An Open Door Adoption : The Process


 

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked.”

1 SAMUEL 1:27

Domestic Infant Options Information

1 – 2 WEEKS:

PHONE CALL
When you call, our adoption consultants will help you decide if applying is right for you.

APPLICATION
You will receive a response within one week of your application.

ACTIVE STATUS
Once you are accepted into a program, we help you find a child based on your requests. Do you envision an open adoption, a semi-open adoption or a closed adoption? We can help you make the best choice for you.



2 TO 3 MONTHS:


PARENT TRAINING

The Hague Convention requires 10 hours of parental training. An Open Door assists families with obtaining training. The training helps prepare you to parent a child who is learning a new language, culture and family.

HOME STUDY 
A caseworker is assigned to complete a home study.

 


5 TO 8 WEEKS:

USCIS APPROVAL
Once your home study is complete you will submit the appropriate immigration form for your country program in order to be approved by United States Immigration Services as an international adoptive couple.

LIFE BOOKS
You create a “Life Book” giving birth mothers a glimpse of your family, home and heart for the child through some friendly photos.

MATCHING
Once you are in the program and your Life Book is received, birth mothers are able to select you, or sometimes we will match a child to a family for the birth mother, if she requests it.

MEETING THE BIRTH MOTHER
If appropriate, you will have the chance to meet the birth mother and spend some time with her. Sometimes, you may be present for the birth, sometimes not.

SIGNING SURRENDERS
Once the baby is born, the birth mother signs a document surrendering her parental rights. According to Georgia law, she has ten days to change her mind. This is called the Revocation Period. If she does, the baby will be returned to her. If we feel that a placement is “high-risk”, you may choose to place the baby in a wonderful caring home until the 10-day period has passed. You should also know that it is typical in the United States for 1/3 of adopting couples to experience at least one revocation. This is often a very difficult experience, and our heart is to help you with the support you need as you ultimately journey to the child God has for you.

FINALIZATION
This usually occurs three to six months after placement.

COMMUNICATION
Our Agency provides birth mothers with monthly updates of the child for the first six months and yearly updates for every year after until the child is 21.


An Open Door works with a limited number of families. Usually, the waiting period is six months to one year to be matched.


INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION PROCESS OVERVIEW

PHONE CALL

When you call, our adoption consultants will help you decide if applying is right for you.

APPLICATION

Upon receipt of your application our director will review it and ensure that the country program you have requested is a good fit for your family. You will receive a response about your approval within one week of your application’s receipt at our office. Upon approval, we will send you additional paperwork which provides more information about international adoption.

FINDING YOUR CHILD: WAITING LISTS & HOSTING

Once you have been accepted into the program, you might be able to begin looking at waiting children’s lists, if this is how your country program operates. Alternately, if you have hosted a child you now wish to adopt, you might already have a chid in mind. Each country will operate slightly differently in terms of this process.

PARENT TRAINING

The Hague Convention requires 10 hours of parental training. An Open Door assists families with obtaining training. The training helps prepare you to parent a child who is learning a new language, culture and family.

HOME STUDY

All adoptions require a home study. If you live in the state of Georgia, An Open Door caseworker is able to provide the home study for your family. If you live outside of Georgia you will need an agency located in your state for the home study. We can help suggest possible agencies in your state of residence if needed.

USCIS APPROVAL

Once your home study is complete you will submit the appropriate immigration form for your country program in order to be approved by United States Immigration Services as an international adoptive couple.

DOSSIER

Once finished with your home study packet and while you are waiting for your USCIS approval, you will be preparing dossier paperwork according to your country program’s requirements. Your adoption consultant will help you through this process, creating the dossier packet with your information inserted into the documents, offering guidance and tips on completing the information, and reviewing the information to make sure it is correctly completed.

APPLYING WITH THE FOREIGN COUNTRY

Once your dossier is ready, it is sent to the foreign country and is translated and then submitted for approval by that government. Once you are approved, you can take the next steps to adopt your child. In some countries this means moving forward to travel for your first trip, in other countries this means requesting a child from a waiting child list, and in other situations you may begin a wait period to be matched with a child by the foreign government. Speak with your adoption consultant to understand which situation applies to you.

CHILD’S MEDICAL RECORDS

Once you are matched with a child by the foreign country, you will receive your child’s medical records to review. Adoptive parents will review the referral information, seek a medical opinion if desired, and accept or deny the referral.

TRAVEL

The travel process can vary greatly from one country to the next. Speak with your adoption consultant about how this works in your country, including the overall time frame, time in country, and number of trips to the country required. During the travel process you will be meeting with the foreign adoption authority, meeting your child, and initializing the court process.

FINALIZATION

The adoption is finalized in the foreign court. After the court hearing you will process through other in country paperwork, including getting a new birth certificate for your child, a new passport, and then applying with the US Embassy for a Visa.

VISA

Your final step before coming home with your child is to apply for and receive a Visa for your child to enter into the US. You will complete certain paperwork in advance in order to apply for the visa, as well as visiting a medical doctor for an evaluation of your child by a doctor appointed by the Embassy.

When you come home with your child you both will encounter a tremendous number of changes. These can include learning English, adjusting to a new culture and making new friends. And even more importantly this means getting to know each other as parent and child, and attaching and bonding to each other. There are many resources available both pre and post adoption which can better help you to know what to expect.

An Open Door works with a limited number of countries. The overall time frame can vary tremendously from one country to the next. Some adoptions might take as little as 6-9 months while others from countries with a longer wait time might take several years.