An Open Door Adoption : Poland

Polish Adoption Overview

Poland is part of the Hague Convention for International Adoption along with the United States. Thus, intercountry adoption may take place only after exhaustion of all possibilities of finding for an adoptee a family in Poland. This means in practice that children qualified for intercountry adoption are usually older children (6-7 years old and more), groups of siblings, children with special needs, medical conditions, or have developmental delays, and for whom no suitable family was found in the country of origin. For many of these children international adoption is their only chance for having a family.

The Polish Central Authority publishes a list of sibling groups and special needs children available for international adoption. This list is given to our agency and shared with our waiting families. We can provide families with photos of the children, as well as a description of their personalities, a developmental, psycho-social, and cognitive assessment, and the child’s overall health prior to a referral being issued for the child. Poland provides thorough information on the history of the child. The Open Door Adoption works to find qualified candidates among the list of children they believe most appropriate and well-suited for a family. Overall the orphanage standards are good and children are well cared for and receive medical or other therapeutic interventions.

 


 

 

Polish Waiting Children Gallery*

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Polish Adoption Eligibility

  • The criteria for an adoptive person is below:
  • Both married and single persons may adopt.
  • The minimum age to adopt from Poland is 25 years. While there is no official upper age limit, in practice adoptive parents must be no more than 40 years older than the child they adopt.
  • Poland has set no specific income requirements however they will assess adoptive families to ensure they have a stable financial situation, as well as overall good health and appropriate moral qualities.
  • Adoptive parent training is required as per Hague guidelines.
  • While Poland is a Catholic country they allow both Catholics and non-Catholics to adopt.

Waiting Polish Children

Almost all orphanage children experience some emotional issues and developmental delays from the loss of family and simply from institutionalization. Special needs children from Poland are able to be adopted internationally. The family will be presented with all available information on the child’s medical condition and social history. A special report will be prepared by the agency’s in-county representative based on all available information. The adoptive family has the right to make the final decision on the selection of their child. Based first on medicals, and then on time spent with the child, each family decides whether the referred child is right for their family.

Training in international adoption is offered by our agency, the home study agency and/or on-line resources. The training prepares the adoptive family for the adoption process, for identifying and avoiding any significant emotional problems, and ultimately for helping an orphan child reach their full potential.

We have consistently found that families which have earnestly sought their child in prayer have ultimately been blessed with the right child for them.


Adoption Process from Poland

  1. Apply to our agency with an application (can be emailed or found at opendooradoption.org/contact). Apply for a passport if you do not already have one which will be valid for another 18 months.

  2. We will review your application and mail you our service agreement.

  3. Complete the service agreement and mail it to TOD.

  4. We will send you a comprehensive guidebook, with step by step instructions throughout the adoption process. Many families have commented that this is an invaluable resource and that it was very helpful throughout the adoption process.

  5. Begin home study as soon as possible (we can provide this service for Georgia families and provide information on other agencies for families living outside of Georgia).  You are welcome to start on the home study in conjunction with completing our service agreement.

  6. Apply to USCIS with form I-800A when home study is completed. The I-800a application generally takes about 6-8 weeks before you will receive an approval.

  7. Complete dossier documents (when home study documents are completed you may start your dossier documents). We will send you a dossier packet via email in which most of the information for your dossier will be completed for you, inserted through a mail merge program. Meanwhile you will receive your I-800a approval from USCIS which will be a part of your dossier. Overall, depending on how quickly you can complete your paperwork you can expect to have your dossier prepared and on its way to Poland in about 4-6 months.

  8. Once your dossier is prepared and you have your I-800a approval you will have all documents legalized (apostilled) here in the United States.

  9. Your dossier is mailed to Poland and translated. This process takes several weeks.

  10. Meanwhile, our representative in Poland will submit your dossier first to the Adoption Center for approval and matching with a specific child. From there it will go to the Polish Central Authority for an additional review. This process takes approximately one month.

  11. Family’s opting to adopt a waiting child will submit an application and documents to the court to request the specific child they wish to adopt. This process can take a few weeks. Families who do not see a child they feel might be a good fit for their family available on our website may request a child from Poland within the approval parameters they desire. Families requesting to be matched by the adoption center in Poland will generally wait a little longer than families requesting a specific waiting child.  Once approved the family will submit an I-800 application with USCIS. They will then travel for their first trip to Poland for a period called the bonding period. Time from I-800 application to travel is about  3-5 months.

  12. During the bonding period the family will meet their child, get to know the child and better assess if the child is a good fit for their family. If all goes well the period will last 2-3 weeks and be followed by a court hearing. This trip will typically last 2-3 weeks. Both parents must be present.

  13. After the court hearing parents will typically return to the United States while they wait for the adoption to be finalized. This wait time typically takes about 3 weeks (parents can remain in Poland during this time if they wish). One or both parents can then return to Poland for the final part of the process.

  14. You will complete the adoption process by obtaining your child’s new child’s new birth certificate, passport, and medicals. The final step will involve obtaining a visa for your child in Warsaw.

 


Poland Travel Tips

Poland is a very beautiful country and a pleasant place to travel. Warsaw, the capital city, combines the modern with the past. You will see grand architecture and beautiful parks. Our facilitator in Poland will guide you through the entire in-country process and escort you to all adoption related appointments.

Hotel accommodations range up to four star ratings and include quaint hotels in the Old Town or in Centre. There are also many comfortable apartments. Our facilitator can help to guide and advise you about travel arrangements and planning, whether in Warsaw or other cities.