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Each adoption process begins with assembling a collection of 13-15 documents called a dossier. The dossier mainly consists of a financial statement, employment verification, medical and health information, background checks, and a homestudy. The homestudy is a report submitted by a social worker, after meeting at the family’s home, outlining the family’s background and details of the household. All of these documents must go through several levels of certification so that they can ultimately be used as the legal framework for your adoption process. This stage is often referred to as the “paper chase,” and should take, on average, 3-6 months to complete. The finished dossier is forwarded to America World where our staff carefully reviews it to ensure accuracy. Once approved, your dossier is forwarded to the country which you have chosen to adopt from, and is then translated and processed.
This stage can often be the hardest for many adoptive families. Much like a physical pregnancy, there will be much waiting involved with your adoption process. Although sometimes documents need renewal and homestudies need to be updated, the majority of the time is spent waiting during this stage of the process. To help families use this time constructively, we provide specific materials and resources to you to further educate yourself on your child’s cultural heritage, transcultural parenting and other prevalent topics for a family through adoption. We also encourage you to further your education process by joining the America World chat group dedicated to your country program, as well as build community by speaking with other families whom have gone through the same adoption process you’re currently in.
After you submit your dossier and the waiting period is over, you will receive your child’s referral. The referral is your child’s basic profile, medical information, and will also include your first picture of your son or daughter. Once you complete some additional work online and the acceptance paperwork, our staff will make all travel arrangements for the trip to bring your child home. Once in-country, the moment you have anticipated will finally be a reality – you will meet the child that the Lord has purposefully chosen for you! After being united with your child, there is time in-country for the bonding process to begin while you apply for his or her U.S. visa.