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Written by Nancy S
on July 08, 2023

You have have chosen international adoption as a way to grow your family.  Your first step was choosing a home study adoption agency and a Primary Provider (international placement agency).  Before you start your dossier, complete all the forms for your home study.  You are on the path to building your family through adoption and once your home study is complete and submitted to USCIS you are ready to start your dossier.  This is an important step, your dossier will represent you to your chosen country as potential adoptive parents. There are typically very strict requirements for an adoption dossier depending on the country you have chosen to adopt from.  The requirements may seem daunting but following a few simple steps can help you create a successful dossier for adopting your child.

  1. Contact your Primary Provider agency to ask for written instructions on preparing your international dossier.  They should be able to provide you with instructions on how each document needs to be prepared.  Many documents will have specific requirements and doing them correctly the first time will help save you time and money.
  2. Keep track of dates. Some countries will not allow documents to be older than 6 months so preparing your dossier documents at the correct time can prevent delays and problems.
  3.  Keeping a check list of necessary documents and what is yet to be completed will help you know where you are in the dossier process.  Working through the list of needed documents methodically will help make this process easier.  Read all instructions thoroughly before working on each document to prevent mistakes and having to redo your paperwork.
  4. Keep your papers organized by using files and binders to track your progress.  Organize your documents in folders marked for completion, notarization, certification and state authentication (apostille or great seal). 
  5. You will be working with many people to complete your dossier, be sure they all clearly understand the process necessary to complete the paperwork.   You will work with doctors, employers, accountants, realtors and banks to provide the needed documents.  Clear communication will help ensure the documents are correct the first time.  You have to insist they prepare the documents the way you ask. Countries will not accept incorrect documents and this will cause delays if they are not done correctly. Dossier documents can also be expensive so redoing documents will create additional expenses.
  6. Typically all documents will need to be notarized, county certified (depending on state requirements), and state authenticated (apostille or great seal.)  Check each document to be sure that all items are worded and spelled correctly, all names, addresses, dates of birth and passport numbers are correct.  This is an important step and being careful here can save you a lot of time and effort.
  7. When you (and typically your Primary Provider) have carefully checked and completed your dossier documents, they are ready to be sent to the state for authentication.  Be sure to keep a list or copy of what was sent and mail it using a shipping service that can track your package (Priority Mail or Fedex is recommended.)  After all, these documents are crucial to the adoption of your child.  You do not want to redo them because they were lost in the mail.
  8. Once all documents are completed and checked, you should make a copy of all pages including authentications.  You will need to send your dossier to your Primary Provider agency who will then check and approve your dossier.  Be sure to send your dossier using a shipping service that can track your package (such as Priority mail or Fedex.)  They will let you know if a document needs to be redone, and will be able to tell you why.
  9. Waiting to hear if your dossier has been approved can be hard, focusing on the outcome makes it easier.  You are now one step closer to adopting your child internationally.



As a Primary Provider, Family Connections, Inc., a duly authorized New York State adoption agency will help you prepare and complete your dossier for adoption from Belize, Bulgaria, Honduras, Hungary, Jamaica, and Pakistan.  The dossier process is one more step on the path to adopting your child.  Good communication is a must when working on your dossier, staying in close contact with your agency will make your dossier a success.  Make it fun, keep the goal in mind, reward yourself when you reach certain preparation goals.  This will take the anxiety out of your adoption dossier preparation.


If you would like more information about Family Connections primary provider, home study or post placement/post adoption services please contact us at 607-756-6574 or info@adoptfamilyconnections.org. You can also contact us below for more information about international adoption.

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