The COVID-19 pandemic has put thousands of adoptions on hold

The COVID-19 pandemic has put some adoptions on hold for more than a year, leaving hundreds of children waiting in line.

Aimee and Stephen Welch adopted their daughter, Penelope, in 2020. But due to the pandemic, they have been waiting for more than a year to bring her home from China.

“Every time I go into her room and to see her pink bed there, that’s no one has slept in. It’s just a heartbreaking reality,” Aimee Welch said.

“She knows we’re coming. She draws pictures of a house with ‘mommy and daddy’ written on it,” Stephen Welch said.

The China Adoption Program is a special-needs adoption program, meaning the year-long wait has had some devastating consequences.

“Many families that we’re in touch with, whose children have deteriorating conditions or need urgent surgeries or therapies that they just can’t get until they are home,” Aimee Welch said.

International adoptions have opened up again in many other countries, including Bulgaria, Colombia and India, and the adoption process is taking steps toward normalcy in the U.S. But the National Council for Adoption says it varies a lot by state, depending on how quickly things have opened back up…

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