If you've decided to adopt a child, your life is about to become filled with paperwork, to-do lists and meetings. Print out this handy checklist to help you stay ahead of the adoption paper chase!
____Original copies of birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decrees (if applicable)
____Original copy of naturalization papers, if you/your partner are naturalized citizens
____Obtain a copy of your I-600A (a federal document) and fill it out now, if you're adopting internationally.
____Copies of federal tax returns and W2s for the last three years
____Make sure your passport is current, if you plan to travel abroad to adopt.
____Statements for checking/savings accounts, retirement portfolios, other investments
____Photos (and make extra prints!) of you, your family and your home for your home study and/or lifebook
____Does your company offer adoption benefits?
____Inquire about adding an adopted child to your health insurance.
____What kind of family/maternity leave policy does your employer have?
____Obtain fingerprint cards.
____Make appointment to have fingerprints taken.
____Inquire about adoption laws and document requirements for your state.
____Locate a notary public close to your home or office. (Make sure she uses a raised seal, not just a stamp.)
____Locate the INS office that covers your area (international adoptions only).
Other things to think about
____Speak to your accountant/financial advisor. Do you have enough cash on hand to pay for an adoption?
____Make appointment for complete physical exam. (The wait can be months in large cities.)
____Choose your references, and contact them.
____Do you need to hire an independent social worker?
____Look into adoption insurance, if you are adopting independently in the U.S.
____What are the consent laws in your state? (Important with regard to birth parent rights)
____What are your state's/country's post-placement requirements? Fees?
____What will you put in your lifebook?
Take advantage of these cool iVillage Services to help you stay on track and stay in touch:
My Reminders: Remember important dates by sending yourself an email reminder.
Maps & Driving Directions
iVillage Email: A free service. Sign up now!
iVillage Personal Homepages: Post referral photos, adoption updates and growth charts on your own adoption homepage.
State-by-State Resources for Adoption: Find records, learn adoption laws, locate adoption attorneys and public/private adoption agencies.