The International Adoption Process

International Adoption Process

Below is an overview of the major steps in the adoption process.

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. 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 and submit the Adoptive Family Profile (a more detailed application).

Once the AFP is approved, we will receive the Adoption Service Agreement. The fee disclosures can be seen 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 StudyAdoption from Korea

The home study evaluates a family’s strengths for an adoption. To prepare for the home study, 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, you will be presented the assignment, sometimes called the referral or match. This is the child’s background study for your consideration. It includes pictures, medical reports, developmental information, and available social history. This is a very exciting time and our staff will be there to answer any questions.

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.

We urge our families to contact an independent medical specialist to evaluate the information at the assignment. If there are any concerns, New Beginnings will request additional information.

International Adoption Bringing Your Child Home

The excitement of accepting the assignment is soon followed by the anticipation of 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 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 given 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

In estimating the length of time, we begin a the receipt of the adoption service agreement. The estimates include the time it takes to complete the home study, and receive and accept the assignment. And ends when you bring 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 completed, 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. The length of time from when the dossier is submitted to the assignment is as little as two to four weeks in Korea. In China, families often 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.

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