The Current State of International Adoptions in Bolivia

Four adoptions from the House of Dreams in the last two months is very exciting. As of late the lawyers, social workers and adoption agencies in the city have been working overtime to make sure that as many international adoptions can happen quickly. The reason being that there is a very real threat of the eradication of international adoption of Bolivian children.

The signs are all present. The handful of countries that do have agencies working with Bolivia to realize adoptions have what I will call a ‘contract’ to be able to do what they do. Most, if not all, of the countries are in Europe. Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, and Holland are the ones I know of. Some of these contracts are coming up to their expiration date and will not be renewed. There are rumors that the current administration would like to have a system the same as Venezuela with only national adoptions.

The social services office has had to turn children away because their case load is so heavy. The sole judge overseeing the affairs of the children in the city has declared that she refuses to accept any new cases until she gets on top of the ones she already has. Every week we get calls to accept children that need a place to live. Our home is not the only one that is overflowing.

The Learning Curve towards National Adoptions

A great learning curve is in store for the nation if we are going to be able to assist the massive amounts of children in need. Foster care is a new idea. Even Bolivians adopting Bolivian children is a fairly foreign concept. The beaurocracy is frustrating. Education of the general population about healthy family practices (such as avoiding alcoholism and drug abuse, finance management, and caring for kids) needs to increase. More social workers, judges and local adoption agencies would be a great help. It is doable. There are talks underway to move towards these changes. A few pioneers, not afraid of the work, have rolled up their sleeves. For that I am thankful and it gives me hope.

Our Lawyer and the Latest with our Adoption

We have a good lawyer who tries hard to keep a pulse on the latest of all pertaining to adoptions both internationally and nationally. She is one of the people helping to push towards changes in the legal process to aid more kids. We are grateful for her 13+ years of experience and dedication.

Whenever I talk to her on the phone I get all jittery. I know she is going to be blunt. I know she is going to say something that is going to get me all riled up. So I take a few deep breaths and dial. She talks rather fast, so I have to pay very close attention to understand.

A month has passed since we moved into the phase of our adoption that we are in now. She told me to check back with her after a month. I didn’t want to, but I did it anyway. We talked about the state of the orphanage and international adoptions. I verified some rumors I had heard. I asked her to check on some things for our home. Then I came to the main reason I had called: is there any news?

AdoptionShe told me that we need to keep being patient for the assignment. So that is fine. I can handle that. After all, she did tell us the assignment could take up to two months. Then she did tell me something that sent my head spinning in a cocktail of, “I’ll believe it when I see it” mixed with, “oh, this is wonderful!” She told us that she had found out that we had been approved to adopt a little girl instead of a baby. For a time that was the big question. She originally advised us to not even try to get a child older than our youngest natural born (2 years old) due to the judge’s tendencies. We told her that we wanted to try. To show good faith and meet them half way we decided to request a girl between the ages of newborn and four years old. We are glad, yet still a little leery, to know that they have approved the idea that we would adopt a little girl instead of a baby.

We will hopefully hear something more in the coming month. That timeframe may change. Who knows? God knows. We are trusting Him to orchestrate this. In the meantime life goes on.


8 thoughts on “Jittery

  1. Oh wow! In some ways I feel/sense chaos all over, everywhere! Come Lord Jesus!

    But in the meantime…exciting news about your new daughter!!

    And your closing line now has me humming, the la, la, la…life goes on song! :o)

  2. Angie, you certainly have your arms so full with the good you are doing in Bolivia. I hope that soon your arms will be full embracing your new little girl!

  3. I would be interested in talking to you more about your thoughts on foster care… that is something that Josh and I have seen as a need here in the city. Maybe we could get some of our families in the church interested and/or trained? Anyway, we’ll talk :)

    1. Yes, let’s talk. We are currently watching Jennifer Thompson get her foster program up and running so that we can follow the path she is blazing. Seems like there are quite a few things that are not yet standardized that they are having to work out. The wonderful thing is that Jennifer is the one who decides which children from her orphanage move into the foster home. That is what I am hoping to do as well with the members of our church. It would be superb to be able to work with more than one congregation. Great idea! It probably won’t be until the adoption is finalized and we get back from the States that we would start with such an undertaking. So I am guessing first quarter of next year – just to give you a rough gauge. In the meantime, if you have families interested in that more immediately then I would suggest getting in touch with INFANTE; they are organizing independent foster homes. We (the population of Cochabamba, I mean) need all the help we can get.

  4. As I hear about the possibility that international adoption in Bolivia might cease, my heart aches. There are so many precious children that need a loving family. I have seen your struggles and know the time and effort you have put in to adopt your little girl. How can progress be made if people run into a “roadblock” every time they try to move forward? I’m praying for your family. I’m also praying for real changes, good changes to be made to the “system” in Bolivia.

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