The Approval and Referral Process
The approval and referral process lasted approximately two years. We sent off the adoption forms in February 1998, we were accepted as adoptive parents in February 1999, and we received the go ahead to travel to China on February 21st, 2000.
In Denmark it has often been debated why adoptive parents need to be approved. One wonders whether or not most potential adoptive parents haven’t already been through enough, without having to go through a process that they wouldn’t have needed to go through if they weren’t adopting. Our approval process was, we must admit, fairly straightforward. It was nether traumatic, as one sometimes hears, just something that had to be done.
This section is split into two parts. The first part describes the approval process, that is from sending the papers through actually being approved as adopters. The second part covers the referral process, from filling out the forms through receiving the information about Yanmei up until being invited to travel to China. Day for day, week for week, it describes the meetings, the information supplied and the information received. It should be noted that in Denmark, the process has since changed.
The approval and referral process ends upon receipt of an 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 is now over. For many however, the time from referral to travel, i.e. the time from when you actually know who you will be adopting and have a picture of your coming son or daughter, seems far far longer than the whole of the approval and referral process.