Yesterday, I met with the social worker responsible for the international adoptions. My cousin Heidi came with me and of course, my attorney was there too. It turns out that there was a problem with the translation of our last document – the one where we had to answer questions about characteristics of the children. Translated, it said that we would accept children with special needs but not with any physical or emotional problems. Of course that doesn’t make sense. And the truth of the matter is that all of the children in the system have some problems, but most are correctable. So we spent time clarifying with the social worker what we could handle and that was very important for us to fix.
For those of you who are waiting now to adopt from Costa Rica now, here’s what else we learned:
There are now 16 international families approved and waiting for children. Ten have requested two or more children. The rest only requested one child. Most families requested girls. And of course, because of the age requirements, most have requested children between the ages of 6 and 8.
There are 72 Costa Rican families approved and waiting for children. Most of them have requested babies or toddlers (0-3 or 0-4). If there are children ready for adoption who are older (age 5 for example), they will turn to the international list if no Costa Rican families will take them.
Right now, there are not many children ready yet (legally approved to be adopted). I was told that this is normal. Children are placed as soon as they are ready. The social worker did not know how many children are close to being ready yet, but said that PANI is working on improving their efficiencies on a state-wide level to get the children approved faster. She said that there have already been improvements over the past year. This is good news.