Sometimes the adoption process is referred to as a "paperwork pregnancy". It is definitely a labor of love and involves many, many documents. The culmination of this work is when you submit your dossier.
A dossier (dos-ee-ay) is a collection of documents that report on various aspects of your life and represents you as adoptive parents to the country’s government. Dossiers are comprised of country-specific documents, and vary in their requirements country to country.
Typically, a dossier is made up of:
For more info on Homestudies, check out our blog Adoption Lingo: What Is a Homestudy?
Many documents require a notarized signature as well as a verification of the notary called an apostille which is done through the Secretary of State office in your state.
The dossier, on average, takes 4 – 6 months to complete. Once your dossier is completed, it is authenticated and sent to the country for translation and submission to the country’s Central Adoption Authority.
A special thank you to CCAI for their assistance with this information!