July 21, 2006, Newsletter Issue #59: Dossiers

Tip of the Week

A dossier (dos-ee-A) is a collection of documents containing information about the adopting parents that is required for all international adoptions. Completing the dossier is a process of compiling documents, having them notarized, and having the seals of the state, federal government and the government of the country of adoption (China adoption program, Russian program, Guatemalan program etc.).

Dossier requirements differ, but generally many legal documents (such as birth certificates and marriage licenses, international forms, the family’s homestudy, and photographs are included in the dossier. The process of completing the dossier will take time. Documents such as birth certificates and marriage certificates must be original copies obtained through the state and county of origination. These documents may be obtained through the state Office of Vital Records.

In many cases, the adopting family will have the choice of whether to complete the dossier themselves or hire assistance. The adoption agency may specialize in compiling dossier documents. It is important for adopting parents to pay close attention to the adoption agency’s guidelines for completing the dossier correctly. Dossiers that are not completed perfectly will be turned down.

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