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!

11 comments:

Amanda said...

Your site is very informative :~) We are gathering our Dossier documents (should have them together by Monday) for our Haitian adoption. :~)

How long have you been in process now? Do you have a travel date?

Belinda said...

I agree with Amanda, your blog is very informative. I appreciate your time and dedication to adopting in this wonderful country. I thought I read in one of your earlier blogs that you were adopting 5 kids. In your more recent blogs is says 3. Did you have 2 that completed the process already? How long did that process take?

Angela said...

Thank you Amanda and Belinda,

I'm afraid my timeline is not very encouraging. We have been waiting for our 1st three children to come home for 3 years. We are now only waiting on a Visa appointment to bring them home.

We are adopting 5 but IBESR decided that we must bring home the first 3 and start all over for the other 2. So as soon as Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie are home the waiting will start all over again for Jacques and Vilner (but they are so worth the wait!).

The good news: The process does seem to be speeding up much more then what our wait has been. Families are waiting around 18-24 months now from start to finish. This is still WAY too long but about half the time of our wait, so... progress!

dotty said...

Hi I just found your page as I am try to find infomation on adoption in Haiti was it a differcult process and can you give me some info on how to go about it. I am looking to adopt.

Angela said...

Dotty,

Congratulations on your decision to adopt! Adoption is almost always a difficult process regardless of where you adopt from.

If you need anything or want to chat, please feel free to email me at angnjim@sbcglobal.net any time. Also, I try to share a lot of our process on this blog. If you are just getting started please start with my first post and work your way through.

shakenbsis said...

HI Angela,

This is my first visit here. I will be back to learn form you. My adoption is not going well and I haven't yet begun with IBESR, my troubles are here in US for now... grrr...

Been a long difficult journey and maybe near the end for me = ( I'll be sharing my story soon on my blog and have linked back to here... hope that is OK?

Thanks!
Betty in WI

Big Al said...

Hi! Thank you for your wonderfully informative site! I would also like to add some advice on the subject of your "Big Mistake."

Our agency required us to complete Hague training. Haiti is a Hague compliant country. In this training (web videos), we learned about the exact mistake you made.

It is actually quite interesting and informative. Hopefully, the link will come through and you are okay with me posting it.
http://www.hagueadoption.org/

Good luck, everyone! We are going into our fourth month in IBESR with our sweet Luc, the Chubby Lion.

Kristen said...

Hey Angela,
I am so sorry to hear you will have to go through the whole re-adoption thing. I'm wondering - there may be a way to file that paperwork yourself (without having to hire an attorney). We just completed my son's adoption (domestic) in LA and there were SO many things we were able to file on our own that many people insisted we needed an attorney for. Check with your county's court clerk. Ya never know!

Brandi said...

Hey, I found your blog through googling Haitian Adoptions. I am working with RLC www.redletterscampaign.com to compile adoption info on a bunch of coutnries. It sure looks like you'd love RLC and be a huge help to me in compiling the Haiti info!

You can email me at brandi@kidslake.org

thanks!
Brandi
www.homehopeandfuture.blogspot.com

virginia said...

Hi Angela,
Thank you for such a great resource. I am set on adopting from Haiti, and am very interested in doing an independent adoption. I know you are very busy, but would it be possible for me to email you privately? I have a few questions that I bet you can answer.

Thank you so much!

Virginia

widy said...

Please clarify when you said both parents must meet the child in order to avoid a second adoption. what is it that both parents need to do when they meet the child in Haiti in order to avoid this second adoption. our child to be has just gotten out of MOI and we are both going down on seperate times to haiti for visits only. my name widy and my email jtrickard@comcast.net and thank you for your blog