the foster mother as to his (Gerad Yihyun's) day to day routine and his personality (what he likes to eat, how he sleeps, toys he likes etc.). We also received a lot of details about his birth parents including what they look like, their personalities, what they do for a living and what their parents (the grandparents) do. Korea was incredibly detailed. With his referral we received 11 pictures. We then received an additional updated 15 pictures along with a video about 6 weeks after we received his referral.

    Both times we took the medical reports to our family doctors which I think is an important step.

    Hope that helps. Feel free to email too :)


  5. Thanks Meg. Wow! The people in Korea have given you so much information. What a detailed program. To get information on the grandparents is really amazing. I hope things move ahead quickly for you and you get to travel soon.