A dossier is a collection of the documentation you will need to complete your international adoption. With the information you provide in these documents, the authorities involved in your adoption will be able to verify that you have followed their procedures and are ready to adopt.
Because of all the forms required, compiling an international adoption dossier may seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, the dossier is largely composed of documents that you will naturally obtain over the course of your adoption journey, such as application forms or home study reports. In addition, your adoption service provider will help you make sure you have everything you need.
What Do I Need?
The exact contents of your dossier will depend on your adoption professional and the country from which you adopt. For a general idea, you can refer to the following checklist of items usually included in the dossier:
- Application form
- Application letter
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Medical forms
- Mental health reports
- Employment information
- Bank statements of other financial forms
- Copy of recent tax return
- Home ownership/rental agreement paperwork
- Pictures of family and home environment
- Home study report
- Adoption agency license
- Background check reports
- Passport and photo copies
- Visa application
- Power of Attorney
- Reference letters
Aside from the contents of the dossier, there are a few other things you will want to remember as you prepare to submit your paperwork:
- All of your documents must be properly authenticated before you send them to the authorities of a foreign country. This typically involves having them notarized. Any additional steps you have to take will be outlined by your adoption professional.
- Many of the documents in your dossier will need to be originals, not copies, but you should keep at least one copy of everything in your dossier.
- Develop an organizational system at the very beginning. That way, as the documents begin to add up, you will know how to keep them in order.
- Get started on compiling your dossier as soon as you can. When you begin requesting forms such as birth certificates and marriage licenses, the time it takes to receive them can often be longer than you expect.
Please remember that every country and every adoption agency has specific requirements that may differ from one another. For a comprehensive list of everything you will need, contact your adoption service provider.