Welcome to No Place Like Home.

This blog is a place for information, answers and support for families who are considering international adoption, waiting or are home with their children. My name is Kimberley and I am the coordinator of this site. This blog is truly a network of families who are willing to support others along their journey to their child. The blogs listed on my sidebar are arranged by country and these families have volunteered to act as a resource to anyone who needs one. These are amazing people who are dedicated to helping families who are on the journey to their children in another country. If you are looking for someone to talk with or if you have a blog and would like to be available to help others, please feel free to e-mail me at timnkim@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Special Needs Children Reference Site...No Hands But Ours

This site was built by some wonderful women who are adoptive mothers and friends of mine. It really is a great resource for families who are considering adopting special needs children. There are accurate descriptions of many of the special needs that you will encounter and accounts from families who have adopted children with several of these needs.
I think that you will find it very helpful. The link is on my sidebar, or you can click here:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New US Department of State Intercountry Adoption Website

The US Department of State has launched a wonderful website that focuses on Intercountry Adoption.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November is National Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. It is very important to do what we can as an adoption community to support adoptive families who are waiting or who are raising their children. Find a way to help, there are so many creative things we can do to help bring children home. You can start an adoption support group in your church or community. Or help the orphans who are waiting for their forever families by supporting the agencies listed on the sidebar of this blog. You can help raise funds for families who are struggling to pay their adoption fees. If you click on Daleea's auction link on my sidebar you can donate items or bid on items to help to pay for surgeries for babies in a foster home in China. One person can make a difference!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nepal Has Lifted Ban on Foreign Adoptions..

This is wonderful news for waiting familes. Nepal has announced that it is lifting its ban on foreign adoptions.

Article Links:

Nepal to allow foreign adoptions

Lifting of Nepal child adoption ban

Nepal to resume international adoptions

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

US Citizenship & Immigration Services Official Announcement Regarding I-600A

USCIS Announces Adoption Policy for Hague Transition Cases Grandfathered Form I-600A Affected
WASHINGTON –U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that prospective adoptive parents already in the process of adopting a child from a country that has implemented the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) who filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, prior to April 1, 2008, and who have received the one time no-charge extension, may file one additional Form I-600A, and continue to proceed with their intercountry adoption through the “orphan” process. The new Form I-600A must be filed before the current approval expires, and only if the prospective adoptive parents have not yet filed the corresponding Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.

U.S. law and regulations allow individuals who began the intercountry adoption process by filing Form I-600A or Form I-600, before April 1, 2008, to continue using these pre-Hague Adoption Convention forms and procedures even if they are adopting a child from a Hague Adoption Convention country. However, depending on the time that it takes prospective adoptive parents to be matched with a child and file Form I-600, the approval of the I-600A might expire before the prospective adoptive parents are able to file Form I-600. By allowing the filing of one new Form I-600A prior to the expiration of the current approved Form I-600A, USCIS is allowing prospective adoptive parents who have been grandfathered into the pre-Hague Adoption Convention process to continue to proceed under this “orphan” process, provided the child’s home country agrees.

If the Form I-600A is no longer valid, prospective adoptive parents must file a Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, with a home study which meets all of the requirements for a Hague Adoption Convention home study. Once a Form I-800A is approved, the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relativemay be filed on behalf of the prospective adoptive chil

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Starfish Foster Home Fundraiser

November is National Adoption Month

Support the Starfish Babies Bracelet Fundraiser and Help Fund Four Surgeries
There is a Chinese proverb that says "an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance." The red thread on this bracelet is far from invisible. Instead, it is designed for those who wear it to show their support of Starfish as we help those children connected, but not yet united with their forever families.
This November, we hope to raise $20,000 to sponsor four additional surgeries through the sale of the Starfish Babies Bracelets designed by Ettika. Ettika, a boutique artisan firm that accessorizes many celebrities, is supporting our mission through a special price break on these high-end bracelets. Each piece is crafted from genuine Greek leather. The starfish jewel is cast using pewter metal and individually hand-dipped in 14K gold.

Friends of Starfish may purchase this lovely bracelet for $222.08 by clicking on the pink starfish graphic on the left side of this page or clicking here Donate Now . Please make sure to select the "Starfish Bracelet Fundraiser" option to ensure that your donation is directed toward the right program. You may also email Cindy Klaja (cmklaja@yahoo.com) for more information.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Letters from China...Bringing Eliana Home

This wonderful family is currently in China to bring home their beautiful daughter. Follow along with them as they meet her for the first time. Their travel blog is 'Letters From China'.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

UNICEF report on adoption in Nepal.

Link to 60 page report:

ADOPTING the rights of the child

A study on intercountry adoption and its influence on child protection in

By UNICEF and Terre des hommes Foundation

*This is a very detailed report of the situation today regarding adoption from Nepal.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A new trend in adoption...families are beginning to adopt children from around the world who are HIV positive.

A new trend is emerging in international adoption. Families are beginning to adopt HIV positive children from around the world. One of the most prominent countries is Ethiopia. There are several articles on line about this. Below are some links if you are interested in learning more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

China says little interest in 88 quake orphans up for adoption

Evidently only one of the 88 children who were orphaned in the earthquake has been adopted. It is believed that it is because many of them are disabled. Perhaps they will now consider parents from around the world.

Click on the link below to read the article:

China says little interest in 88 quake orphans up for adoption

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

US-Vietnam adoption pact ends, hundreds in limbo

The US-Vietnam adoption agreement expired yesterday 9/1/08.

