Every adoption can look different. This is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all description
of how every adoption journey will happen. This page and these steps are intended
to help you see the general outline of the adoption process. If you have specific
questions about a specific country program, you may view further details on our
page or contact our corporate office
at: 1 (800) 429-3369.
Each adoption process begins with assembling a collection of 13-15 documents called
a dossier. The dossier mainly consists of a financial statement, employment verification,
medical and health information, background checks, and a homestudy. The homestudy
is a report submitted by a social worker, after meeting at the family’s home, outlining
the family’s background and details of the household. All of these documents must
go through several levels of certification so that they can ultimately be used as
the legal framework for your adoption process. This stage is often referred to as
the “paper chase,” and should take, on average, 3-6 months to complete. The finished
dossier is forwarded to America World where our staff carefully reviews it to ensure
accuracy. Once approved, your dossier is forwarded to the country which you have
chosen to adopt from, and is then translated and processed.
This stage can often be the hardest for many adoptive families. Much like a physical
pregnancy, there will be much waiting involved with your adoption process. Although
sometimes documents need renewal and homestudies need to be updated, the majority
of the time is spent waiting during this stage of the process. To help families
use this time constructively, we provide specific materials and resources to you
to further educate yourself on your child’s cultural heritage, transcultural parenting
and other prevalent topics for a family through adoption. We also encourage you
to further your education process by joining the America World chat group dedicated
to your country program, as well as build community by speaking with other families
whom have gone through the same adoption process you’re currently in.
Referral & Travel
After you submit your dossier and the waiting period is over, you will receive your
child’s referral. The referral is your child’s basic profile, medical information,
and will also include your first picture of your son or daughter. Once you complete
some additional work online and the acceptance paperwork, our staff will make all
travel arrangements for the trip to bring your child home. Once in-country, the
moment you have anticipated will finally be a reality – you will meet the child
that the Lord has purposefully chosen for you! After being united with your child,
there is time in-country for the bonding process to begin while you apply for his
or her U.S. visa.
When you return home with your son or daughter, the adoption process is still not
quite over – there are still steps that need to be taken and ones that we encourage
families to pursue. Upon your return, we will provide you with a “Welcome Back”
packet, which will outline all remaining steps, including post-placement reports.
These reports are designed to be a checkup on your child to see how he or she is
adjusting to his or her new home environment and how the family bonding is progressing.
We also strongly encourage families to re-adopt even when a specific country program
does not require that this occurs.
Start your Adoption Journey Now