What are your plans now?
My husband and I are trying to decide as it looks more and more like Russia is not going to let us go ahead since we haven't yet gotten a referral. I am SOOO happy for those parents that have been to court and have gotten to take their children home, and am still praying for those others who have met their children and they haven't yet decided what they are going to do in this year.

My question is this (and I understand if you don't want to share this info), what are your plans now? We are looking into other programs, but just aren't sure where to turn. Also, if you transfer from non-Hague to Hague country, it looks like there is no way to change from the I-600 to I-800 without just starting over. Has anyone heard that they may offer some sort of credit for this?

Just wanted to see where everyone was at with this. Thanks for sharing!!
Good question. Since our entire dossier...all the originals... is in Russia, already translated and sitting with a judge, I don't think it would be very easy to get all that back and just "transfer". It is going to mean going through that entire paper-chasing process again (although other countries are not likely to have that much paperwork). I just don't think I'm up to that...not to mention the expense. It's not like we are going to "get our money back". Sad, but true, we spent about $30K on this adoption (including visas we purchased for our second trip that never happened), and we just dont have it to do over again. Plus, if we change our immigration approval, that sorta closes the door on our little one in Russia if Russia miraculously opens back up. I'd rather just wait it out. In the meantime we are beginning to look into domestic adoption. Not sure if I want to set myself up for more heartache, but I do still strongly believe that if we have the love and the means to adopt, we should. There are just too many children without parents to not do something about it. Thankfully Russia has no limits to number of children in the house. We will hold out hope forever for our little boy in Russia. Even if we adopt more children domestically in the meantime, we will always have a place for him.
We were in the initial application stage when this all happened, so we feel somewhat lucky. We are now moving forward with adopting from Moldova, which just recently reopened for adoption.

Thank you for these words and for your love for your little boy. I am from Russia. If I can do something for you or your little boy, let me know.
My husband and I are very unsure on what to do too. Our dossier has been in Russia since July and we were expecting to receive the referral in February for siblings. Medical info was expected to come the same week the ban was passed... We've started to look into Colombia, Poland, domestic and adoption through the US foster care system. As you all have said, it is emotionally hard to change programs. This week I am hoping to find out about the process of changing programs. I will share any information that i find out. Can we change programs, yet leave our dossier in Russia in case the law changes? Thanks.
We have been trying to figure out the best option. I don't know how it works with everything being in Russia. I think that since they are no longer working with agencies, then that makes it even less likely that anything will happen for us. I have no idea how the process works aside from pretty much starting over. Luckily, we just had our registration paperwork over there and hadn't gone for our first trip so the other paperwork wasn't there yet. I also can't get my agency to email me back, so I can't get any answers from them. I doubt that we will get much, if any of our money back from what we have put in, so that makes a difference on where we can go also since most EE countries are pretty expensive.

I think right now we are leaning toward working with the China SN program. For us, I think it's really the best option for us. I am working on finding out if there will be any financial break for those changing from the I-600 to the I-800. I emailed the state dept and am waiting to hear back.

Good luck to everyone as we try to recover from this. I would love to hear how everything is going and if you hear any information about making changes.
I am on FRUA facebook sometimes. Someone annouced they have started a facebook page titled Making The Switch.
I did a search on the facebook search line. It was the first one that came up. It currently had 23 in the group, look for a Globe emblem. It is about switching from Russia to another country. It is a closed group you may check it out. I do not belong or know anyone that started it.
china group
I actually saw that and commented that I wanted to be added, so hopefully they do that. I'm waiting to hear from a woman who has already changed from the I-600 to the I-800 to see if they cut her any slack. I still can't believe that we are considering something else after so much time and energy and emotion involved in Russia. It's really scary to start over
We were in the Russia process for two years and had hoped to get a referral in early 2013. We decided to do a domestic adoption. We are moving fast - so far. We have already changed the HS to domestic which was very easy. We are going to do a private adoption. If Russia opens up we will of course travel but we just could not wait around and do nothing. Good Luck to everyone - its been quite a month.
I had looked into China but it takes 5 years - for that reason we decided on the domestic route. I had never considered a domestic adoption until the ban - but its more do-able than I had ever imagined. As for a refund from the Russian adoption agency- I have not asked - I was still hoping that something would change- but its hard to see the light. We had put all our focus and hope into Russia and it was such a disappointment - starting this domestic adoption has helped me move on- I have hope again.
I agree, making the switch is very scary!

CROI- Does doing a private adoption domestically mean that you're using an attorney, rather than an agency? Our agency said that we could "double track", leaving our dossier in Russia in case it reopens and go the domestic route too. I really don't know the pros and cons with attorney vs. agency. We're so hesitant to do domestic because of fall throughs. Seeing what happened with Russia though, there could be fall throughs anywhere!

Does anyone know if Making the Switch on FB is just for switching to China?
we opted for china and doing the special needs, which is only about 12-18 months. We also looked at domestic, but I think for us, we have two biological children and were doing the IA to follow our calling to take care of an orphan, and not because we wanted more kids (I'm sure that's not coming out right, but I don't want to make it seem like I think anything is wrong with domestic) I really think all of us have to figure out what is best for our family, and I think it would be impossible to compare what each of us decides given our current situation. I talked to someone at the agency yesterday and they said that until they hear something more definitive, they are holding out on giving any money back. Honestly, I anticipate not seeing any of it back. We didn't want to wait very long either mainly because our boys are getting older and we didn't want her to feel like an only child.
I switched from an I-800 to an I-600. I spoke with numerous people at USCIS and there is no credit whatsoever. You have to start over completely. They even make you do your biometrics (fingerprinting) again. Not one penny saved. The only upside to it all is that I got my approval in 3 or 4 days. I am guessing because we were already approved, they just rubber stamped it...after cashing our check of course.
That's sad. You would think that after everything they would cut us a break! I did read that the fingerprints wouldn't have to be redone, so I guess I'll have to check on that. I guess as least you got it fast...it's one positive note!

Our biggest challenge right now is updating our HS. We are working with a new agency for the China adoption, but they can't do HS here, so we want to use the one we have and just update it, but it is through our previous agency. I have emailed and called and can't get anyone to return my call and the social worker knows what we want to do, but it has to come through the agency. Guess I'll have to make myself a total pain until they get back to me!!
A private adoption means using an adoption attorney as opposed to an agency. As I said domestic is very new to me- I am still learning the terminology. Our dossier is still in Russia - my second HS had just arrived when the ban came down. We are pursuing both routes. I never considered domestic adoption before as I felt it could all fall apart at the last minute - but thats exactly what happened in Russia. We have no children and in our early 40's so we feel that we have to keep moving forward.
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