The Adoption Process

12 Oct


I’ve had quite a few friends ask me what’s involved in the adoption process. I thought it would just be easier to write it all down for you*.
Hopefully I will be able to quickly check all these items off the list!

First there is the initial application. For our agency, it’s called the “fact sheet”. Or what I like to refer to as the application before the application. Once our agency receives this, they send us a packet to “finish” our application. The paperwork and documents required to complete our application will be used in our Homestudy and Dossier later, so a lot of the paperwork that we are to complete now, is for our packets later.

Alright, ready to see the loooong list?

  • Service Agreement – signed and notarized
  • Fee Policy – signed
  • Hague Training form (I’ll get into this later)
  • Financial Statement – notarized. This is where we explain our financial background, income, debts, insurance, etc. This gets submitted with a signed and notarized copy of our most recent 1040 income tax form.
  • Medical Examination Report – Jeremy, my step-son and I must each get examined by a physician. For Jeremy and I, this includes an urinalysis, TB testing, blood work, etc…
  • Photographs – Photos will be sent to the overseas agency with our dossier.
    We must include: 1- 8×10 photo of Jeremy and I, 1 photos of us and step-son, photos of extended family, 2 photos of outside of our home, photos of the inside of our home.
  • Letter from employer – Must include current position, annual salary, length of time with the company in current position and a statement addressing job security (must obtain 2 copies with signatures).
  • Certified copies of birth certificates
  • Certified copies of marriage certificate
  • Reference letters – Must be completed by 4 people who are not related to us. These references are confidential and the forms are sent directly to the agency by our reference. More references will be needed when we get to our dossier.
  • Risks in Intercountry Adoption paperwork – signed
  • Philosophy and Policy on Discipline – signed
  • Civil Rights Compliance – signed
  • Child Conditions Form – This has to be one of the hardest forms to fill out. It lists just about every birth defect a child could have (from asthma to mental retardation) and we have to go through it and list if we are capable of providing for this child (mentally, physically and financially) or not.
  • Autobiography – Jeremy and I each have to write our own autobiography. Must be 6-10 pages long. Yikes!!
  • Child Abuse background check
  • Criminal background check
  • FBI fingerprint check
  • Pre-file I-800A with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Did I mention this is for just our application (although some paperwork will also be used for our dossier)? The agency recommends that we complete ALL documents within 60 days of our face sheet. Yup, 2 months. Talk about pressure! This is just the first step! I haven’t gotten into the social worker meetings (that is for the Homestudy) or the dossier packet.

The dossier package of documents is compiled and submitted to the Intercountry Adoption Board. Its is the way that they get to know us. Once it is approved, they will use the information within to match us to our child. Including much of the information on the list above, we will also need for our dossier:

  • Psychological evaluations
  • Character reference from a religious leader
  • Character reference from community member
  • Application Form for Intercounty Adoption

And then we wait. This could easily take up to 24 months of waiting. Maybe more, maybe less.

Once we get the anticapated call with a referral, we then finish filing our I-800 application, finalize travel plans and fly to the Philippines to pick up our lil’ one.

So, for all my friends who have been asking how the process is going, it’s going. And it will be going for awhile.

*Please note that every country and agency is different, so my paperwork requirements might differ from others.


7 Responses to “The Adoption Process”

  1. penga October 13, 2010 at 3:23 PM #

    holy moly – that is a lot of work! especially the autobiography, who knew that they’d need something like that? good luck with the process!

  2. Kristin October 16, 2010 at 3:31 PM #

    I just stumbled across your blog, and I am so glad that I did! My husband and I just started talking about international adoption and I’m trying to find as much information about it so we can make a final decision and start preparing if we decide to do it. I can’t wait to hear more and follow you and your husband through your adoption process. Best of luck to you!

  3. Mina October 21, 2010 at 3:24 PM #

    holy shit. that is intimidating. but i know your application will be great!

  4. Andnowlights (KMSull) October 25, 2010 at 1:40 AM #

    Wow, I had NO idea there was that much paperwork involved. My cousin just adopted a little girl from China (my wedding was the first one she’d been to!) and I knew the process was lengthy, but that list of paperwork is just about mind blowing!

  5. bienliving November 4, 2010 at 8:03 PM #

    That is a lot of work…but so worth it! You guys are amazing 🙂


  1. Updates! « - March 22, 2011

    […] we finished the first part of our massive paperwork. […]

  2. I own you. « - April 23, 2011

    […] our massive paperwork, Jeremy and I each had to write a 6-10 page autobiography on ourselves. It was […]

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