In the post below, fred said:
The idea that there's a "waiting list" you go on seems to be pretty prevalent, and sometimes along with it the idea that you should apply before you're really ready to adopt because by the time your number comes up, you don't want to wait 2-3 (i've even heard 5-10!) years before you can have your baby.
Granted some agencies do have a waiting list of sorts before they can begin your home study (particularly those with lower fees) because they have so many families and so few social workers. Or they don't want to overwhelm expectant mothers by giving them 300 profiles; instead they'd rather limit their number of active families to a more reasonable number, and thus to go active there may be a "waiting list" of sorts. But it's far, far, far from a first-come-first-served situation and you should NEVER apply before you're really ready to adopt (i get a few months before going active, but i mean don't apply 3 years before you're going to want to adopt because you think it might be difficult to TTC and you haven't even started TTC yet, as some people think).
I get where you're coming from, fred, but I don't entirely agree. I think what you offered is good advice for domestic adoptions, because you never know how quickly you'll get picked. But if you are financially ready and stable in all other aspects of your life/relationship, and just want to have a little more "fun, selfish" time before children, and you are applying to a program in which there is definitely a built-in wait (such as many international programs), I think it's okay to apply before you are "ready."
My husband and I waited until I felt ready to have a child in the home at a moments notice, and I can see why it might have been an okay strategy to begin a little earlier (like 6 months to a year before). I think the wait would have been much easier. We were fully prepared and capable of loving and caring for a child then, we just wanted a little more time as "just us."