How to Keep Your Adoption Paperwork Organized

Adoption can be stressful and full of paperwork. Here are some fun ways to stay organized

Kenna Shumway February 27, 2016

When it comes to adoption, the paperwork is just as plentiful as the emotions. It will only add stress to your journey if you are digging through your house searching for that safety audit or medical clearance. Having learned this the hard way, I decided that I needed to clean up my act and keep our adoption and foster care paperwork organized. Hopefully I can help you too!

1. Supplies!

I gotta tell you, I have an obsession with buying office supplies. I don’t know why, but I love it. However, since we are trying keep our savings account full, I used supplies that I already had and anything I needed I purchased at the dollar store. The power of the dollar store never ceases to amaze me! For this project I needed: a magazine box, manila folders, sharpies, labels, and washi tape.

The Box
2. The Box

First, let’s put the magazine box together. I purchased these at the dollar store. They come in a package of two. Since it was around back-to-school time, my choices were apples or math equations. I have a special loathing for math, but I liked these better than the apples. The contents aren’t math homework so I can handle that. I put two of these magazine boxes together: one for paperwork that I need to finish, and one for paper work that is complete.

Washi tape!
3. Washi tape!

Washi tape! I have an obsession with washi tape. Like, “I may have a huge box of over 200 designs but I don’t tell the husband because he will roll his eyes at me” obsession. The washi tape will be used to label the manila envelopes. If you need some washi tape for your adoption organization, just give me a call. I’ll hook you up.

4. Sharpies

These I had already. I grabbed a few of my favorite colors, seven colors total. I used the sharpies to label my manila envelopes. You will see how I used different sharpie colors and different washi tape for each folder. I guess you really don’t need different colors or washi tape, but adoption paperwork can be so blah, so I colored it up a bit.

Finished Manila Folders
5. Finished Manila Folders

Make sure you separate all your paperwork so you know what categories you want to use in your folder labeling. As we have progressed in our foster care certification, I’ve added new folders. Super easy and super quick.

6. Labels

The Target dollar section is probably my favorite place in the entire store. I had these mustache labels on hand, so I did a few folders using them. So many different ways to label your folders. Do what works best for you!

Other Folders
7. Other Folders

You can also use school folders as seen here. I actually use these adorable pirate folders for my son’s homework, but I wanted to show you a different option. These are from Target as well. Back-to-school time was like hitting the jackpot with supplies!

Finishing Touches
9. Finishing Touches

Lastly, I used some white folder labels to label the magazine box. I tossed some “Keep Calm and Carry On” washi tape on the box because let’s be honest, adoption can be crazy and anything but calm. With adoption it’s easy to feel like you have no control. Organizing our paperwork helped me feel as if I was controlling what I could. If anything, it’s good busywork. Good luck!

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Kenna Shumway

Wife. Adoptive mom. Writer. Photographer. Endometriosis survivor, infertility warrior & adoption advocate. Rock star on weekends. Currently calls Ohio home with her pharmacist husband and their ginger son. Read more from her on her blog.

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