I remember when we were first starting the adoption process, I was really curious about everything that went into a dossier. I’ve heard that our agency is a little more stringent than some other agencies, but I have no basis for comparison. Basically, it’s just a lot of paperwork to prove that you are who you say you are, and that there’s reasonable evidence to assume that you’ll be good parents. Ours was 58 pages (plus copies of all 58 pages), so that’s quite a bit of proof!
Most of the documents are time-sensitive, so if you’re wanting to get a head start on official documents, don’t. The birth certificates, marriage certificates, and police reports have to be just the right type of document, and have to be notarized by someone with a stamp that expires within a certain time frame. If you’re like me, you’re thinking you should go ahead and get a head start before your family coordinator gives you the go ahead, but take a deep breath and just be patient. (I know, it’s hard!) Everything will get done.
For the insufferably curious (I can relate!), here’s what is in ours:
4 photo pages
application letter (notarized)
both of our birth certificates
both of our physical exam forms (notarized)
letters from our doctors (notarized)
proof of medical insurance (notarized)
proof of life insurance (notarized)
financial statement (notarized)
my husband’s employment verification letter (notarized)
my letter of non-employment (notarized)
our home study
3 letters of reference (notarized)
both of our police reports (notarized)
our approval notice from Homeland Security (notarized)
our commitments to post adoption reports
copies of our passports
extra passport pictures
certificates from our Hague courses
Yes, it’s pretty intense. It took us about 7 months to get it together, which is a little longer than average. If you’re just starting to get yours together – hang in there! One document at a time!