The adoption process is tedious and difficult. But it is worth all the headaches and hassels. Imagine bringing home a sweet child, who - without you- would otherwise grow up in an institution. It's a great feeling!
These steps vary depending on the agency and the country. The steps involved with a public agency adoption is quite different. The steps below are pretty standard to agency and international adoptions.
If you are using an agency, choose an agency and fill out its application. You may postpone this step until after you are considered "paper-ready" (between steps 3 and 4, different countries require different paperwork, so choose an agency and a country before proceeding to step 4).
- It is then necessary for you to contact a homestudy service in your area to set up the first homestudy appointment.
- Each Client then needs to contact the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services(BCIS) to obtain their I-600A form to submit to the ins office. The I-600A needs to be completed and sent in with copies of both parents' birth certificates, marriage license and divorce decree, if applicable. Also, include your check payable to ins for the amount of $460, plus $50 for each adult residing in the household for the fingerprinting process. Include a cover letter with your package, stating that you are applying for adoption of a foreign orphan and include both dates of birth, social security numbers, an address and a phone number to contact the prospective parent.
- Once you have filed your ins paperwork, you will start collecting your required documents to start your adoption journey.
Next is the authentication process
. Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, have them notarized by a commissioned notary residing in your county (this makes retrieving certifications easier). After the documents are notarized they need to be certified by the county courthouse in which the notary is commissioned. After certification all the documents will be sent to the State level for Apostille or Authentication, in which the documents are authenticated with the State seal.
- Your agency will then be forwarded to the International government for translation, review, approval and disbursement amongst the necessary government entities.
- Now you wait for your referral. Representatives from the region and country of choice will look for a child matching your criteria. Once you receive photos, medical information, etc. of your referral, review the information and have your family physician review the medical history.
- Once you accept a referral, a court date will be set and you will travel to pick up your child. After the adoption is finalized by the Judge, you will return to the city in which the American Consulate is designated to follow up with Embassy physicians and then obtain the child’s visa. After receipt of the child’s visa you will return home. (This step can vary dependent on the program and agency you choose ).
- Post Adoption Procedures vary from country to country and from agency to agency. Your homestudy social worker should perform your post-adoption reports. These are generally done over the three years following the adoption. For example: at 6 months, 12 months., 24 months, and 36 months. The report should cover the following areas:
- Describe the child's emotional adjustment and family response.
- Describe the child's development.
- Describe the child's daily routine.
- Describe (if applicable) the child's cultural adaptation.
- Summary (feelings and general observations).
*Several photographs should accompany your post adoption reports, and they should be notarized.