How The Pandemic Has Affected Our Adoption Journey

This is part of our monthly check-in with our hopeful adoptive parents to learn more about their adoption journeys and get their thoughts about topics of interest to the adopting community.

 

The world looks very different today than it did just over a year ago.

The global pandemic has changed the way we live, work, learn and just about every other aspect of our lives, including adoption. Especially adoption.

As a result of the new social distancing guidelines, travel bans, and hospital protocols, finding a match with expectant parents as well as adoption placements have become more challenging than ever.

But that hasn’t scared off hopeful parents on our site. They’ve adjusted their plans accordingly and are even more determined to move forward with their adoption plans and become parents. 

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Completing the home study during the pandemic was definitely an experience! We are so grateful for the small police station close by that completed our fingerprinting as there were no other facilities to fingerprint us within a four-hour radius. Our agency transitioned much of our education to online podcasts/webinars as well as made most of our interview visits virtual. We had to create more of an online presence in addition to posting our “hoping to adopt” cards in public places, gas stations, college campuses, etc. Our social restrictions did allow for designated time to complete the education, forms, and have discussions together as well as encouraged further growth of our marriage and relationship.

John and Kay

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As Broadway musicians, the pandemic gave us much more free time than we ever could have imagined. Looking back, we are extremely grateful to have been able to dedicate so much energy and love toward completing our home study process. It truly became our full-time job, as well as giving us an opportunity to fully reconnect with friends and family and share our new journey with them. The unexpected time we were given provided a sense of purpose that kept us going!
Eric and Justin

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We were finally done with all of our adoption paperwork and background checks and were in the final part of being approved to adopt, the home study, when the pandemic hit. It caused a delay in our journey because what we thought would have been only weeks of waiting turned into months. We weren’t able to have anyone in our home for quite a while. Our first meeting with our case worker was done virtually and we still needed to do a walk through of our home but had to wait until it was allowed. So I guess you could say that even though the process of adopting is long, this pandemic made it longer, which means when the time does come for us to be matched it will be even sweeter.

Amelia and Philip

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In the beginning of 2020 we started pursuing adoption just months before the pandemic hit. At the time we were researching adoption agencies and had chosen an agency to complete our home study. We were also simultaneously becoming licensed foster parents and received our license in January 2020. A couple weeks after becoming licensed, we got our first call to foster a two-week-old infant so we decided to put our adoption journey on hold. Our foster daughter was with us about four months during the beginning of the pandemic which not only meant we had to navigate being new parents but also the dynamics of being foster parents during the pandemic; handling virtual visits with her parents, delayed court dates, working from home while caring for her (when daycares were closed), and saying goodbye to her in a parking lot of social services because we were unable to enter the building. After this experience we knew could handle just about anything, so we picked the adoption process back up again, but of course there were still delays because we were still in the pandemic. We finally became active in February of 2021, a full year after starting the process.
Katy and Kyle

The pandemic is actually what accelerated our adoption journey!  We were living in Orlando, Florida when the pandemic hit, and we both got temporarily furloughed.  Suddenly the world stopped.  At first having nothing to do but lie by the pool was heaven – but as the pandemic unfolded we really started to take stock of our lives and what was most important to us.  Starting our family was undeniably at the very top of the list – so we made arrangements to move cross country to join the rest of our family in Denver, Colorado (it takes a village!) and to begin working with an adoption agency.  We always knew that adoption was in our future – but the pandemic moved adoption into our present!
Nick and Jeff

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One way that the pandemic has affected our adoption journey is the amount of time for all of the steps to be completed to connect us with our hopeful little angel! The courts closed right after our home study was complete, so it took a lot longer for our state certification and being able to spread the word about our hopes and dreams. The pandemic has also affected our adoption journey because we have not been able to meet up with our local adoption support group in person. They have been an amazing source of information, support, and love without even having met them, so we cannot wait to see them in person to thank them and hear more about their experiences. Even though the pandemic has affected these things, we believe we have to trust in God’s timing and we will add another beautiful member to our loving home at the perfect time!

Jennifer and Mike

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We had two failed adoptions during the pandemic.  The hardest part for us was not being able to talk face to face with the folks in our support system.  We couldn’t distract ourselves with a day at the beach or a date night out.  We ended up focusing on home projects and turning the garage into a gym.

