The International Adoption Process

International Adoption Process Below is an overview of the process. It unfolds a little differently for each applicant, but to know the major steps helps all of us to successfully complete the adoption.

Beginning the Process

To help us better determine the program you are best suited for; consider submitting a Pre-Application. The Pre-Application can be done online on our website here. You are also welcome to call us at 516-747-2204 and we are available for an orientation at our main office.

Once you are ready to begin, fill out an Adoptive Family Profile (a more detailed application). The form can be downloaded here. If you would like a hard copy, call or e-mail us.

Once the AFP is approved, we will present the Adoption Service Agreement. The fee disclosures can be seen at on our website here. If you would like a Sample Agreement for review, check out our disclosures page or call or e-mail us.

Home Study

Adoption from Korea

The home study evaluates a family’s strengths for an adoption. To prepare for the home study, first we will need supporting documents: clearances, medical reports, financial statement, references, etc. We will provide the proper forms and instructions on what is needed.

Parent Training is also required. Workshops  are done online with Adoption Learning Partners.

Once these are complete, a Social Worker will schedule the home visits and write the home study report. The home study is sent to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for their approval. Then, the home study, the USCIS approval and supporting documents are gathered for your Dossier that is sent to the foreign country.

International Adoption Home StudiesAssignment

After the dossier has been approved by the foreign country, next is the assignment or referral. The assignment is the child’s background study for consideration. The background study  includes pictures, medical reports, developmental information and  social history. This is a very exciting time and our caseworker and staff will be there to counsel you on your decision.

For families adopting a waiting child, information on the child is usually made available early in the process. In a relative adoption information on the child is known as well.  In both situations, the foreign countries will still present the child background study and legal documents.

It is possible that there still may be undiscovered or undiagnosed medical conditions or problems. We urge our families to contact an independent medical specialist to evaluate any information received. If there are any concerns about the information, New Beginnings will request additional information.

International Adoption Bringing Your Child Home

The excitement of accepting the assignment is soon followed by anticipation bringing your child home. Once the child’s legal information is received, New Beginnings will assist with the USCIS filing for the child’s immigration. Once approved, you can now travel. There, you will take custody of your child. For many programs, the adoption is finalized in the country as well. There are some countries in which guardianship is give to immigrate the child, and the adoption is finalized in the US.

Anticipate some period for adjustment the first days and weeks of parenting. There will be changes to his routine, diet, sleep. There are new faces, new smells, new everything. Of course, there will also be changes to your routine, diet and sleep as well. With a little empathy and patience, you will be enjoying the first days of your new lives together.

Post Adoption/Placement Supervision

After you come home, you will need to have post adoption or post placement services. During the supervisory period, you and your social worker will meet at least three times to see how everyone is adjusting and to provide information and support to your family. The length of the supervision can be as short as six months, but for some countries it can be longer. These longer supervisory periods will usually allow for self reports.

Estimating the Length of Time

We estimate the length of time from the receipt of the adoption agreement to bringing your child home. The following is based on our averages. Please remember, individual cases will vary from these estimates.

  • Korea, 12 to 18 months.
  • China, 12 to 15 months.
  • Thailand, 24 to 36 months.

Home Study. The process to have your home study competed, USCIS approval and dossier prepared and submitted, takes three to five months for Korea; six to eight months in China, and six to nine months in Thailand. The adopting family has some control over the home study by how quickly supporting documents are completed.

Assignment. From when the home study is done and the dossier is submitted, in Korea, the referral is presented in as little as two to four weeks. In China, often families have an identified child when the process is initiated. The formal referral will still take two or three months. In Thailand, anticipate a year or more for the assignment.

Bringing Your Child Home. From when you have accepted the referral to when you travel to be placed with the child, takes six to nine months in Korea and the same for Thailand. In China, it takes four months.