We live in Thailand and are adopting from Serbia. We're both US citizens. The Embassy and Consulate here have both told us that we can't file our I-800A here. We have to file it in the US. My question is, how do we get fingerprinted? Will we get an appointment at our local consulate? We do have one in our city but they don't seem to know what I'm talking about as far as being fingerprinted. When we mail the check with our I-800A, do we make it for the total ($720 + $170?)
And, are there any expat adoption groups???
We live in Malaysia and are adopting from Colombia. We have to use an agency and have managed to find other expats in SE Asia also adopting from Colombia through a Facebook page for Colombian adoptions. Maybe there is one for Serbia or try yahoo groups. About the I-800A the way it worked for us was filling out all the paperwork and sending in the full payment. We submitted to the US address and used my mother-in-law address in the US for our correspondence. About a week or two after they receive your application you will get the appointment for fingerprints to the location nearest the mailing address. USCIS has really friendly officers and you can call them or email them letting them know you are not in the US and can't do the fingerprints and need the address to mail in the card stock fingerprints. The US embassy in Thailand should do your fingerprints on card stock. I contacted mine and told them it was for an adoption (that is the only reason why they did it) and they did it as long as we had a copy of the USCIS fingerprint appointment. Then we just mailed them in and USCIS sends them to the FBI. If you have had any issues with fingerprints before then I would recommend getting police clearance letters from any places you have lived in the past 5 years. Our approval is on hold since my fingerprints weren't readable and all they need instead is the police clearance letters. I was told by USCIS that once our approval is issued then we can apply for a refund for the fingerprints fee. Their instructions are not to send that fee in if you live abroad but I know it has delayed the process for others. The whole i-800A process seems to be about 2 months right now but it all depends on their workload. Best of luck!