Almost half of the Flemish looking to adopt end up not going through with the adoption process.
48,8% of candidate-parents tend to drop out because the procedure is too cumbersome or keeps dragging on, according to Het Nieuwsblad. Sometimes, it even happens that there aren’t enough candidate-parents and too many children.
Ariane Van den Berghe, the Flemish adoption officer, put the percentages in perspective, explaining that candidate-parents are regularly found unfit, or quit midway through the procedure because they unexpectedly managed to get pregnant, for example. “In some instances, it’s true that there aren’t enough parents, but those are very specific situations. Some kids have special needs, or they are already a little older.”
The international exchange can be difficult as well. For children from some countries, the procedure is extra difficult and that takes more time. “The conditions are sometimes really strict,” clarified Van den Berghe. “The parents-to-be have to be married for a specific amount of time, religion is important, procedures can be expensive.” It’s not always so obvious.
Now, the goal is to focus on these difficult situations to create more space for an accelerated intake procedure. “Reduced waiting times will limit the number of candidate-parents dropping out.”
In practice, the waiting time varies depending on the specific situation. For some candidates, the procedure goes very quickly, but for some countries, it can take up to 7 or 8 years. “Those are the people I want to support, that way we can make sure these people don’t quit part way through,” said Van den Berghe.
The Brussels Times