Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I-600 A form

Here's some tips on the I-600A to try and simplify things a bit. Please keep in mind that obviously your information may differ from ours and there may be differences due to living in a different state or your agency or orphanage. I will share with you what we did in hopes that it will give you a guideline and hope that it helps! Here is the link to download the directions and I-600A form: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-600a.pdf

What to include/gather for your I-600A:
Copy of birth certificate for each adopting parent
Copy of your marriage certificate
Divorce decree for both/either of you if you had previous marriages
Notarized home study done within the last 6 months
Your filled out I-600A form (we did not have this notarized)

Filling out the I-600A form: (fill it in by typing or BLACK ink)

Block 1- information about the prospective adoptive parent.
Questions 1-7 We filled out with my husbands personal information. It's okay to leave lines blank if they don't apply (for example: #4- Address abroad- just leave it blank if you don't have one). Questions 8-9 We filled out our date and place of marriage and the rest was about my (the wife’s) information. Question 10: The name and address of the orphanage/organization assisting you in identifying an orphan (If you are doing the adoption independently through the orphanage you would put the orphanages address and information here, however, if you are working with an agency you should ask them if you should put their information on these lines)
11. Do you plan to travel abroad to locate or adopt a child? (on this you would mark yes if you plan to go to Haiti at the end of the adoption to complete the adoption there (most commonly done this way), if you plan to have an escort bring your child to the US for you and do not plan at any time to go to Haiti before the completion of the adoption mark No)
12. Same as above
13. A. We put the date we estimated we would be going (even though we were WAY off as the adoption took longer, you can estimate a date, or if you have a trip to Haiti already planned put that date there)
B. Same as above if both of you are going to Haiti
C. City, province (where the orphanage is that you are adopting from, so in this line we wrote: Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
14. We actually marked no on this line. If you travel to Haiti at the end of the adoption your child(ren) will be legally adopted there in Haiti. You should not "have" to adopt them again in the US but many people do for different reasons. (It would be a good idea to ask questions about the legal requirements of the state you are in by joining a chat group for international adoptions specific to your state. They would also be a great help for finding someone local to do your home study and any specific laws you should know about in your state).
15. Mark yes if you plan on going to Haiti to complete the adoption there.
16. Fill in the USCIS office that you are required to use in your state/county. You should be able to get this information from the www.USCIS.gov website. In the past the I-600 was often filed by your orphanage in Haiti. However, very recently, there have been some rule changes in Haiti and it's best to file here in the states. If the rules change again down the road you simply have to submit a letter in writing (does not need to be notarized) with your I-600 that you wrote a different location on your I-600A and would instead like to file in Haiti.
16. Second line: The American Embassy or Consulate at (we left this line blank)
17. We are adopting 3 children so marked yes and then wrote 3 on the next line.

Certification of prospective parent: your husband's signature and date
Certificate of married prospective adoptive parent spouse: your signature and date

Again- this does not need to be notarized. When you submit it include a check for $545 and an additional fee of $70 for each person in your household over the age of 18. So if you and your husband are the only ones it would be a total fee of $685 (check the website to make sure the fees have not changed). The $70 is the fee they charge for the finger printing and back ground check. You should receive a letter and receipt from USCIS stating that they received it on (date they received it) and the fees you paid. When you file your I-600 you DO NOT have to pay the fee again unless your I-600A has expired, or you are adopting more then one child that are not siblings (there is only one fee for siblings). You do have to pay an additional fee per file for each child that is not a sibling but you only have to pay the finger printing fee once. You will also receive a letter about where and when you should go for your finger printing. They ask you to come into the office where they do that any day or time during a specific week (I think they are open on Saturdays too) and if you can't make it that week it gives you another option like to come in any time on any Wed. after that week. Once everything is processed you will receive the form I-171H. This form means you are pre-approved to adopt from Haiti!

2 comments:

David E said...

Hello thank you for the info. We started this process 3 years again and had our I-600a and fingerprints done 2 years ago. Needless to say our I-600a and fingerprints have expired. Do we need to start all over from the beginning by have a new homestudy and everything? Or can we still file a I-600 and just redo our finger prints.

Angela said...

David e~ Did you get the answer to your question already? I'm sorry... I don't check the comments often so did not see your question until now.

If your I-600A has expired you would have to refile, repay, and refingerprint. Home study's submitted to USCIS are required to be done within the last 6 months from when you submit it. However, please do not allow the agencies to tell you that you have to do the entire home study, and fees, over again. You only need a home study update which is usually a fraction of the cost. If the agencies try to insist you need more let me know and I'll send you a link to what the USCIS website says they require.

As far as the I-600... I would think it depends on what point of the adoption you are at. If you are nearing the end it may not be a bad idea to go right to the I-600 (but you will still need the home study update). Some people say that you can not skip to the I-600 but I personally know of people who have done it that way without a problem. It would be wise to check this with your local USCIS office if you will be filing there or your agency/orphanage staff if you want to file in Haiti. If you still have a long wait ahead of you you might want to go ahead and file the I-600A first to drag out the expiration time. It's also a good idea to do the I-600A if you do not already have the paperwork for the children you are adopting to submit with the I-600. If, for example, you run into a hold up and don't get the adoption decree or other important documents before your I-600 petition expires then you will find yourself having to do this all again. With the I-600A it is paperwork that you have the control over getting since it is your own.

As always... this is just how "I" understand it to be. Be sure not to take my word for it and do lots of research to make sure all advice you get is correct. I do hope this will help though!