Compiling A Dossier

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No matter which country from which you are hoping to adopt, you will be required to compile a dossier. What does the word "dossier" mean? The WorldNet Dictionary describes a dossier as "a collection of papers containing detailed information about a particular person or subject (usually a person's record)". When referring to an adoption, the dossier is the compilation of required documents you will need to gather for the country from which you are hoping to adopt.

Required Documents

* Adoption Petition (general) form provided -- notarized and apostilled.

* Adoption Petition (detailed) forms provided -- notarized and apostilled.

* Financial Information form provided -- notarized and apostilled.

* Copy of Home Study -- notarized and apostilled.

* Medical Clearance form(s) provided -- notarized and apostilled.

* Copy of INS Approval -17 -- notarized and apostilled.

* Post Placement Agreement form provided -- notarized and apostilled.

* Powers of Attorney form provided -- notarized and apostilled.

* Copies of US Passports form(s) provided -- notarized and apostilled.

* Copy of your Home Study Adoption Agency License-- notarized and apostilled.

* Letter of recommendation from your Home Study Adoption Agency-- notarized and apostilled.

* Copy of Marriage License/Certificate-- notarized and apostilled.

* Police Report(s)-- notarized and apostilled.

* Proof of Home Ownership / Rent -- notarized and apostilled.

* Family information form provided.

* Employment Verification Letter-- notarized and apostilled.

* Guarantee of the Child's Rights-- notarized and apostilled.

* Registration Obligation-- notarized and apostilled.

You have to provide us with one original set of notarized and apostilled documents and two sets of copies of notarized and apostilled documents.

Notarization is what a Notary Public does. Essentially, a Notary certifies that they witnessed a person sign a specific document. This is done to eliminate the possibility of forgery. A Notary can also certify that a copy of a document is a true and unaltered copy of the original document.

Naturally, if a Notary witnesses the signing of a document and notarizes it, the date of the signature and the date of the notarization must match. However, when notarizing a copy of an original document, the date of the original and the notarization do not usually match.

Every type of notarization requires different legal language, as defined by their state law. Notaries must be registered in their county and/or in their state, depending on the way the Notary system is setup in that state.

A Court Clerk's authorization take precedence over a Notary's. Therefore, a document stamped by a court clerk does not need to be notarized.

Apostillization is the process where the governmental body that registered the Notary certifies that the Notary's signature, seal, and license are valid. The government official will look at the signature and seal of the Notary on your notarized documents, check their records to validate the signature and seal. They will then attach another paper to your document with their authorization seal official's signature. This apostillization procedure certifies that the Notary's notarization is authentic.

If you contact the Secretary of State and ask them to apostille your documents, they will let you know what to do.

You will need to take with you when you travel :

- the original ( orange) of I-71H -- INS approval, which you should have received from the INS -- it is the permission of the American Immigration Services for you to bring a foreign child(ren) and raise them here. This form will be with your name, sent to your address, and you are the only one who can receive it.

- the original (blue) form I - 600, which you were supposed to receive in your INS packet when first applying for INS approval. The form I 600 will be the basis of the opening of the American visa for the child(ren). If you applied for INS for two children, you should have received two of these forms -- a form for each child. You will fill it out and sign it at the American Embassy in Moscow.

- a xerox copy of your home study.

- 3 copies of your last three years income tax returns - complete federal tax returns with all supporting schedules for the 3 most recent tax years. Each year's return must have all pages in the correct order and must be stapled together. The tax returns do NOT have to be notarized, but you have to provide complete sets (all of the schedules and forms you submit to the IRS). If you have not yet filed this year's return, bring returns for the preceding three years.

Offices of Secretaries of State of American States

Alabama (202)242-2944; 334-242-7210
Alaska (907)465-3520
Arizona (602)542-0681; (602)542-4285
Arkansas (501)682-1010; (501)682-3409
California (916)653-4620; (916)653-6814
Colorado (303)894-2200; (303)894-2680 ext1
Connecticut (860)566-4135; (860)566-4346
Delaware (302)739-3073; (302)739-6479
District of Columbia (202)727-3117
Florida (904-)22-0234
Georgia (334)656-2885; (404)327-6023
Hawaii (808)586-0255; (208)334-2300
Illinois (217)782-2201; (217)782-7017
Indiana (317)232-6531
Iowa (515)281-5204
Kansas (913)296-4575
Kentucky (502)564-3490; (502)564-7330
Louisiana (504)342-4479
Maine (207)626-8400; (207)287-4181
Maryland (410)974-5521
Massachusetts (617)727-9180; (617)727-2836
Michigan (517)73-2510; (517)373-2510
Minnesota (612)296-9232; (612)296-2079
Mississippi (601)359-1350
Missouri (314)751-4595; (573)751-4756
Montana (406)444-5379; (406)444-2034
Nebraska (402)471-2554
Nevada (702)687-5203
New Hampshire (603)271-3242
New Jersey (609)530-6421
New Mexico (505)827-3600
New York (518)474-4429; (212)417-5684
North Carolina (919)733-3406; (919)733-4104
North Dakota (701)328-2900
Ohio (614)466-2655; (614)466-2585
Oklahoma (405)521-3911
Oregon (503)986-1523; (503)378-4139
Pennsylvania (717)787-7630; (17)787-5280
Puerto Rico (809)723-4334
Rhode Island (401)277-2357
South Carolina (803)734-2170; (803)734-2512 or 2119
South Dakota (605)773-3537
Tennessee (615)741-2819
Texas (512)463-5555; (512)463-5701
Utah 801-538-1520
Vermont 802-828-2148; 802-828-2308
Virginia (804)786-2441
Washington (360)-7121; (360)902-4161
West Virginia (304)558-6000
Wisconsin (608)266-5503; (608)266-8888
Wyoming (307)777-5333; (307)777-6333
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