Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Process

The process of adopting from Uganda is much different than that of Russia.  I hope some of this will help explain why we will remain in Uganda for several weeks.
When we began looking to adopt again we started with our paperwork.  This time around our paperwork was much less than with Nolen's adoption.  We had to have most of the documents updated but we were not starting from scratch.  This took us less than 2 weeks.  When bringing our little man home it took us almost 6 months to acquire all of the paperwork.  After this we received a referral.
  A referral is a bunch of information and pictures about the child you might want to adopt.  This includes things like family history and medical history.  Based on the information that is received over the phone and internet you must make the decision to adopt this child or not, if you decide to pursue adoption it is known as accepting a referral.   When we adopted Nolen we accepted his referral in person, this was the point of our first trip to Russia.  Once you say yes the paper craziness continues.  We had to complete a few more documents on our end.  We hired an attorney in Uganda to collect the paperwork for our little girls.  Gathering their documents in Uganda took a bit of time.  We are told this is normal due to travel in Uganda not being the easiest (something to look forward too).  After all the paperwork is completed it is submitted to court (where our paperwork is now).  The group of documents is called a dossier.  Once it is at the court it will be assigned a judge and then the judge will put you on his schedule.
When we receive word that we have a court date we will go.
Once in Uganda we will go and have our first meeting with our daughters.  The girls live in a town approximately a 1.5 hour car ride from the airport.  We will not meet them until at least the second day there.
Then we will go to court.  At court the judge will grant Chad and I legal guardianship over the girls.  We will not finalize their adoption in Uganda.  In Russia we completed the entire adoption there.  This time we will be gaining guardianship in Uganda and finalizing the adoption in the USA.  This is because of the way Uganda law is written.  When we attend court it will hopefully only take a week for the judge to make his final decision.  When we receive the final court decree we can apply for the girls passports.
Part of Nolen's Russia Dossier
After receiving passports we will travel to Kampala where the USA embassy is located there.  It will take about a week for the embassy to do their thing.  They will provide us with the immigrant visas in the girls passports that are required for them to enter the United States.  And then we come home.

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