Monday, September 14, 2009

The Adoption Process

A few of you, especially our relatives, have wondered about our whole adoption process. Here is a very short description what the next few months should look like for us.
First is the dossier process. This takes about 3 to 4 months. During this time we will put together a crazy amount of paperwork and have it translated and sent to Ethiopia. We will also have our home study. I think the home study is the most misunderstood aspect of the adoption process. "Home study" congers up images of someone searching through every nook and cranny of your home, inspecting for expired food and dust. Not so the case! I think a more accurate description should be a "Family Study". It is an interview process, 2 to 3 meeting, in which a case worker will basically put together a picture of our family. Our views on education, how we handle conflict, our childhood background, why we want to adopt.... topics such as these will be covered. Our case worker will come to our home for the final visit to talk to our kids about how they feel about the adoption. This part of the process is an expensive part... Home study fees, agency fees, fingerprints, translation fees, orphan care fees.... lots of fees! Then we will submit our dossier (along with more fees, which I was glad to learn that many of these fees go to help other orphans) and we will be put on a waiting list!
The referral process (waiting for our child to be referred to us) will probably take about 6 months. We are probably looking at adopting a girl, about 2 years old. Once we are matched with a child, the actual adoption process will take about 2 to 4 months. (And more fees!) A court date will be set in Ethiopia (we do not have to be present for this court date). The adoption will be finalized at this Court appearance, and Kenny and I will travel (along with other adoptive families) within 2 to 4 weeks. Our stay in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, will be 5 to 7 days, and then we will travel home with our little one! We will also have post adoption visits and reports at 3, 6, and 12 months.
You can go here to read more about adoption from Ethiopia with AGCI.

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