I've been lurking on here for quite a while now. I have learned so much from all of these posts! We're in the very early stages of adopting from Russia.
We received our Homestudy History packet yesterday and almost have it done so that we can get started on the homestudy itself. We just need a few pieces of information and have to write our autobiographies this weekend.
I know this part isn't much paperwork and that I'll have a ton more to do, but how much paperwork is there really for the Dossier? Is it mostly collecting forms, etc, or is it filling out papers like this has been. I wish you could type this stuff because it would go so much faster!
Also, I just realized that my birth date is wrong on our marriage certificate. I'm having it amended and it will be ready for me to pick up tomorrow. Do you think this will cause any problems as far as our paperwork goes?
Thanks everyone. You're all so helpful and supportive.
Hi, Im not sure which is the most paperwork. For the homestudy took alot of writing and thinking of what to say and of course both of us had to do seperate autobiographies that we typed on the computer. This took some time...several days to do because you really have to dig into your past to answer some of the questions for the autobiography.
The dossier...its alot of filling little short papers out that must be notarized, also its collecting forms from others which can be a hassle when they spell something wrong and have to do it seems easier to do the forms you do yourself because someone is bound to make a mistake spelling someones name or birthday. Its a hassle to get the doctors medical conclusion done so make your appointment early because it took our doctor 2 weeks to do then she mispelled our name and had to do again.
If people would just read the instructions they would fill the forms out right for us..but they dont. Also, make sure you know what a document that is properlly notarized looks like. We had papers from my job regarding medical insurance and my wages etc notarized at my work..they were notarized wrong. So, they had to be redone too. Also, we were more stressed during the dossier time because we were more eager to get things rolling and done. It took a month to get all the dossier together because of others mistakes. Oh....dont see a physicians assistant or nurse practionier either....the medical conclusion of yourself must be done by an MD. Paperworks just a hassle. And what a reliet to get done. You'll be there soon. Good luck Tracy
Beaglepup, That was a great question. Thanks for asking it. Tracy, Thanks for the info. My husband and I see a nurse practitioner and we were wondering if that would be ok for the dossier. When we have to have that physical we'll see the MD in the practice. Denise
Hello Beth, and welcome!
We're just past the dossier stage, so it's fresh! The dossier is a combination of collecting forms, and filling out forms, and usually providing photos of you and your home, too. Your agency should be able to give you a list of everything your dossier will need to include. The total quantity of documents may vary from agency to agency and from region to region. I would also ask your agency about the marriage certificate. As long as it is amended with the correct information, and that amendment is notarized, seems to me that it would be fine.
Our dossier ended up being 25 documents, times 4 sets. So we had 100 documents notarized and apostilled. The office manager at our agency is a notary, so she did the notarizing for free, but it cost $3 each for the apostilles. (we're in Massachusetts - fee varies by state. That $300 was a cost we hadn't planned on!!)
I agree with Tracy's advice. The medical forms were the biggest pain, but with patience, persistence and repeated explanation of what is needed, it can be done! I would add:
- take your time, and READ ALL OF THE FORMS before you start filling them out.
- make sure your names are the same on every form as they are on your passports.
- note that sometimes you're required to use blue ink so they know it's an original, and sometimes not. (if so, it will say so)
- after the forms are all filled out, let the pile sit for a day and then go back through it again to double check everything. There's too much work involved to have to do it again!
- make and keep one extra copy of the whole set of documents for yourself, just in case!
- Hand-deliver or use Express Mail, Fed Ex, etc. when sending that precious pile to your agency or to get apostilled, or whatever! (yes, it's $, but well worth it not to lose in the mail!)
Good luck!
- Maura :)
Welcome - the others have given great info - so here is my 2 cents. First of all don't sweat it. We luckily didn't have to write our autobiography, our SW did, but the paperwork really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Ask for a list from your agency that includes a list of what you need as well as how many copies and what needs to be notarized. I just made a checklist of what I had to do - 1) make appt with doctor 2) get sign off from doctor 3) get license from doctor - etc - that way I kept myself and husband sane. If you haven't done so you should think about who you would like your references to be and ask them. Sometimes people get really nervous about this so it's good to give them some time to mull over what they want to say.
Good luck!
Denise-I'm from Il and work for a Family Practice Group which hired a Nurse Prac about 1.5 years ago. You'd be surprised at the calls we get, even from area hospitals, wanting to know which MD she works under. To be safe, I'd put the MD's name on your paperwork. I personally think Nurse Practiceners are great and sometimes even more knowledgable than the Dr's, but people are leary of the "new". Better safe than sorry.
We saved a lot of time and hassle with our medical forms by contacting the doctors' (we each have a different one) secretaries ahead of time and talking to her about what we needed. We emailed her the wording for the conclusion/medical letter with our names filled out (spelled correctly) so she could print it out on letterhead and get a copy of the doctors' license. Then all the doctor needed to do was fill out the actual medical form and get the bunch notarized.
Another word to the wise---according to our agency, the letter and license are good for 1 year, but the medical form is only good for 3 months from signing date. We warned our doctors at the time that we would probably be back, because the chance of a final court date prior to 3 months would probably be low.
Good luck, and welcome to the process!
Thanks everyone. You're so helpful. Our agency gives us information in stages I think. for me, that's probably a double edged sword. lol I have a list of things we'll need for the homestudy and it says that some of the same things will be needed for dossier. I'm going to go get the amended marriage certificate today. I emailed the register of deeds and told her what it was for and she expedited it and is even having it transfered to the office that's closer to me. I hope everyone along the way is that nice!
I know we'll get through the paperwork, but I'm rather anal and am a worrier, so I'm always looking for what's going to go wrong!
Thanks again and good luck to everyone,