Adopting a child entails a lot of preparation and paperwork. If you’re just decided to adopt, you may be wondering what steps you need to take in order to be ready to welcome a child into your home. Gathering the appropriate documents ahead of time will help make the process smoother and less stressful. Here are the typical requirements for an adoption, as discussed in my book From Pain to Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption.
What is required for a domestic adoption?
Although agency and state requirements vary, you can usually expect to provide and complete the following for a domestic newborn adoption:
What is required for an international adoption?
The requirements in the U.S. for adopting internationally vary depending on which country and program you choose. In general, you will need the same documents as a domestic adoption, plus some additional paperwork. You must apply with the United State Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), to get approval to bring an adopted child into the U.S. You’ll need to complete form I-171H and also request two sets of fingerprint cards for each person.
The majority of international adoptions require a Dossier, which is a collection of documents that are translated, notarized and contain seals from your county, state and the U.S. government. Some of these documents are the same as the ones required by the USCIS and your home study. For a complete list of requirements, check with the adoption agencies you’re considering.
Remember, although this list may seem a bit overwhelming at first, your adoption agency or attorney will help you every step of the way. They will be available to answer any questions you have and will encourage and support you throughout the process. With a little time and patience you will be well on your way to bringing home your child!
Copyright 2013 by Deanna Kahler. All rights reserved.
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