We have decided to pursue an independent adoption. This means that we will not be using a US agency to facilitate our adoption. In most parts of the world this is not advised, but the country we are adopting from actually has laws that prohibit adoption agencies from working in their country. So agencies that have programs in this country just hire an in-country facilitator who has power of attorney for the couple and serves as guide/translator while they are in the country. The agency is simply there to hold your hand on this side of the ocean, help you prepare your paperwork, make travel plans, etc. By adopting independently, we’ll just be hiring a facilitator directly, cutting out the middle man, doing a little more of the work ourselves, and saving upwards of $10,000 in the process.

We do, however, have an agency who is doing our home study. So if I refer to our agency, I’m talking about the local agency that is doing that part of the work. We have signed a contract with this agency and are working hard on preparing our documents. We’ll be starting our required 10 hours of adoption training soon (it’s all online) and our social worker, Debbi, is coming next week for our first interview and home inspection. We hope to have our home study completed by mid-May, as we’re going to be living out of state for a couple of months this summer.

We have chosen a facilitator named Nina to help us with our in-country process. She comes highly recommended from other adoptive families, and we are excited to be working with her. We’re currently trying to figure out the best time to travel so we can know when we need to submit our dossier. The dossier is the collection of documents that the government adoption authority needs to approve us for adoption. We’re thinking the best time to travel will probably be sometime between November 2010 and January 2011. We’ll probably make two separate trips- on the first we will select a child/children that we want to visit, choose the child/children that we will adopt, and then go to  court. We’ll then return home for about 2 wks because this country has a mandatory 10 day waiting period to allow time for their decision to be appealed. Then I will return to finalize the paperwork and bring the child/children home. Of course this may all change, but this is what we’re thinking at this point.