June 7, 2007

Adoption, Stages Defined

The Steps:
Choose an agency (1 month to ages)
Choose a country program (1 month to ages)
Participate in a home study (3 months)
Gather all documents necessary for dossier (3-6 months)
Submit dossier to country
Wait for referral (0-30 months)
Accept referral
Travel to pick up your child (1-6 months)

The Documents:
Agency Power of Attorney
Letter stating reason for adopting from Ethiopia
Photos of applicants and home (6-10)
CIS approval
Home Study with Agency License
Employment Letters
Financial Statement
Birth Certificates
Marriage Certificate
Medical Letter
Police Letter
Three signed reference letters from non-relatives
Letter of Obligation/Post Placement - Family
Letter of Commitment/Post Placement SW
Passport ID pages
Copy of dossier

The Cost:
We're trying not to focus too heavily on this part, as a worse case scenario we can take out a loan. We're estimating that the costs A-Z will be around $20,000. There is a $10,900 tax credit that we will qualify for which will help, but my guess is that the cost is the primary reason why many people don't adopt. All of the costs involved are justified though, I mean you're "closing" on a child! People pay thousands of dollars just in legal and agency fees when closing on a house so it should be expected that transferring a child not only from one family to another, but from one country to another, will incur significant costs. This is yet another reason to use a non profit adoption agency as a portion of their fee goes towards supporting their efforts in the countries they work with. It's all worth it.

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