Sunday, January 6, 2013

An adoption update

First of all, we were very excited to learn that during the 'fiscal cliff' budget negotiations, the adoption tax credit was extended! It is a credit, not a refund as it was in a previous year, but it will still help offset the costs of adoption a little bit, which is a blessing to many families!

Not really much to report on the adoption front, we finished our home visits in December and are waiting for our homestudy to be finished. It's a little bit frustrating to be doing this over the holidays because there are the holidays when nobody is working, and our case worker had the nerve to go visit family the week after Christmas ;) So it seems to drag on a little longer than usual, and we are of course getting antsy to move on with the next step. If you missed the announcement, you can view it here.

The next step, once we have our official homestudy in hand, is to apply for our I-800 with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (if you were around during our last adoption process, you've heard us complain about mention USCIS before ;) The 1-800 is a petition to classify an adoptee as an immediate relative and is needed to take custody of our child in Hong Kong and will be needed to bring him/her home with us.A difference between Hong Kong adoption and Ethiopia adoption is that in Ethiopia, we went to court and became legally their parents. They got an Ethiopian birth certificate made with their first name and our last name, and when they came home, they became American citizens upon arrival on US soil. In Hong Kong, we only become legal guardians in Hong Kong. We have to finalize the adoption here in the US and apply for US citizenship.So that will be a new experience for us.

Once we receive I-800 approval, we send our dossier, a big packet documents that represents our family to the authorities in Hong Kong. Documents like the I-800, homestudy, marriage licence, financial information, etc.

When our dossier is approved in Hong Kong, we can be matched with a child. This could be 4-6 months from now. Travel to pick up a child usually occurs 6-12 months after the dossier gets to Hong Kong. So we're looking at a long wait. Luckily we have 3 little ones here to keep us busy :)

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