A Dossier is the collection of documents that is sent to the foreign country that the adoption will take place in. These documents are time sensitive and can take a lot of steps to complete. We started working towards our Dossier in September with the Home Study Process. Each new document that we completed went in a very specific place in our house that would be safe and out of the way. My husband and I protected these documents and never let them out of our sight when we had them out of the house. When others had to work on them we wouldn't let them touch them until we told them EXACTLY how to fill them out. One mistake and the document is invalid. Each document was anxiously awaited for when we had to send them through the mail. I never knew how emotionally attached I could be to these documents. The last week or so I have had trouble sleeping worrying about completing these documents. When I finished the last step of completing our Dossier yesterday I held it together until I got to the car and then I just cried because I was so happy to finally have this part done. This has been an emotional process for sure! Last night was the first great night of sleep that I have had in a long time.
Here is a list of the documents that we had to prepare, Notarize, and Apostille:
Home Study (2 Copies Notarized and Apostilled)
Home Study Agency License (2 copies Notarized as "true and exact copies" and Apostilled)
Social Worker's License (2 copies Notarized as "true and exact copies" and Apostilled)
Certified Marriage Certificate (2 Certified in County of Marriage License, Apostilled in State of Marriage)
Copy of 2013 1040 Tax Form (Notarized as "true and exact copy" and Apostilled)
3 Color Passport Copies per Parent (6 Notarized as "true and exact copy" and Apostilled)
Petition for Adoption (Notarized and Apostilled)
Home Ownership Letter With Real Estate License attached (Notarized and Apostilled (this had to be done
three separate times due to mistakes...not the Realtor's fault. The Notary's commision expired before we
could apostille due to delays, etc.))
State Police Clearance (Notarized and Apostilled)
Interpol Background Check (2 Notarized and Apostilled)
Petition to Use Personal Information (Notarized and Apostilled)
Employment Letter (under one month old Notarized and Apostilled)
Power of Attorney (4 non specific Notarized and Apostilled)
Power of Attorney (2 specific Notarized and Apostilled)
Consent (Notarized and Apostilled)
Consent for Adoption (2 Notarized and Apostilled)
Letter of Obligation (2 Notarized and Apostilled)
Medical Exam Report one per parent (2 Notarized and Apostilled)
Copy of I-171H -Notice of Favorable Determination (Immigration Approval) (Notarized as "true and exact
copy" and Apostilled)
It came out to be 37 separate documents that I shipped today along with other fees and an addendum to our contract. (See time line page).
I've been asked what Apostille means a few times.An Apostille is a form of Authentication/ Certification to be used in countries who are signed as part of the Hague Convention. The process can be different depending on what country the documents will be used in. It is basically a double to check to make sure the the Notary is current on their commission and that they notarized the document correctly. An Apostille does the same thing for certified documents like a Marriage License. An Apostille can only be obtained from the state the document originated in.
Our Dossier is on its way to our Adoption Agency where it will be reviewed for accuracy and then sent on to Ukraine for translation. Once it is translated it will be submitted to the Government office (SDA) that will invite us over to review files of children waiting to be adopted. Now comes the hard part: we wait.