The Approval and Referral Process
In conjunction with the adoption of Daji, the approval and referral process lasted approximately two years; this was the same timeframe as with Yanmei. However where with Yanmei the approval took approximately a year and the referral another year; with Daji, the approval process took 8 months and the referral process (including waiting to travel) 16 months.
The wait seemed far, far longer this time around. There are probably a number of reasons for us feeling that way:
We sent off the adoption forms in September 2000, six months after bringing Yanmei home - six months being the earliest point in time that one can apply for adoption. We already knew that if accepted it would be for a child between 2 and 4 years of age, but at least 9 months younger than Yanmei.
This section describes the approval process, that is from sending the official request to start a new adoption until we were approved to adopt a second child by the Social Services; and the referral process, that is from selecting a country from where to adopt, until receipt of the invitation to travel. Day for day, week for week, it describes the meetings, the information supplied and the information received.
It should be noted that the process is different for first time and subsequent adoptions - being a second time adopter, we were exempt from the adoption courses that now are mandatory in Denmark.
The approval and referral process ends upon receipt of the official document, aptly named: "Notice of Coming to China for Adoption". With this document in hand, you are ready to travel to China and a long, long wait will soon be over.