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Thursday, March 27, 2008

What's the Process? What's Next? And How Long?

This seems to be the question I am getting most so I'll give you the run down.
Part 1-There is a MOUNTAIN of paperwork that needs to be gathered, requested, paid for, filled out, mailed in, faxed, copied, filed, emailed, signed, witnessed, notarized, state authenticated, scanned, and FedExed. Step 1 in total took 5 months from Jan-May of '07.
  • DONE Fingerprinting for state police clearance
  • DONE Preapproval I-600a/I-171H received from USCIS took 3 months!
  • DONE Fingerprinting for FBI check
  • DONE Documents gathered for home study including marriage license, passports, reference letters, medical checks of all family members, employment letters, insurance checks, tax returns, birth certificates, biographies, home inspections, pool safety inspection, finance records, interviews of all family members, and many many others!
  • DONE Home study completed by licensed social worker 2-3 months
  • DONE State licensing received Spring '07
  • DONE Dossier to VN Consulate in San Francisco for authentication April '07
  • DONE Dossier forwarded to Hanoi, VN and translated May '07
  • DONE Dossier logged into VN Adoption Office (LID) Spring '07
Basically, after you have all your documents gathered, we had the LONG wait to first see the children we have been match with. Afterwards there are 2 more parts to the adoption process until we travel. Part 2 is the Vietnamese portion. When this part is complete the gov't of VietNam gives us permission to adopt Sunburn and Little Man. In Part 3 the United States Gov't gives us permission to bring Sunburn and Little Man home. Sorry for all the acronyms! For my adoption buddies, this process and timeline are specific to HCMC and our case.

Part 2-Vietnamese approval

  • DONE Documents for babies' dossiers are gathered 1-6 months/in HCMC done prior to CFC/in other provinces done after CFC
  • DONE Child for consideration (CFC) offered to potential adoptive parents (PAP) mid-Feb
  • DONE International adoption doctor reviewed medical info/pics/videos and consult
  • DONE Acceptance of CFC sent to VN Adoption Office
  • DONE Babies' dossiers gathered and matched with ours at VN Adoption Office 2 weeks-ish
  • DONE All docs (babies' & ours) are sent to VN Justice Dept in HCMC
  • IN PROCESS JD investigates and checks all documents 2 weeks-ish
  • The JD requests all the baby's documents to be forwarded from the orphanage
  • All documents are forwarded from JD to adoption agency
    At this point Part 3/I-600 application can be forwarded
  • All docs sent again to VN adoption office for final approval 4 weeks
  • Our adoption agency delivers all docs back to the JD in HCMC for final approval
  • JD calls agency to sign for the Giving & Receiving ceremony (G&R) 10 days to two weeks
  • G&R date set two weeks later

Part 3-United States Approval

  • PAP fills out I-600 application
  • Agency translates all docs to English, gathers and packages I-600 application, dossiers, and supporting documentation and courier's it to USCIS 1-2 weeks
  • USCIS gives receipt of application (sometimes no receipt is issued) few days-several weeks-sometimes never!
  • USCIS investigates and checks all documents up to 3+ months
  • USICS MAY require more time to investigate up to 3+ months more
  • USCIS emails approval of I-600
  • We hop on a plane to go gather up our sweeties and wrap them in our in love and arms and smother them in a zillion kisses! as FAST as we can
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