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US Adoption Advice

This will vary slightly for families living outside of the U.S. - see UK Adoptions for more info.

A. Submit your application to an adoption agency. A case worker or adoption assistant assigned to you will schedule you an interview.

B. Begin a series of meetings (homestay) with a social worker in your state to learn about issues related to international adoption. This will determine your suitability to parent an adopted child, and help you prepare for the experience.

C. Submit an I-600A application to your local office, this form is downloadable online. Your application can take several months, so you should begin this step even if you have not decided on a country from which to adopt, or if your homestudy is not complete. Your adoption agency will provide a sample form completed for you.

D. Collect the documents (or dossier) required by the country from which you are adopting, such as your birth certificates, marriage certificate, employment letters, references, and medical clearances. Many of these documents will also be required for completion of your homestudy, and must be notarized, authenticated, translated, and approved by the embassy of the country from which you plan to adopt.

E. Consider referrals made by your adoption agency. Consult medical experts. Accept referral.

F. Prepare for travel and your stay abroad. While waiting to travel, collect donations to take to the orphanage for the children who remain there.

G. Travel to your child's country to meet them and finalize the adoption. Most families trips will be a few days to several weeks, depending on the country. In some casess, two trips are required, only one parent must travel, or the child can be escorted. A bilingual coordinator may be required guide you through the process. Your social worker will be in regular phone contact with you throughout your trip, and your family back home.

H. Obtain an immigrant visa for your child from U.S. Embassy. Return home with your child.

I. Participate in post-placement supervision with your homestudy agency, which includes several visits over a timeframe specified by your child's birth country (usually 1 to 3 years) to make sure that the placement is going well, and to offer support and assistance in the event that outside services are needed. Reports of these post-placement visits and photos of your child are forwarded to adoption officials in your child's birth country so that they can know the child is loved and doing well.

J. Readopt your child in your state court, in order to obtain a U.S. birth certificate and adoption decree. If only one parent travels abroad or the child was escorted to the U.S. re-adoption is required.

We thank Cradle of Hope for generously supplying this page of great adoption information for KIR - visit them at