Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Our Big Mistake

I know I have said this quite a few times but please keep in mind I'm just blogging our experiences with the paperwork as we go through the steps of our adoptions. I can't stress enough that I'm not a professional and no where near an expert. ;) I hope that in sharing what we have done and what we are learning along the way may help others in their process. Please do double and triple check everything I or anyone else shares.

Here is the biggest mistake I made in the process. I share it in hopes of saving someone else from the same error:

The biggest error by far was my misunderstanding of the visas (I'll post more about visas soon). I did exactly what I keep encouraging everyone else NOT to do and confidently believed in the information I received from a reliable source instead of doing my own research and asking more questions. What I "understood" was that as long as BOTH parents meet the child(ren) you are adopting before they leave Haiti (at the visa appointment) then the adoption will be complete in Haiti and your children will not have to be readopted when they come home (this varies with each state law). This is not the case. You must both meet the child(ren) before the adoption decree is issued. Please, please do this if you can. We would have done it this way in a heartbeat had we not misunderstood how it works. Because my husband has not met them (but is planning on going to Haiti for the Visa appointment) we will be required to readopt our children when they are here in the US. They will also come into the country as legal aliens, not US citizens. So because of this error we will need to readopt all 3 children, and file for citizenship for them. This of course will be more expensive and time consuming then it would have been to make sure we had both been to meet them in Haiti before the adoptions were complete. It's one of those things you kick yourself for afterwards. If I could save one other family from making this mistake I would feel so much better about it! :)

Research, research, research... you may still make mistakes along the way but the less you make the better!