Vietnam Adoption: Things I’ve Learned

August 04

Vietnam Adoption: Things I’ve Learned

Before I get into today’s topic, I need to share:  the purple is finally almost all washed out of my hair.  There are pluses and minuses to this.

On the plus side:

*  I can now visit with old friends whom I haven’t seen in years without feeling . . . well . . . purple headed.  Too bad the friends were in town last weekend.
*  I can now wear green shirts without totally clashing with my hair, thereby making me look sickly and putrid.
*  When out in public, people no longer stare at my children with pity for having to grow up with such a strange mother.
*  McH is starting to look at me like a person again, rather than a pole dancer, and I don’t feel compelled to plaster myself with frownies in self defense.

On the minus side:

*  My gray hairs are gray again.
*  I no longer look “hot” (which is how my happily married, mother of two, non-gay neighbor described me with purple hair).

On to adoption stuff.  Please feel free to correct me if I’m sharing misinformation, but I just thought I’d share a thing or two I’ve learned over the past few months.

First, as I think we all know, when a child is abandoned in Vietnam there are two 30-day waiting periods.  The first, as I understand it, is a 30-day period in which the provincial officials advertise that the baby was found in an attempt to locate the birth parent(s).  The second 30-day period is to advertise/publicize that the child was found in an attempt to find any relative or any Vietnamese person who would like to adopt the child.  In the case of a relinquished child there is only one 30-day waiting period.  I’m not quite clear what it is for.  Once the 30-day waiting period(s) are up, the orphanage director can then sign the paperwork approving the child being referred to a specific family, and then the orphanage notifies the IAD of the match.  But this we knew, right?

What I didn’t know until relatively recently (relative to the fact that I’ve been alive for almost 37 years) is that these waiting periods do not begin the day the child is found or relinquished.  Before these waiting periods can officially begin, a provincial governing body, the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, must review the child’s case and approve moving on with the whole adoption process.  Sometimes the DOLISA decision isn’t made until a few months after a child is found/relinquished.  With our agency, a referral is not made until all required waiting periods are over, all other necessary paperwork is gathered, and the child’s orphanage notifies the IAD of their intention to refer the particular child to the particular family.

Something else I know is that there is a little boy in a somewhat northern province whose necessary paperwork is gathered and required 30-day waiting period(s) are up.  Today.  Well, maybe tomorrow.  Close enough given that it’s the weekend anyway.  Now we just wait for the orphanage director to sign off and notify the IAD.

See, I told you I knew stuff.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

*Edited to add:  No, no referral yet.  Remember, that one will be titled: Referral!  Referral!  This is Not a Joke!  Also, since this is the weekend, nobody is going to be signing off on anything before Monday, at the earliest.  And, as with everything else adoption related, there are no guarantees that anything actually will be signed on Monday.  Even if it is, things then have to go to the IAD.  So, still possibly a couple of weeks until referral.

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