Phase II – The Dossier

So we are finally at PHASE TWO of this paperwork process. Our family physician gave us a bit of a hard time about the paperwork – he wanted us to come in to follow up on our bloodwork in order to get the medical forms we needed to finalize the home study. Except that we did not really go over anything. We just waited around in the office while he finished up the paperwork, which I had to constantly correct as he and the notary kept forgetting to fill out important sections.

But, now our home study has everything, including the official offer letter for my new job! (That’s right! I am officially a new federal employee, which means benefits and income so we can continue onward with the adoption.) Our social worker has said we can expect our final copy of the home study hopefully sometime next week.

Next step is to take that home study and send it with a I800-A form to the US Custom and Immigration Services to get permission to adopt from South Africa. Once they receive our application, we’ll be contacted to schedule an appointment to get fingerprinted (there is a lot of that in this process). Generally the process takes somewhere between one and three months to get the approval back. The other two families in our area are waiting on their approvals already.

And now we’re trying to finish up the other items we need for our dossier. I cannot remember if I have posted the checklist of everything we need for it, so I will do it again:

  • Photocopy of Passports  – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Birth Certificates – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Marriage Certificate – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Medical Reports – Notarized and Apostilled
  • 3 Personal References – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Business References – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Life Insurance Certificates – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Bank Statements – Notarized and Apostilled
  • 2 PP Commitment Letters – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Good Conduct Certificates – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Home Study – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Child Request Worksheet – Notarized and Apostilled
  • 171-H (USCIS) Approval – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Personal Letter – Notarized and Apostilled
  • Family Photos

The italicized items are things we already have ready to go. The rest we are currently working on. I have struck through the Good Conduct letters because no such paperwork exists in our area. All three of the South Africa adoptive families here have called around and since there is no such thing, we’ll just be leaving it out and the agency will make a note to send to the welfare agency in Joburg.

D heads out of country again in less than a week, so I’ll be concentrating on prepping all our items for notarization while he is gone. Hopefully once he is back, we’ll be able to schedule for our USCIS fingerprinting appointment and by the time he takes off again in July, we’ll be double-checking everything with the dossier and sending it off to South Africa!


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