• What if my spouse is not a U.S. citizen?
• Are singles permitted to adopt?
• At what point in the process are children assigned?
• How do I go about accepting a referral?
• Can more than one child be adopted at a time?
• Is travel required for an international adoption?
• Is financial assistance available for international adoption?
What is the first step in an international adoption?
There are actually two answers to this question. Some people choose an agency first, and then apply for approval from the Homeland Security office which involves getting a home study done as well as gathering other documents. Other people get their home study done and apply to the Homeland Security office, and then chose an agency. Either way is acceptable. However, there are advantages to choosing your agency first.
By choosing your agency first, the agency can provide you a list of documents needed for your dossier (a set of needed documents) from your country of choice. Since some of these documents will be needed for your home study agency, the Homeland Security office and your dossier (therefore you would need three of some, but not all, documents), you can order the appropriate needed number of the same document at the same time if you know ahead of time what will be needed for each step. This will save time in the gathering of your dossier for your country of choice. The agency cannot provide the dossier list until you become a client of the agency due to legalities.
How long do these steps normally take?
Before you can begin an adoption, you must have BCIS approval and have your dossier in hand. It takes some people 3 weeks to gather and authenticate their dossier, and others, it can take many months. The actual length of the adoption varies depending on the country. In Guatemala, the adoption process can take 4-10 months after assignment and from the time the lawyer gets all your paperwork in country. In Ukraine, most people return home with a child about 3 weeks after arriving in country. In China, the wait for a referral is approximately 10 months, with travel 2 months later! (These are rough estimates which change frequently).
How long does a total adoption take, from start to finish?
Before you can begin an adoption, you must have USCIS approval and have your dossier ready. It takes some people 3 weeks to gather and authenticate their dossier, and others, it can take many months. The actual length of the adoption varies depending on the country. In Guatemala, the adoption process can take 4-10 months after assignment and from the time the lawyer gets all your paperwork in country. In Ukraine, most people return home with a child about 3 weeks after arriving in country. In China, the wait for a referral is approximately 10 months, with travel 2 months later! (These are rough estimates which change frequently).
What is the purpose of “immigration clearance”?
Immigration clearance is required in order to bring an internationally adopted child into the United States. USCIS gives you pre-approval to adopt a child from another country.
What is a home study?
A home study is compiled by an adoption social worker according to the guidelines of your state. It will include information about your family members and their backgrounds, your finances and your motivation to adopt. We can work with your social worker to inform them of the particular country requirements for your home study. VERY IMPORTANT: CCI is licensed by the State of Florida. Therefore, all home studies of CCI clients must include all aspects required by the State of Florida. We can provide you with a list of Florida requirements prior to your home study so that no amendments are needed after your home study is complete. Note: The home study can be completed before you have contracted with an agency or selected a country, but if you do this you will need to have the home study updated to meet the requirements of the country.
What is a dossier?
A dossier is the set of documents required by foreign governments for adoptions. We will supply you with a list of documents required by the country you have selected, as well as instructions of how to prepare each document.
Can I work with CCI if I live outside the state of Florida?
Absolutely! We have clients all over America….and in other parts of the world! U.S. citizens who reside outside of the United States can adopt through CCI.
CCI is licensed by the State of Florida, which does not allow homosexuals to adopt, and therefore CCI cannot work with any homosexuals regardless of the client’s state of residence. In addition, some countries do not allow homosexuals to adopt.
Can more than one child be adopted at one time?
Yes. Many clients who know they would like to adopt more than one child opt to do the adoptions simultaneously. It is advisable in this situation to prepare a dossier for each child so that the cases can proceed independently through the court system. There is a possibility for reduced fees when more than one child is adopted through the same foreign attorney or if the children are in an orphanage.
In China, you may only adopt one child at a time.
Is travel required for an international adoption?
This varies from country to country. Some countries do not require the adoptive parents to travel to that country (Guatemala, India, Korea, Romania, Africa, to name a few). If desired, an “escort” can be arranged to bring the child/children to the U.S. China requires only one parent to travel, and Ukraine requires both parents to travel.
Is financial assistance available for international adoption?
We can help you explore possibilities for tax credits, grants, loans, etc. There is some grant money available from foundations, however, you cannot count on this. Also, keep in mind that the costs of the adoption are not all due at once. Depending on the country you adopt from, you will normally pay about ½ of the total cost of your adoption over the first 4 months of the process, as you are preparing your home study, obtaining USCIS approval, and preparing your dossier documents. The other ½ of your expenses is generally due towards the end, just before your complete your adoption.