July 9, 2011

Questions, Part 1

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The photo to the right was taken during our recent trip to Wuhan, Hubei.

Thanks so much to everyone who responded to my first post!!! Lots of great things to discuss! As you probably can see, there are too many questions to answer in just one post, so I'll be breaking this into several separate posts over the next few weeks.

Question #1: My questions would be: typically how long nowadays is LID from DTC and then from LID to travel? We are adopting an older girl from Shaanxi and hope to be DTC in 6 weeks - 2 months tops!

First of all, congratulations on your daughter! We adopted a sweet little guy from Shaanxi last year. He was in the Xi'an CWI and is now four years old. He's doing great! Now about your questions.

  • It is taking anywhere from 1-4 weeks after DTC to receive your LID. I know that's kind of a broad range, but it really does vary. I have seen some relatively quick LIDs recently (less than a week), but then a few others who waited longer (close to a month).

  • Currently, a good estimate for travel is 4-6 months after your LID. That is pretty accurate right now. A lot of it depends on how quickly your LOA arrives. Unfortunately, the wait for LOA has definitely increased recently for some reason, which has lengthened this timeline. Last fall, I would have said 3-5 months. That was our scenario.....LID on 10/12, LOA almost exactly a month later, TA two months later. So we received our TA three months after LID. But this spring the wait times have been increasing. So 4-6 months is a good estimate.

Question #2: Is it really recommended to have your referral file reviewed by an adoption clinic? If you have a great pediatrician, is it okay to have them look at the child's file?

If you have a pediatrician that you trust, it is absolutely okay to have them look at the child's file. Not everyone has their referral reviewed by an adoption clinic. We never had any of our files reviewed in this manner. Not only is it a considerable expense for our family, but we didn't feel it was necessary. We have a great family doctor (who is also a close friend) who assisted us in reviewing our files. Our family doctor has a son with the same special need that we were adopting, so we felt he was the best choice to help us review our little guy's file

alt textHowever, there can be great benefit in using an adoption clinic, or a clinic that specializes in the child's need. The needs we were looking at weren't severe or life threatening and were pretty clear cut....for a family adopting a heart baby or a child with spinal issues, it may be more critical to have the opinion of a professional skilled in international adoption.  Also, obtaining the opinion of a doctor who has experience in international adoption can be greatly beneficial in helping you know what to look for as well as interpreting the information in the file. 

On the flip side, international adoption doctors have usually seen a LOT (including some very worst case scenarios) and can often end up painting a very bleak picture after reviewing your child's referral. 

If you do choose to have your child's referral reviewed by an adoption clinic, you can apply for a grant from The Sparrow Fund to help you cover the expense of the medical review. This is a great assistance to families who wish to have this review of their child's file. 

At the end of the day, there is limited information that you as an adoptive parent will be given in the referral, and there is no guarantee that all of it is 100% accurate. You can only do your best with the information you have and the opinion of trusted doctors. But don't feel guilty or bad if you choose not to use an adoption clinic. On the other hand, know that is a great option!
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Courtney lives in the hot southwest with her big crazy family! Three of her five siblings have been added to the family via the miracle of adoption, including two virtual twins from China (Hubei and Shaanxi provinces)!  She is the creator of China Adoption Online and is passionate about adoption and orphan advocacy. Courtney desires to help as many families as possible through the process and would love to return to China one day to make a difference in the lives of the children left behind. Her greatest dream is to become a wife and mother of her own little (or large!) brood someday. 

Website: www.china-adoption-online.com
Blog: www.courtneykrause.blogspot.com
Email: courtneyinaz@gmail.com


  1. It is noteworthy to add that if you do choose to use an adoption clinic, you do not have to be local to that clinic.

    For example (and I confess to a bias here since they help pay my mortgage!) the International Adoption Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (voted top children's hospital in the nation again, 7th or 8th year running - see, I'm biased, I know) will review files as long as you can fax or email them to the doctors.

    They are fabulous and soooo well-versed in the "read between the lines" type nuances of medical files in other languages.

    The link to CHOP's program is: http://www.chop.edu/service/adoption/

  2. That is exactly right.....you do NOT have to be local in order to use any of these adoption clinics! CHOPS's program is great and is very well known (and often used) in the adoption community.

  3. I'll chime in on this one - while a lot of us are China families (we have two from there but our first was from Korea) - there are other countries as well that will have different resources. The IAC at our Cinti Children's Hosp Med Center (CCHMC) - same family as CHOP - was able to get our first adopted (a VSD) and echo at a hospital in Seoul that they then reviewed and simply pronounced "You get her home and we'll make her well"....music to any parents ears! We were comfortable with our other two kids needs and opted to not use those resources on those two adoptions. Resources abound - and if it increases your "comfort level" - then by all means!
    PS - nice plug for CHOP - we love those guys too! ;)