Sunday, May 20, 2012

Working the paper work : International Adoption

To adopt from India we have to go through 3 separate government entities.

1. The State of Alabama.
We are almost finished with our final application.  Once that's complete the agency will prepare our case for the social worker to begin the Home Study. The state requires this order of operation since with India, the state must approve it first because the adoption isn't finalized until we are home from India with our child. The term application sounds like such a simple word but it's actually comprised of many documents, lots of writing, and tons of notarizing. The final application contains the following documentation:

  • Statement of motivation, why we decided to adopt
  • Our child, the child we wish to adopt (age, sex, medical conditions we are willing to accept)
  • Autobiography (at least 6 pages in length. Mine was 8 pages long and took me 10 hours to complete)
  • Birth certificates, Marriage licenses, must be certified, raised seal documents. I had to send off for these from Georgia and Alabama
  • Financial statements itemizing all assets, income, debt
  • Bank letter, notarized
  • Proof of residence, certififed raised seal copy of property deed
  • Employment verification letters on company letter head, notartized
  • Medical exam reports for all family members, notarized
  • Proof of insurance for adopted child
  • Police clearance, notarized. This is not the FBI clearance/finger printing we were also required to complete and send off to DC (that takes 4-6 weeks to complete)
  • Various statements that have to be notarized : conviction statement (citing we have not been convicted of any crimes), child's complexion statement, medical care agreement, fee schedule, complaint resolution, adoption contract.
  • Passport sized photos of Scott and I
  • Six references

2. The Country of India
This is the dossier process which includes documents for CARA (Central Adoption Resource Agency). We can't begin this until after our second meeting with the social worker because many of the documents are time sensitive and we can't collect the data too soon or it may become dated as we wait for one thing or another. Many of the same documents are required that we collected for the final application. 
  • Registration form
  • Statement of motivation
  • Proof of identity: copy of drivers license, copy of passport, birth certificate (separate certified, raised seal document)
  • Marriage certificate (separate certified, raised seal document)
  • Family photograph (I think I can handle this c:)
  • Medical examination and health certificate, notarized. I'm not sure if the exam our doctor's completed for the final application can be used for the Dossier. I need to check on that. 
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Employment verification letters, notarized
  • Financial statements to include bank statements from the last 6 months, notarized
  • Police clearance, notarized
  • Three letters of recommendation, notarized
  • Children's consent, both Katie and Braden will have to write a statement of consent, notarized
  • INS (I171H) Pre Approval, we will receive this once our home study is complete and our finger prints have cleared. 

3. USCIS, aka Immigration
I-800A, this is a complicated document that our agency will help us complete for Immigration. 

Of course this is just the paper work part of the adoption process. We also have to attend adoption education classes, be prepared to make travel arrangements to India, cough up a ton of cash, among other things I'm sure I have forgotten off hand. Shew. Looks like fun, right?


  1. Hello! What does "child's complexion statement" refer to? Thanks!

  2. Hello! I can't remember exactly but I think we signed papers stating we would not refuse a referral based on how dark or light skinned the potential child may have been. It's ridculous to think people actually do that...

  3. What does it mean Employment Verification Letter notarized. My Employer will provide a letter, so how do it get it "Notarized"? Take it to a Notary Public and sign on the document and Notary Public will notarize? Or should the company itself provide a Notarized letter?