Coronavirus concerns make international adoptions difficult for waiting American families

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - International adoption is taking a massive hit due to travel bans implemented because of the coronavirus.

Since 1999, Americans have adopted more than 81,000 Chinese children. Nearly 1,500 of those children were adopted in 2018.

The adoption process is a mystery to most, but everyone knows it is a lengthy process.

"From the time we started our home study until we had her in our arms was 15 months," said Bethany Thompson, a teacher in Pikeville.

Thompson adopted two children from China.

"It's always been in my heart to adopt," said Thompson.

During the adoption process, she met several families who were also adopting from China. She says adoptive families stick together.

"I certainly have had that support and I try to provide it also," said Thompson.

One of those families, from Colorado, was set to go pick up their little girl on March 6th.

"I cannot imagine the hurt and the worry," said Thompson.

Their adoption is now in a holding pattern.

"She doesn't know when she will be able to travel and so on top of the waiting, on top of the normal wait that you have, she now has these unanswered questions about when she will be able to get to go," said Thompson.

The adoption process is lengthy as it is, and the family has been waiting for almost a year for their baby girl.

We are not naming this family as they are afraid it could jeopardize their chances of meeting their future daughter.