Haitian Adoption Process

I wrote about the Haiti Adoption Process before and I feel as though I can read through this list a million times and try to “predict” when our kids will come home. I will never know and it is so up in the air, but at least this gives you a snapshot as to what is going on with our papers:

First things first – gather information for your home study & dossier.
Dossier: This is a packet comprised of all the forms necessary to complete an international adoption. Most dossiers require birth and marriage certificates, background check clearances, fingerprint clearances, approved home study, employee letter, INS Clearance, medical evaluations, and photos. These forms must be translated and legalized. This is the official document that goes to the government of the foreign country.
Home study: (adoption study) An investigative study of the family and home usually completed in 3 visits with a social worker. The homestudy will approve or deny the adoptive family for continued adoptive services, including placement of a child.
Dossier arrives in Haiti at the orphanage.

First Legal: Any document that had to be authenticated by the Haitian Consulate has to be taken to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for further legalization. They legalize the signature of the Haitian Consular Officer that legalized your dossier at the foreign Haitian Embassy in your country.

If the child to be adopted is already identified and/or as soon as the child is identified, the child’s portion of the adoption dossier has to be compiled. This dossier portion includes the social history on the child which is prepared by a Haitian Social Worker, a Psychologist report, a Medical report and a Lab Report is made. Additionally, the child’s birth certificate, parent’s death certificate or relinquishment papers are added to the dossier at that time. Additionally, any birth or death certificates have to have Archive Papers attached to the document. This certifies that the signature on the birth certificate and/or death certificate corresponds with the signature of the official who signed it.

When all the papers are back from Legalization and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the child’s paperwork is finished, the dossier is prepared for the National Office of Social Welfare (IBESR) and sent to the lawyer. The dossier consists of one original document dossier and three copy dossiers.

Dossier is given to IBESR. The dossier has to get approval from three offices within the IBESR office. *About 500+ dossiers from various countries (U.S., Canada, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, etc.) are in IBESR at any one time.

Once the dossier is approved at IBESR, it must be studied and signed at the Parquet Office.

Courts (2nd Legalization): Once the dossier is released from the Parquet, the dossier comes back to the lawyer. The court papers are typed and turned in to the court for the finalization of the adoption process. There are several steps that have to happen: (1) Attestation of the signature on the act of adoption. This is when archives in Haiti says that the signature on the act of adoption corresponds with the signature of the judge who signed it. Just legalizing the signature. (2) Legalization at the Minister of Justice Office. Papers must be legalized here for all countries, saying that the signature is the legal signature of the Judges involved on ALL papers. (3) legalization at the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Legalizing the signature of the Minister of Justice.

Application for the child’s Haitian Passport. The Orphanage representative submits a “mini” dossier that contains all the adopted child’s and adoption documents to the Ministry of Immigration. From there, the dossier is sent to the Ministry of Interior (MOI). Dossier goes to the Minister of Interior for study and approval. This is the portion in the current process that has been very slow. The average wait for the MOI portion is about 4-5 months but hopefully that will change soon. Inside of MOI the Approved Dossier is sent back to Immigration from MOI. The orphanage (creche) submits some additional paperwork so that the the passport can get printed.

Child is taken to have a Visa Medical Examination which is required as part of the visa application. Usually the medical exam has to be done after the passport is issued because the Embassy Doctor has to ensure that he/she is examining the child who is applying for the visa.

At the same time that the passport application is in the works, the U.S. Immigration process must be completed:- Haitian adoption papers are translated into English, so that an I-600 can be filed in the United States or in Haiti if the adoptive parents come to Haiti. As soon as the family receives the I-600 approval in the mail from USCIS, the orphanage needs to get a copy of it so that the U.S. Immigration Office in Haiti can finalize the orphan investigation process, which is necessary for the granting of the child’s visa that allows him to travel as an immigrant to the U.S.

The Orphanage submits the Visa Application with copies of certain documents to the U.S. Consulate. U.S. Consulate reviews the completed dossier before approving the visa.

The adoptive parents’ have their appointment in Haiti to receive the visa.

Get on the plane and go HOME with your child!


18 responses to “Haitian Adoption Process

  1. My name is Mabel Garcia, I am Argentinean, single and in the process to adopt a child in Haiti from For His Glory.
    I would love to know if you have any comment regarding the orphanage I chose.
    I am open minded and the truth will never hurt me.
    Hope very much to hear from you

  2. Hi Jamie,
    My friends and fellow teammates for the child sponsorship program His Hands for Haiti http://www.hishandsforhait.org, Matt and Carlyn, started the adoption of little Reggie in Jan. 2007 that we saw in Haiti at the orphanage “Children of Promise” near Cap Haitian when he was 3 months old (March 2007), and they are still waiting even when they were told it was just weeks away before they could come and get him, because some final paperwork was lost on someone’s desk……….it has been a heartbreaking process, Reggie is now 21 months old, and they fear he will spend his 2nd birthday in Haiti also.
    Why do they make it so hard to get these children home to their new parents?

