What is a dossier? This is a term that you hear a lot in the world of adoption. A dossier is the large group of documents that describe the adopting family. The documents are gathered and submitted to foreign courts. This bundle of documents is very large and contains more information about yourself and your family than you knew existed. Every country has their own requirements for dossiers. For example the Russian dossier for Nolen was hundreds of pages in length. Russia wanted multiple copies of everything. The Uganda dossier for the girls only requires one copy of the documents. Before the documents were sent to Russia they were notarized, county certified, and state apostilled. I was very excited when we found out the documents for Uganda only required notarizing.
Here is an example of some of the items you will find in an international adoption dossier:
Divorce Certificates (if applicable)
Citizenship and Immigration Approval Letter
Employment Verification Letter
FBI fingerprint background checks
Sex Offender registry background checks
Child Abuse registry background checks
Medical Evaluations For all family members & License of Dr. providing the evaluation
Psychological Evaluations & copy of Dr. license
Financial Statements prepared by a CPA including supporting data & copy of CPA's license
Letters from your mortgage company
Power of Attorney
The home study is a document that is prepared for your family by a licensed social worker. This best way to describe this is a biography of your family. There is a separate set of documents that are needed for the home study. Those include:
Medical Evaluations (We even had to have letters saying our dogs were up to date on their vaccines)
Complete Background Checks
Financial Statements including supporting Data
Letters of Recommendation for friends and family
Employment Verification Letters
It takes the average family 3 to 6 months to collect all of the documents for their dossier. It took us almost 6 months to complete Nolen's. The girls was done in about a month.
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