International Adoption Paperwork Checklist

International Adoption Paperwork Checklist

Sometimes called the “Paper Baby”, your adoption dossier contains all the important documents and paperwork that will be sent to the country where the child you will adopt resides. Adoption involves a lot of preparation. Before you decide on preparing your dossier paperwork, you need to make a checklist of what’s important. 

What is an Adoption Dossier?

A dossier is a complete collection of relevant documents and information needed to process an international adoption. The information provided in this document will be used to verify your qualifications to adopt and your identity. Your adoption agency will guide you, translate, and review all documents before they are sent to the sending-country where your child resides.

What Documents Are Needed To Adopt Internationally? 

The exact documents, which must all be original, needed for your dossier will depend upon the country that you’re adopting from. Your adoption agency will specify all relevant documents needed. The list of documents below will very likely all be needed as part of your dossier: 

  • Application form to Adoption Agency
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce certificates
  • Application/Introduction letter to sending-country
  • Mental health reports
  • Medical forms
  • Employment information
  • Home assessment report (Home Study)
  • Adoption agency license
  • Background check reports
  • Passport copies
  • Visa application
  • Power of Attorney
  • Reference letters
  • Birth certificates
  • Pictures of family and home environment
  • Bank statements
  • Tax return copy
  • Homeownership paperwork

We highly recommend that each family gather 3 original copies of each document. A set will be sent to your child’s sending-country, a set should travel with you when you adopt, and an additional set to keep at home as a back-up should anything be lost during the process of authentication. 

While compiling your documents, there are a few things to remember. 

  • Set up a system of either a binder or an expanding folder system where all documents are kept.
  • Start compiling your dossier asap. Requests for birth certificates and licenses take time to get approved and processed
  • Consider applying for your passport early or make sure that your current passport will not expire within the next 2 years and has several empty pages.

It’s always best to contact your adoption service provider to provide you a checklist of everything you need.

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