Key Terms

Dossier: This is a packet comprised of all the forms necessary to complete an international adoption. Most dossiers require birth and marriage certificates, background check clearances, fingerprint clearances, approved home study, employee letter, INS Clearance, medical evaluations, and photos. These forms must be translated and legalized. This is the ëofficial’ document that goes to the government of the foreign country.

BCIS(formerly INS): Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services; Immigration and Naturalization Services.

I-600A: Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (through BCIS).

N-643: Application for Citizenship in Behalf of an Adopted Child (through BCIS).

Visa: A document needed to enter some foreign countries. This is necessary for your child to enter the United States.

The Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption: International document that regulates adoptions throughout the world. The United States signed the Hague in 2000. It will become effective in 2004. The Hague Convention was established to protect children, eliminate baby trafficking, and set minimum standards for adoption agencies.

Home study: (adoption study) An investigative study of the family and home usually completed in 3 visits with a social worker. The homestudy will approve or deny the adoptive family for continued adoptive services, including placement of a child.

Post Placement: Process which includes visiting the ìforeverî family and child after the adoption (placement) is complete. Written report includes the social, physical, and emotional development of the child Pictures of the child are typically required with all post placement reports. Post placement requirements vary with foreign country.

Apostille: Process of legalizing adoption documents for the foreign country. Apostille is required in all countries that have signed the Hague Convention.

Certification: Process of legalizing adoption documents for the foreign country. Certification is required in all countries that have NOT signed the Hague Convention.

Referral: When a potential adoptive child is assigned to the specific family. The family must then decide if they will accept this referral and continue with the legal adoption of that specific child.

APAC(Alabama Post Adoption Connection): Program of collaboration between the Department of Human Resources and Children’s Aid Society. APAC serves all adoptive parents in the State of Alabama. Resources include adoptive parent groups and a resource library.