Can you detail the entire process of adopting?
Our adoption process began with the application. There are several qualifications to adopt from China including age, the number of children at home, finances, health, etc. We met each qualification and were approved about two weeks after submitting our application.
The entire process from start to finish can take 12 months or longer depending on several different factors. One of those factors is what type of "special needs" you are open to accepting. We are adopting through China's Waiting Child program. All of the children in this program have some type of special need. Many of these needs are considered minor in the United States, but some can be more significant.
After a family receives a referral or file, they are encouraged to work with their pediatrician, medical specialist, insurance company, and social worker to ensure that they are physically, financially, and emotionally prepared to parent their Waiting Child.
We are still waiting for our referral or file, but we have completed our home study! The home study is basically an assessment for adoptive parents to make sure they are able to parent a child. When we began our home study we also started collecting the documentation we need for our dossier. The dossier is a collection of documents, including our home study, which represents us as a family to the Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption. The CCWA is the ultimate authority for international adoption in China.
We are still waiting for approval on one of our immigration forms. When we receive approval for this form, which was submitted to the US department of immigration, we will have approval to adopt a foreign bound child!
Once we receive that document our dossier will be finished and we can move on to notarizing and authenticating each of the documents in our dossier. We then send our dossier to our adoption agency where they review it to make sure we are not missing anything. If everything looks good the dossier is off to China and will become logged into their system.
When we do receive our referral and choose to accept the file, we'll become locked in and will submit a letter of intent to adopt. When our letter of intent is approved we will receive a letter of acceptance and then travel approval! The travel approval comes from the CCCWA and is their formal invitation for us to travel to China and complete our adoption! You typically travel between 10 and 14 weeks from your letter of acceptance. When we travel to China we will be there for just over two weeks!
The process does seem daunting when you look at it over all, but piece by piece we are one step closer to reaching our goal and becoming parents! It is so crazy to think about how much we already love a child we have never met on the other side of the world ☺
Thank you SO very much, Lindsay & Casey, for sharing your journey. We're more than a little excited for your family and will post updates as they come!