Deanne Stein, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A documentary about families "stuck" in the international adoption process is being shown in downtown Oklahoma City Sunday night.
The documentary "STUCK" is part of a bus tour and is being shown in 62 cities across the nation in 80 days.
"It's hard and people need to know there are a lot of things that can happen," said Jeremy Hager.
He and his wife Nicole live in Norman and want family, both biologically and through adoption. After five years of trying, though, they decided to focus on adopting internationally.
"There's the whole round of paperwork and home study and fingerprinting," said Nicole. "Once we finished that we were officially on the waiting list."
A list they have now been on for seven months. But the waiting would continue for at least another year to be matched with a child.
"It's definitely tested our patience," said Jeremy. "There's been frustrating moments."
They aren't alone. Frank Garrott with Both Ends Burning says its process many U.S. families face.
"The families are stuck because they are waiting some three, four, five years to be united with their children," Garrott said. "They have received a referral, they have a picture, they've met these children. The children are stuck."
More than 10 million children need homes and to adopt internationally in the U.S., the process takes on average 896 days and $28,000 to complete. Garrott said the film documents three families who spent years trying to bring their kids home and the unnecessary bureaucratic delays they faced. He said it's ultimately the children who suffer most.
"Their development is impacted, their physical, mental and emotional development," Garrott said. "They have a harder time bonding with people later in life, hard time forming relationships."
Despite the delays, the Hagers have committed to move forward.
"It's hard to wait, but it's going to be worth it and we know from families that have been through it, it's worth the wait."
The STUCK tour also hopes to get one million signatures on a petition calling for reform in international adoption laws, to hand carry to Congress on May 17.