When a child is available for adoption, the country will match that child with adopting parents who can best suit his or her personal needs. Couples who are more open to either gender, various ages, or medical status will likely receive a referral more quickly than parents who want one particular type of child.
It is important to note that some countries do not allow pre-identification of children, so the parents will not receive a referral until they visit the country. When adopting parents receive a referral, their adoption agency will be notified. The social worker will call to tell the parents and will set up a meeting to show them the child's information. The parents will be able to view the child's medical records, social history and photographs (though some agencies withhold photographs until the parents accept the referral).
The amount of information that is available to the parents depends on the country. In some cases the medical history of the parents and a videotape might also be included with the referral. An adoption professional can advise the parents how much information they can expect to get based on the country they are adopting from. Parents are encouraged to take their time and deeply contemplate whether or not to accept a referral.
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