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Waiting to Wait

Patience is a virtue. Sadly, it is not one I possess. So the concept of waiting to wait is very difficult for me, to say the least.

What is “waiting to wait?”
As our previous posts explained, we went to the orientation, seminar, finished adoption education coursework, completed a stack of  paperwork, and had four sets of interviews. All of that is in preparation of our Home Study. The Home Study is a report that remains in our file that justifies our approval as foster parents. This has to be completed before we can be presented to expectant parents as prospective adoptive parents.

Why do we have to be certified as foster parents?
In order to answer this I need to explain the timing of the transfer of legal rights within adoption. The birth mother cannot relinquish her rights to a child in the State of California until she has been discharged from the hospital and is off of any medications that could be considered “impairing to judgement.” Our agency usually waits 5-7 days after the baby is born to meet with the birth mother to complete that paperwork. Depending on the status of the birth father, it can take up to a month to have his legal rights revoked. In order for us to take the child home from the hospital before the parents relinquish their rights, we are certified as foster parents. So, depending on the situation, we could technically be foster parents to this child for the first month of his life. But once both birth parents relinquish their rights, they cannot change their mind.

At this point in the process we are just waiting for our agency to complete that final step, the Home Study. Once the Home Study is completed and we are certified as foster parents, then we can start “the wait.” “The wait” is the period of time between when the Home Study is complete and we bring home a baby. It is called “the wait” because that is all you are doing is waiting. Waiting to be selected by expectant parents, waiting for that call that there has been a match, waiting to meet the expectant mother and possibly the father, waiting for the child to be born, waiting to finally hold our child in our arms. No one ever knows how long the wait is going to be. It could be days; it could be years.

For now, I’m just waiting to wait …

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