|Step #06 - Complete Dossier|
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The Paperwork Begins
Once you have chosen an adoption agency to work with the agency will guide you though each step of the process. This typically begins with filling out an application for adoption and submitting an application fee. This fee, in general, ranges from $50-$350 and is non refundable. Once an application is accepted the adoption agency has officially taken you and your family on as prospective parents. Although over the next few months you will fill out, copy and send more paperwork than ever before the task can be an exciting one. Consider the home study, the dossier and the INS requirements your paperwork pregnancy!
The INS Requirements
INS stands for U.S Immigration and Naturalization Services. United States citizens must open an adoption file with the INS in order to complete an adoption. This is done through the filing of forms and then waiting for their approval. The first form that prospective parents fill out is the 1-800A or the I-800. Both forms should be available through your adoption agency or you can contact INS directly and receive the forms. The 1-800A is the form used for prospective parents that do not have a specific child in mind at the start of the adoption process. The official name for the I-800A is the Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. This form informs that government that you are adopting and will need a variety of forms available to you when the adoption takes place. The I-800 is the form used for prospective parents that have chosen a child, through a photo listing, for example. This form is officially called the Petition to Classify An Orphan as An Immediate Relative. Both of these forms require a processing fee and additional paper work attached with them. When preparing these forms call your adoption agency if questions arise, as the forms can be confusing. In addition, the check included for the processing fee should be a certified check- not a personal check.
After receiving these forms the INS will conduct a FBI background check on the prospective parents. As this takes several weeks to months it is wise to fill the appropriate form out at the very start of the adoption process.
Not all countries require a dossier to be compiled. More detailed information on the specific steps for adoption can be located by contacting an adoption agency and inquiring about a particular country program.
The dossier is a large packet of documents that the adoption agency must submit to the country in which prospective parents are adopting from. The agency will provide prospective parents with a list of the documents that they need. Many of these are similar to the documents needed in the home study. The adoption agency will guide families in the specific way to word letters and documents so that they are suitable and diplomatic. These papers are submitted to various countries and therefor are often written slightly different so that they are in accordance with the guidelines and political correctness of the country.
Adoptive parents should make a copy of every document they receive and every document they send out. All documents should be organized in a file folder or another reliable system. When mailing the dossier and homes study the packets should be securely sealed and be sent through certified mail.
The International Adoption Handbook
The Unofficial Guide to Adopting a Child
The Ultimate Insiders Guide to Adoption
Elizabeth Swire Falker
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