Paperchase – What documents are necessary to adopt?

I started this post about a year ago and got distracted midway through.  I know you know what I’m talking about!  The addition of our precious, new little girl Sally, from Ethiopia, Classical Conversations (a new homeschool adventure we will discuss later), another adoption on the horizon, commitments to get the kids and me exercising more and the list goes on and on….

January 2012

As I wind up 4-5 months of getting our 3rd adoption dossier together, I began to think that there might be those out there who hear about the massive amount of paperwork necessary for an adoption and are turned off to starting the process.  So I thought I would give you a quick look at what is necessary, in the paperwork arena, to adopt from Ethiopia.  Nearly identical documents were necessary for Russia and I would bet that any other country will have very similar requirements.

This is the third time I’ve done this, so I am becoming somewhat of an expert.  On our last adoption, it took 9 months for the paperwork and honestly I can’t remember how long it was for Russia.  Something similar.

Also, with 5 children at home and homeschooling on our agenda, we are running a bit of a corporation here.  If a person had more time on their hands, then this process might go quicker, but on the other hand, certain things have to happen in a certain order.  Anyway, here is what is included in a dossier:

Dossier

Application letter

Birth Certificates

Marriage Certificate

Divorce Decree

Passports

Physicals

Doctors letters explaining certain issues

Health Insurance Policy for adopted children and card

Life Insurance Policies

Financial statement

Letters of employment

Reference letters regarding character – 3

Police reports

Fingerprints done in state capitol and sent into to US Immigration

Hague Certificates showing you viewed certain educational content

Power of Attorney

Photos of your family and home – About 20

A Home Study

 

The Home Study

This is the first thing you do.  It will include 3-4 meetings with a social worker and many of the above documents.  It will also include:

Physicals for all members of the family

Autobiographies of the parents

Child Abuse/Neglect searches and approvals

Guardianship form

Several Tax Returns

 

Many of these documents must be notarized and then a few of them apostilled.  That is sort of like notarizing the notary.  You take your documents to the state capitol and they will attach a document to them that says, yes, this notary is legit.

 

It’s not so bad when you just take it one step at a time.

 

Our Current Adoption Update

The update on our current adoption is that the “wait time” has just been extended to 24-30 months.  Wow!  That is a major difference from what it was during Sally’s adoption.  “Wait time” means how long you will wait to receive a referral, which consists of a picture and a medical report of the child you have been matched with, and is determined from the date your dossier was received by the Ethiopian officials.

For us, that was January 13, 2012.  So we have waited 1 year.  For Sally, the wait time was 7-11 months.  We waited 9 months.  The change is due to the American Embassy requiring more diligence from the Ethiopian government in the area of human trafficking.  We are sad that it is taking so long, but obviously it is for good reason.  And, as usual, we know that God has it all planned out.

Pray that all the sweet, precious orphans all over the world find forever homes with loving families, wherever they may be.

God Bless!

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