Visa backlog has North Texas family stuck in China

DALLAS (WFAA) -– A glitch in the U.S. State Department website is delaying the processing of visas, causing headaches for families here and abroad.

Four-year-old Shepherd is the newest member of the Cox family from Melissa. He was born in a Chinese province, and last week, the Coxes traveled from Collin County to China to hold their adopted son for the first time

"We've been very blessed; he's acclimated to us amazingly well," said dad Rusty Cox.

They are set to travel back home to North Texas this week, but this family may be in China longer than they had planned.

Last Wednesday, the State Department's database used to issue passports and visas crashed, creating a big backlog.

"When we arrived in Guangzhou, we met up with several families who had already experienced lengthy delays," Cox said.

He said Shepherd still needs his visa. A check of the State Department website shows delays of up to seven days, but nothing is confirmed.

"Are we expecting a couple day delays? [W]e can kind of plan for that, prepare ourselves and our kids for that," Cos said. "But since we don't know anything, we're just living each day without any answers."

They're stressed about changing their return flight and the expense of additional days spent abroad, but there are four important reasons why they're desperate to get back; Their other children.

So when will Shepherd meet his siblings? The Cox family should find out on Wednesday.

The State Department says it's making adoption visas a priority as they work to fix the glitch.


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