Sarah and Jenn

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Initially, we believed we chose the wrong time to begin the adoption journey given that a lot of the process that was to be done in person had to be done over web meetings. That, and the assumption there would be fewer expectant mothers with an adoption plan led us to work with an agency that matched less than surrounding agencies did. Because of that, we dedicated our time to self-marketing through various websites and social media platforms to get our journey out to as many birth mothers as possible. As it turns out, self-marketing has worked well for us as we have received a number of contacts about adoption, giving us hope that even in this pandemic we might be able to achieve our dreams of parenthood.
Jackie and Anthony

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During COVID-19 our home study agency shut down. We transferred to another, with more time spent in which we could’ve spent meeting birth families. COVID-19 has affected us like many others: We couldn’t see our family or travel without vaccinations. But we are here, healthy, vaccinated, and so excited to travel to any birth family that may think we’re the right fit!

Jennifer and Alston

 

The pandemic has surprisingly not effected our adoption journey! Maybe being at home more has given us an opportunity to look at others also wanting to adopt? We’ve learned that there’s a lot of families out there also wanting to expand their family with adoption. We’re just blessed to be meeting others from social media and could not have gotten here without the love and support from our family and friends!

Clairessa and Brandon

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We always knew we would start the adoption process in the summer of 2020 but had no idea that time would be one of global pandemic! It has definitely made things more complicated as far as having to request documents by mail rather than a simple in person trip to retrieve them. Also, connections seem to be slow as people are hesitant to interact due to pandemic related fears.
However I think it had made us more resilient and adaptable- we did our home study interviews over zoom and speak with our lawyer regularly over FaceTime! Learning to adapt to unpredictable things will only help us when we become parents.
Megan and Mark

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We began our adoption journey during the pandemic, which unfortunately has meant that we haven’t had any in-person meetings with so many of the critical people along the way, including our adoption attorney, other adoptive parents, or expectant moms. On the other hand, when we started out, we had just evacuated NYC and were living with Galen’s parents; it was wonderful to experience their love and support in person as we made our way through key moments at the beginning of the process.

Nina and Galen 

The pandemic has, at times, made it hard to stay optimistic with the adoption process in times of uncertainty. We started our journey during the pandemic and were met with many changes like virtual visits from our caseworker and possible travel restrictions. We’ve been told that the pandemic has slowed down opportunities so we continue to wait with hope. The scariest is when we hear a birth mom has COVID, our hearts completely break for her knowing that she has some added challenges.
Hadie and Shawn 

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This year has been difficult because of the pandemic, however we have learned some amazing things along the way. We learned to appreciate the simple things in life: our family and friends, God, shelter, food, our health. We learned that we wouldn’t be able to function very well without Disney+! Most importantly it has taught us to slow down and enjoy every moment as a gift.
Kevin and Chrissy

We never could have imagined that, when we started our adoption journey, the world would be faced with a pandemic. Needless to say, the pandemic had an immediate impact. As things were beginning to shut down in New York, including the courts, all of the paperwork that we submitted to become approved as adoptive parents was put on hold. We had already partnered with our lawyer and had an assessment done by a social worker; it literally just became a waiting game. As time went on, we became more anxious as everything holding us back from adopting was out of our control. After many months, we were approved by the courts as adoptive parents; however, so much time had elapsed that we will need to resubmit as it’s been over a year now since we had gotten our home study. However, while the waiting may have made us anxious, the time it took to get approved gave us the opportunity to reflect and further strengthen our commitment to adoption

Daniel and Steven

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Because of travel restrictions, we were initially limiting our search to states we could drive to in a day. Now that we’re vaccinated (halfway there!), we’ve opened up our search a bit more. The pandemic has also given us more free time to educate ourselves about adoption and work on our outreach.

Nadia and Jon

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We have experienced both positive and negative aspects of the pandemic during our adoption journey. We have continued to receive an outpouring of love and support from friends and family. Having more time at home has allowed us to participate in additional trainings, webinars and read additional books on parenting/adoption. Unfortunately, we did have to cancel our in-person fundraisers. We have also seen a decrease in opportunities to have our profile shown to expectant mothers. However, despite the bumps in the road, it has taught us to slow down, reflect and appreciate the journey.

Rachelle and Eric

Do you have an adoption pandemic story? Let us know here. Want to spread the word about your adoption journey and join our monthly conversation? Learn more here.