  3. Hello! I just found your website and an overwhelmed at the adoption process! We are JUST starting and I feel completely lost right now. We are adopting from His Home for Children in Haiti and just received approval this past week. Now the LONG journey begins….and I see by many blogs that it is long 😦 Question, do you recommend hiring a lawyer in the US and Haiti? Thank you 🙂

  4. Who did you use for your homestudy?

  5. Hi, we are adopting from Haiti as well and it looks like we are at the same place in the process. We got out of Parquet in November. I love all the detail you have about the process and the steps, thanks.

  6. Hi Jamie,
    Thank you so much for your blog! It has been so inspiring and informative about the whole Haiti adoptions process. I was just wondering what agency you and Aaron using to adopt out of Haiti? My husband and I are wanting to adopt and have been overwhelmed by all of the agencies. Also, I saw on your husband’s blog that he recommends sponsoring a child from the Compassion agency… is that the only one y’all recommend? Thank you so much for any information! -Katie

  7. Hi Jamie,

    Nancy referred us to your blog. She is from WI like us and she is home visiting before returning to her full-time mission work in Haiti. We also have a friend who teaches English at a school in Haiti. She just left for her second year in Port-au-Prince.

    We are also adopting a boy and girl from Haiti, siblings ages 6 and 3. Your timeline looks similar. We submitted our dossier in June of 2008 and we are waiting for Presidential Dispensation, since we have 3 children at home.

    We are also very active in Compassion International and help others sponsor children. We have been able to deliver gifts to sponsored children in Haiti when we visit.

    Each of us has travelled once to visit our children at the orphanage in PAP. We won’t go back until we pick them up for good. (Too hard on them and us).

    Great to see a Christian adoptive parent’s blog!

    • Jon & Lori- do you have a blog? My wife Tina and I are adopting from Haiti as well. We believe we are very close to bringing her home (her visa appointment is Thursday – if approved we can go get her). I am a volunteer Child Advocate for Compassion, as well as Event Manager. I’d love to follow your progress. We have 3 other daughters, but did not have to apply for Presidential Dispensation, but we understand that most appeals to the president are approved.

      • Jon and Lori

        Hi Michael,

        How do I contact you? On your blog? Or email?
        We don’t have a blog, but would like to share Haiti adoption information.

    • Jon & Lori, you can use mjp2 @ comcast.net

  8. Hi,

    We are also adopting from haiti. What we find the hardest are the changes on rules. First you can have kids then you cannot….the most recent is the traveling to court. I am glad that I will get to see my daughter for the first time but it will be very heartbreaking to leave her behind when we leave. Hopefully she will be home after christmas.
    Kathy adopting Saraphina

  9. Hi Kathy,

    Can you explain how you need to travel for court now and go back in a few months? We, too,got caught up in the reverting to the old rules regarding children at home.


    Jon and Lori

  10. You need to travel to haiti and stand in front of the justice of the peace. You sign a statement that you want to adopt the child. Of course the 5 years we have been in this process is not enough to state we want this??? It was lovely going to haiti and seeing our beautiful girl. We had to leave our kids and home and were blessed that my sister took care of them. Our daughter was a little standoffish but was daily warming to us and then it was time to go. Our orphanage only recommends as short 3-4 day trip so the kids are not too traumatized by our leaving. I recommend going….it steeled in my mind how much I just want to get my girl home

  11. Kathy-

    We are working with FHG. We may have to travel to see the judge also, but hopefully not. This is mostly a wasted trip. Three days, the expenses to get there and back. Plus, we wouldn’t want to miss seeing the kids, but very hard on them to see us go again. Hopefully, the judge will get over this little power play by the time we are at this stage.

  12. Hey Jamie,
    I am on tour with Eric Brown right now and he referred me to your blog. Story is absolutely precious (but of course you already know that) and I pray the Lord would give you and extra measure of strength, wisdom, and love for the days ahead. I have been to Haiti twice and am hoping to return in January with my husband. There is a 6 year old little boy named McKinsley that I have fallen in love with in a certain orphanage bordering the DR, and Lord willing, would love to bring home. He is HIV positive so obviously there would be many obstacles to face, but I love him as my son. When I began looking into Haiti adoption laws I saw the minimum age to adopt was 35…but are you and Aaron 35? Curious as to what the current laws are. Thanks for your time! Hope to meet your sweet family one day!

  13. I think we’re adopting from the same orphanage. Today is the birth parent interview at the U.S. Embassy and I’m hoping for good results. Your blog is indeed helpful.

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