Friday, March 28, 2008

Temporary suspension of dossier processing by the Embassy is lifted

I found this great post and wanted to share!



Country Status

Kazakhstan is currently OPEN to adoptions by US citizens.For a list of Joint Council agencies working in Kazakhstan, please consult our Country Programs page.

March 25, 2008 -

On Monday, March 24th, Joint Council met with Kazakhstan Ambassador to the United States Erlan Idrissov and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michelle Bond. The meeting addressed the Ambassador’s concerns regarding adoptions between the United States and Kazakhstan and confirmed the ongoing review of all adoptions cases currently at the Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington D.C. The Ambassador kindly detailed Kazakhstan’s efforts to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best interest of each child and conducted within an ethical and legal framework. He also expressed Kazakhstan’s efforts to utilize the tenets of the Hague Convention in both current and future laws.

Joint Council is pleased to report that at the conclusion of the meeting, the Ambassador confirmed that the temporary suspension of dossier processing by the Embassy is lifted and dossier’s meeting all necessary criteria will be processed. Dossiers not meeting the criteria will be held at the Embassy until all issues and concerns are successfully resolved. The Ambassador also confirmed that a review of all adoption service providers and family dossiers is ongoing and will remain in effect until further notice. During this review period, adoption service providers and potential adoptive parents should expect ongoing delays in processing times. No specific time line for the processing of dossiers is currently available.

It remains Joint Council’s understanding that in adoption cases where the dossier has already been processed by the Kazakhstan Embassy and forward to Astana are not affected by the review process noted above.

The Kazakhstan Embassy, U.S. Department of State and Joint Council have agreed to work collaboratively over the coming weeks to ensure that the goal of ethical, legal adoptions under the tenets of the Hague Convention are met in a timely fashion and in the best interest of each child. Joint Council hopes to meet with Consular Chief Almat Aidarbekov in the coming days to discuss specific issues related to child welfare in the U.S. and Kazakhstan.

Joint Council extends our sincere thanks and appreciation to Ambassador Idrissov and Deputy Assistant Secretary Bond for their efforts on behalf of the children we serve. We also applaud Ambassador Idrissov’s commitment to ethical child welfare and to ensuring a safe, loving and permanent family for every child.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dossier is at The Consul...and The Consul is on vacation until April 7th...

We want you all to know what we's an email that we received from our program coordinator today. Looks like it's going to be at least 3 weeks until our Dossier gets to Kaz.

Hi, Cortney & Dustin,

I think there are a lot of factors involved with how long it takes to get an LOI. It does seem like some are faster than others. I can tell you that about 90% of families request the youngest possible baby girl, so families who want that specific referral will naturally be waiting longer. Remember that the regional Department of Education (DOE) issue the letters of invitation when they know there is a child/children available for adoption. If you look at the countries that most active in international adoption, you’ll see that right now, there are not many choices for families. It used to be the China, Guatemala and Russia were the top three countries. Now, referrals in China are taking about 3 years after dossier is sent to country, Guatemala is closed because of issue with Hague and not likely to open up for several months, Russia is still closed to several agencies, and just recently Vietnam shut down. You can see that there aren’t many options for families who are hoping to adopt internationally, and so it is natural that there will be an influx of families switching to Kazakhstan, which will eventually increase wait times because the number of children available will have decreased. There probably won’t be a large number of children available to visit anymore. International adoption is inherently dynamic because you are dealing with foreign governments that have no responsibility to put international adoption on the top of their agenda.

Our second family is in Kaz now and our third family is leaving in a couple of weeks. The family in Kaz now is adopting an 18 month old little boy. The have finished bonding (which they say although was a long time to be in-country was also well worth it for the bond they have now formed) and court. They are about half way through the appeal period now and doing well.

The Consul has been on vacation and will return April 7th so your dossier can be reviewed and sent. I’ll let you know if they tell me when it is released, otherwise, I’ll get an update when it is filed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Have a great Easter,

Kathleen Hiser
Eastern Europe Program Coordinator
Gladney Center for Adoption

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's all in the name

We're going to name our daughter Sienna. We haven't decided on a middle name yet. We're going to see what name she has and decide if we should incorporate it into the name we are going to give her.

We both love the name Sienna and it was easy for us to agree on!

Our Adoption Process

We started this journey in April of 2007-can't believe it's been that long!

The Agency
We selected an agency to work with - The Galdney Center for Adoption and they have been great! They are based in Fort Worth, Texas and have an excellent staff. We've joined the Dallas Gladney Family Association so that we can meet other families in our area that share our love for adoption.

Applying For Adoption
The start of the paperwork phase...let's just say that we signed a lot papers and made many trips to the doctor, notary and FedEx office!

The Home Study
This took lots of preparation! We cleaned the house (it was ready for a white-glove inspection), baby-proofed everything and quizzed each other to no end on parenting basics. The morning of the home study we were nervous wrecks! In the end, however, everything went smoothly and we passed with flying colors! The social-worker even liked the dogs!!

Parenting Classes
We've been to several and are still attending. We are required to have at least 10 hours of Hague approved training prior to traveling to Kazakhstan. We've attended Positive Parenting, Baby CPR, Parenting Basics and Child Development in addition to the requirement above.

The Dossier
What is a Dossier? It's simply a detailed collection of documents about a specific subject. In this case, our Dossier was about us--and it was very large! In addition to the many, many documents obtained from our workplaces, the doctor, banks, FBI, Immigration etc., most pieces required to not only be notarized but apostilled as well!! This is the process of certifying a notarized document and is required for the international adoption process by the Hague convention.

Waiting For The Call
This is where we wait! At this point, our documentation has been completed and submitted to Kazakhstan. There is nothing at this point we can do to move the process along; simply just wait to receive the call to fly over find our little girl. This period can range anywhere from 1 to 6 months on average!! During this time, we are getting the room ready, stocking up on supplies and just waiting as patiently as one can. We're preparing for late summer, hoping for early summer and expecting somewhere in between!

Why Adopt From Kazakhstan?

We get asked this question alot - so here is why we decided to adopt from Kazakhstan.

  • We meet all of the requirements for Kazakhstan Adoption (which were a lot!)
  • Babies are eligible for adoption as early as six months old
  • Kazakhstan has some of the cleanest orphanages & best caregiver to child ratios
  • Much lower risk of fetal alcohol syndrome than other Eastern-European countries
  • The Kazakhstan Government requires an in-country bonding period (14 days)

The biggest reason of all is Kazakhstan's unique, blind referral program. When adopting internationally in most countries you are sent a referral prior to traveling; which includes a photo and background of a child. At this point you can accept or decline based on that referral. In Kazakhstan, we will travel with no information on our child. Once arriving, we will be able to find and meet our daughter! We are very excited to actually be involved in the placement process.