We know how frightening the adoption process can be!
That’s why we try to provide you with a comprehensive amount of information to ease your mind about international adoption!
The process outlined below describes a typical IAG adoption. The length of time required to complete an adoption will vary depending on the child preference specifications and the availability of the children who are eligible for adoption. Flexibility is the key to an expedited placement.
So you have decided to pursue a Russian adoption through International Assistance Group. What is the first thing that you should be doing?
First, all prospective parents need to complete a homestudy in their state of residence. The homestudy must be performed by a licensed social worker or by a representative from a licensed agency. IAG is licensed to complete homestudy services throughout the state of Pennsylvania for prospective adoptive parents. The homestudy generally takes 6 – 8 weeks, depending on the length of time parents take to complete the necessary paperwork. It is best to consult with IAG prior to making a commitment to a particular home study agency.
OK, so your home study is near completion; now what?
This is the point at which prospective parents will schedule to come in for the IAG interview at our offices in Oakmont, PA. The interview is designed to complete two very important goals: first IAG wants to ensure that all families are prepared for what lies ahead on their adoption journey. IAG will provide extensive information regarding the current adoption process, what challenges to expect as well as some of the “nuts and bolts” of paperwork and dossier completion. The second goal is to assess whether or not the propsective adoptive family will be a successful candidate for a Russian adoption. This involves an informal assessment of the prospective parent’s goals, priorities and expectations as well as the identification of any barriers to adoption that may exist.
Whew! You have made it past the interview! What happens after that?
Once the prospective parents are formally accepted into the program, the IAG Case Manager will work closely with the family to complete their dossier. IAG is one of the few agencies that obtains the necessary Apostilles (state certifications) that are required for every document that is submitted to Russia. It is one less thing that the propective adoptive parents will need to worry about!
That was a ton of paperwork but your dossier is finally done! Are you ready for the next step?
Once your dossier is submitted, a referral will be made by the appropriate government offices in the Russian Federation to prospective foreign families whose dossiers have been registered with the appropriate adoption officials. Prospective families will receive some basic information regarding their referral prior to their first trip to Russia.
Yeah! You have a referral and are so ready to travel. What can you expect?
Adoptions from Russia now require three trips; the first two lasting 6 to 7 days and the third lasting 10 to 14 days. The time between trip one and trip two is about 2 months. The time between trip 2 and trip 3 is about 4 weeks. IAG assists in all travel, visa and document preparation and translations. It sounds scarey but you will be escorted by IAG in-country staff throughout the entire 3 trips. Both parents are required to travel to Russia for trip one and trip two. It is possible for only one parent to travel for the third trip.
So what is happening during all of these trips to Russia?
The first trip is when families will meet their child for the first time. They will visit their child at their baby home in Russia and it is at that time that they will be able to ask any questions that they may have about their child. On the first trip a family will make the decision as to whether or not they wish to pursue the formal adoption of this child.
The second trip is when you finalize the adoption via a court hearing. IAG families are well prepared for court by the IAG in-country staff. Following the hearing, the judge will impose a mandatory 30 day waiting period during which time a birth parent could file an objection to the adoption. After the 30 days the family is now ready to travel back for the third trip and bring their child home!
The third trip involves obtaining the child’s new Russian passport, an interview at the American Embassy in Moscow and the registration of their child with the Russian Consulate. Following the interview at the US Embassy, the newly adopted child will receive an IR-3 visa. Visas are required so the adopted child can enter the United States. The child will become an automatice US citizen upon entrance into the United States.