Okay so here is the gist of it all...since we are just in the beginning, I don't know alot of the details, but this is what we should expect....
Registration: Fill out a registration and pay a small fee to the agency to begin the application process (COMPLETED)
Application A: Officially contract with our agency. More paperwork. The first agency fee due. (COMPLETED)
Home Study: This takes between 3-5 months. We have contacted our homestudy agency. We need to fill out some preliminary background checks and will be assigned a social worker. We will meet with her 2-3 times. She will come to our house and make sure it is a safe environment for a child, ask us questions about parenting, our desire to adopt, how to deal with adoption issues, finances, and so on. She will then write up a report that will be sent to the Philippines. (COMPLETED)
Education Classes: Jeff and I have to complete at least 12 hours of adoption education classes and have some required reading. We will be working on this during our homestudy. (COMPLETED)
Application B: 45 days after we have submitted Application A to our agency, we need to have completed Application B. This is basically more paperwork: a medical evaluation of each person living in the home, affadavit from our insurance company that our child can be added, and proof of completion of our education classes. 2nd Agency fee due. (COMPLETED)
USCIS I-800A: After our homestudy is finished, we have to apply to the US government to adopt a child. This will include more paperwork, copies of birth certificates, marriage license, and fingerprinting. And of course, payment. (COMPLETED)
Dossier: A dossier is a package of documents that are compiled and submitted to the Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) in the Philippines. ICAB will review the dossier, and once it is approved will use that information to match us with a child. The documents that go into a Dossier are:
*a character reference from our religious leader that has known us for at least 5 years,
from an employer, and from a community member.
*1040 Tax Form
*criminal history clearances
*Questionnaires that are sent to us regarding acceptable child and applications (COMPLETED)
ICAB Approval: After our dossier is sent to the Philippines, it will take the ICAB 1-3 months to approve us. (COMPLETED)
WAIT: After the approval, we just wait. Current estimated wait times are 18-24 months. Perfect for us, Casen has to be older than the adopted child, preferably by a year. **Wait times have changed to 24-30 months.
Referral: When it is time to match a child, ICAB will identify 5 families that are a match for the child. They will then send those families' profiles to the orphanage, where the caregivers who know the child best will pick 2 families (1st and 2nd choices) that would be a good match for the child. The family that is first choice, gets the referral and can accept or deny (if denied, the child is referred to the 2nd choice family). When we are given a referral, this will include a photograph, medical information, and background information when available. The child will be between 24-36 months.
Travel: After acceptance of a referral, the Philippine government will invite us to travel 3-5 months later. Travel will only be 5-7 days.
Post-Placement: After child arrives, we will need to complete at least 3 post-placement reports through our social worker. After that is done, we can finalize our adoption through a lawyer.
And then say....awwww!!!!