I realized after posting yesterday’s post that I’m using terms that people outside the adoption community don’t encounter all that often, if ever.
What is an “apostille?”
An apostille is an official State seal (a sticker on a piece of paper or a stamp) that authenticates a prior seal of approval at the county level for that state.
For prospective adoptive parents preparing an adoption dossier for another country, we go through a set of steps that adequately authenticates every document we include. The process is: Read the rest of this entry
I follow an adoption agency blog for another agency than our own because they usually have fairly good updates on the state of the adoption process in El Salvador. And our agency doesn’t have a blog, so I only get updates for them when I email them my monthly “how’s it going?” check-in.
And usually, this other blog is pretty facts-only, and I find it helpful.
Their most recent post, however, really bothers me. (And I’m not going to name them because that’s not the point, and also because their clients’ names are in the post, and while it’s out there on the Internet, my purpose isn’t specifically to criticize them. But to point to what I think is a problem “out here” in adoption land in general.)
The post begins with the usual facts-only update, but then it goes into a Q&A format.
About “how many birthmoms have been found,” what they’re doing to find more women in El Salvador willing to place their children for adoption, that they have a marketing strategy to reach more women and acquire children (and by “children,” it seems they really just mean “babies”) ”in a massive way” [their words]. Read the rest of this entry
I keep reading that there are tons of blog posts about this being National Adoption Month here in the U.S. But my personal Google Reader is fairly silent on the matter. So apparently I’m not running with the cool kids, with a couple exceptions.
So here’s some info and my personal take, for what it’s worth.
History of “National Adoption Day/Week/Month”
The idea of generating a public awareness of the need for adoption of children who would otherwise simply “age-out” of foster care seems to have originated in the State of Massachusetts in 1976 when then-Governor Michael Dukakis declared an “Adoption Week.”
That idea spread and finally hit the national level when President Reagan designated the first National Adoption Week in 1984. [Side note: Reagan was himself an adoptive parent of his son Mike, who he and his first wife adopted as an infant 40 years earlier.]
In 1995, President Clinton expanded “Adoption Week” into “Adoption Month.”
Read the rest of this entry
It’s been a while since I posted one of my “Q&A” topics, but given the reading I’ve been doing lately, I think I’m ready to tackle this one. It’s a question Fred and I get with some regularity: “Why did you choose to adopt?” And for those considering adoption, I’d like to turn that question around.
I phrased the header to this post “Is Adoption Right for us?” on purpose. As potential adoptive parents (“PAP’s” in adoption-circle lingo), that’s frequently where we start off. Something – infertility, knowing another adoptive family, a major world crisis like the Haiti quakes this year, a picture of orphans somewhere in the world – SOMETHING gets us started thinking about whether we want to adopt.
But I’d like to start from the get-go with a better question: Are we/Am I right for adoption? Read the rest of this entry
I hit a very predictable adoption “echo” with one of the boys this week, the first day of our homeschool co-op, a weekly half-day class I attend with them. They have a teacher and a class of 8 students; we parents sit in the back. This is our third year, but in the van on the way over, the questions started.
“And what if you need to go to the bathroom?”
“Well then I’ll go and come right back.”
“And what if one of us gets hurt while you’re not there? Maybe we could call 911?” (no, my kids don’t have cell phones of their own)
… And so on, all the way there. Even though it’s the same school, the same building as last year, many of the same families, and we’ve done this routine before. Read the rest of this entry
When Fred and I started this second adoption, we opened it wide to all the options, including doing Foster-to-Adopt care here in the U.S. The ONLY reasons we decided not to were 1) it might be too much loss for the twins to absorb, having children pass in and out of our home after they’ve already lost their birth and foster moms, and 2) because we don’t want to adopt out of birth order, there’s not as much of a need for us here. We didn’t feel right potentially bumping a childless couple out of line so that we could parent #’s 3 and 4 for our family.
However, did you know that you can SEE who needs a home here in the U.S.? Read the rest of this entry
Many times, while we’re in our first adoption process, parents-to-be get caught up in the details of the paperwork and forget that the adoption placement is not the end but rather the beginning of the adoption journey. The recent story – currently all over the news – about the Hansen family from Shelbyville, TN, who sent their adopted son back to Russia because they couldn’t handle him any longer, points to a lack of wide-spread knowledge about the ramifications of adoption, its potential effects on the children, and where to turn for help.
We in the U.S. have become so accepting of adoption as “a good thing” and “normal” that it seems like we (and maybe those in other highly-developed countries) have forgotten a foundational truth: Children available for adoption are only available BECAUSE something has gone wrong. Read the rest of this entry
What is a dossier?
An adoption dossier is the set of documents required by a foreign country in order to be considered to adopt there. Not ever country requires one, but most do.
U. S. domestic adoptions do not require a dossier.
Submitting your dossier is the first official step in that country. Usually, you have to submit some portion of the country fee (the amount of money that country collects from prospective adoptive parents in order to process an adoption) with your dossier.
Submitting a dossier does not guarantee that you will adopt a child. Each country has the right to decline a family’s file.
Read the rest of this entry
Short Answer: If you mean your placement agency, no. Your homestudy agency, however, must be licensed in the state in which you reside.
Longer Answer and Explanation:
An adoption placement agency is the agency that will match you with a child you’ve said you would accept for adoption. Ideally, that agency is looking to place children needing families with the best family matches for them and not the other way around, but that’s a topic for another post. Your placement agency can be anywhere in the country of which you are a citizen.
If you enroll in an international adoption program, your placement agency should have reputable contacts in that country to facilitate the legal process there. Always check on an agency and what you can find out about their reputation in-country before signing with them! Read the rest of this entry
If you’re working with a good adoption agency, they’ll have up-to-the-minute information on what each country wants to see from your dossier. But in case you ever want to double-check what you’re hearing, check with the U.S. Department of State.
The requirements your agency gives you should at least cover everything listed here.
Also useful for checking the status of currently-”closed” countries (we keep an eye on Guatemala, ourselves, since our twins were born there).