By choice, we have become a family, first in our hearts, and finally in breath and being. Great expectations are good; great experiences are better.
~ Richard Fischer
While you are in the midst of your paper chase, you may need to have your dossier certified by the Secretary of State. If you live in the Augusta area, you can bring the documents to the Secretary of State's office at 111 Sewall Street, 4th Floor, (207) 624-7736.
Once you have decided to adopt a child residing in another country, you will have to file an application with U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are two forms, one is for an adoption with a Hauge Adoption Convention country, the other form is for families adopting from a non-Hauge Adoption Convention country. No matter which road you take, you will file this application with your filing fee of $670 and fingerprint fee ($80 per person 18 years and older in your home) by certified check or money order, your home study, your birth certificate(s), marriage certificate (if applicable), and divorce decree(s) (if applicable). Once your paperwork has been approved you will be notified by USCIS of the time and date to appear in Portland to be fingerprinted.
You will need form I-800A, if you are planning to adopt a child who resides in a Hague Adoption Convention country. See Intercountry Adoption, Office of Children's Issues, United States Department of State to see the list of countries participating in the convention. (Note, scroll down the webpage to find the table or you might miss this information.) Form I-800A is the Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.
You will need form I-600A if you are planning to adopt a child who resides in a non-Hauge Convention country. Form I-600A, is the Application for Advance Processing of your Orphan Petition.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: After you have filed your dossier, check with your agency to confirm your paperwork was filed with the appropriate governmental agency in the country you plan to adopt from. Be sure to request all related information such as date filed, assigned or log in numbers, etc.
Websites for Families Created Through International Adoption:
International adoption is a journey all it's own. With MeFCA's original focus on adoptions from Asian countries, this is the original list of links. We'd love to expand it with more resources. Please contact us with links you found helpful.
- Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption
- Families with Children from China
- Families with Children from Vietnam
- Intercountry Adoption - Office of Children's Issues, United States Department of State
- Korean Focus
Websites recommended by MeFCA members.
Adoption Club House for adopted children aged 8-12.
Blessed Kids - Chinese translation services, care packages to orphanages.
Both Ends Burning is a campaign to reform intercountry adoption so that more orphaned children can grow up in loving, caring homes. Our goal is to make intercountry adoption more affordable and less bureaucratic. Both ends of the adoption spectrum are troubled: Orphaned children need loving homes, and willing families face undue barriers to adopt them.
China Care Foundation is dedicated to saving the lives of medically fragile orphaned children in China. Founded in 2000 by a determined teenager, China Care is also committed to empowering young people to use their abilities and creativity to help improve the lives of children in need.
The International Adoption Clinic at Floating Hospital for Children offers both pre-adoptive and post-adoptive services. Goals are to provide comprehensive family preparation, as well as nutritional, medical, and developmental evaluations and support for internationally adopted children throughout all stages. The clinic provides educational programs for pre-adoptive parents, review a child's medical records prior to his/her arrival, as well as screening for the special health care needs of internationally adopted children.
Love Without Boundaries is a worldwide group of volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China providing humanitarian aid in five key areas – Education, Foster Care, Healing Homes, Medical, and Orphanage Assistance.
Mei Magazine - This quarterly, glossy publication is a wholesome and age-appropriate magazine with a special emphasis on issues specific to Chinese adoptees ages 7 to 14. The concept of having a magazine for adopted kids is critical. Mei Magazine is also geared for kids adopted from Asian countries.
Ni Hao Books - an online bookstore dedicated to equipping you to help children learn Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture.
Research China - Finding Ads, DVDs and other services.
Please email us if you have other websites you'd like us to add to this list.