Click on the article title to read the Associated Press Report:

US-Vietnam adoption pact ends, hundreds in limbo

Monday, August 25, 2008


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Sunday, August 17, 2008

US Department of State...Notice Concerning Transfer of Pending Convention Cases to Accredited/Approved ASPs

This is taken directly from the US Department of State Web Page

Notice Concerning Transfer of Pending Convention Cases to Accredited/Approved ASPs

Adoption service providers (ASPs) that have been denied accreditation or approval may have pending adoption cases that are now, or will likely become, Convention cases before they can be brought to a conclusion. Such ASPs are urged to transfer any such cases expeditiously to an accredited, temporarily accredited or approved ASP. ASPs that have been denied accreditation or approval should activate their plans for transferring pending Convention cases to accredited, temporarily accredited, or approved ASPs in a timely and transparent manner, including refunding fees to prospective adoptive parents for services not yet provided. (All ASPs that applied for accreditation or approval provided a plan pursuant to 22 CFR 96.33(e) for transferring cases in the event an agency cannot see them to completion. Applicants for temporary accreditation were to have such a plan pursuant to 22 CFR 96.104(k).) Whether a transferred case may proceed on the same track it was on prior to the transfer to an accredited, temporarily accredited or approved ASP will depend largely on the facts of the case, the requirements of the country of origin and the regulations of the state in which the new ASP is located.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vietnam and the Hague Convention

This article is from Thanhnien .com

Lawmakers back bid to join Hague adoption convention

A man pushes two Vietnamese kids in a stroller outside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1
International adoption responsibilities would be fielded by a single government agency if Vietnam joins the convention.

A majority of National Assembly’s Standing Committee members supported a bid to sign the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption Friday, scheduling a vote on the measure by the year’s end.

The International Adopted Children Bureau, under the Minister of Justice, would be solely responsible for approving international adoption applications if Vietnam becomes a signatory on the convention, said Deputy Minister Hoang The Lien on the sidelines of the committee session.

Currently, each provincial government ratifies its own international adoption applications.


Of 378 orphanages nationwide,

85 centers have enseprocess international adoption applications.

Around 2,000 Vietnamese children are adopted into international families each year.

Financial aid to orphanages would also be handled by the central government agency if Vietnam joins the convention, said Lien.

The move would aim to ward off unhealthy competition between international adoption agencies and even among Vietnamese orphanages, he added.

Lien said lawmakers would also work to remedy shortcomings in local adoption regulations, which many people had capitalized on to forge adoption applications.

Under Vietnamese law, a child must be abandoned by their parents or orphaned to be adopted.

Vietnamese parents who send their children to orphanages due to poverty do so only temporarily.

But several criminals have faked documents leading agencies and adoptive parents to believe that such children were in fact abandoned.

Lien said a recent case of adoption paperwork fraud in the northern province of Nam Dinh would be a major deterrent.

Nam Dinh Province police arrested the head of a charity organization in Truc Ninh District on Thursday for allegedly forging adoption documents.

Nam Dinh authorities began investigating two local charity organizations for their alleged involvement in dubious adoption paperwork in mid-July.

Prior to Thursday, Nam Dinh police had arrested three people, including two communal health officials, for allegedly faking papers documenting the origins of babies they claimed to have found.

Lien also said authorities would discuss other mismatches between Vietnamese laws and the Hague Convention.

For example, under Vietnamese law, the maximum age for adoptees is 16, while the Hague Convention extends the adoption age to 18.

Additionally, the Hague Convention stipulates that adopted children must jettison their legal ties with their parents while Vietnamese laws still allow adopted children to retain inheritance and other rights from their birth parents.

Lien said Vietnam and the US may still cooperate to arrange adoptions in the future through a new agreement or the Hague Adoption Convention.

In April, the Ministry of Justice dispelled accusations in an official US report of systematic baby-selling in Vietnam, saying it was “totally untrue.”

Reported by Tuyet Nhung

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Love Without Boundaries Unity Fund Contest

Monday, July 28, 2008


Okay, we are TOTALLY stealing a fabulous idea from the Old Red Barn Co (http://www.oldredbarnco.blogspot.com/) because we had so much fun entering and doing our own videos to try to win their quilt for our art auction. We lost….waahhh!

Starting TODAY, you have a chance to win a FABULOUSLY INCREDIBLE LWB PRIZE PACK in celebration of our Unity Fund launch. What is the Unity Fund, you ask? It is our new medical fund for impoverished families in China who cannot afford the life-saving medical procedures that their children need, in the hopes of keeping their families UNITED (hence the name) and actually preventing orphaned children. Yes, it is a big dream, but if we help even one more child stay with their family, that is beyond happiness for us. We are often approached by rural families who are desperate to help their children but who believe their only chance of healing them is to leave their child at an orphanage. We want to have a separate fund that we can use to bring HOPE to their lives, so that we can tell them immediately, “We know you love her, and yes we can help.” So in celebration of keeping families together, we are copying the contest held by the Old Red Barn Co and because we are busy people (ha ha) and want to save time, we are even copying their rules! Shameless we are!

First prize in this contest is an LWB prize pack, which includes:

A copy of our coffee table book, “Love’s Journey 2: The Red Thread”—a beautiful, hard cover book of over 250 pages with beautiful photos and stories about adoption.

PLUS a Red Thread Jewelry Set, valued at $125, which is SO BEAUTIFUL that you know you want it! Sterling silver, pearls, red silk cording…..did I mention BEAUTIFUL?!

PLUS one adult LWB t-shirt and one child’s LWB t-shirt.

PLUS (drum roll please because this is a biggie these days!) you will also win a FIFTY DOLLAR gas card to 7-Eleven donated by a friend of LWB!!! WOOHOO!! Free gas!!! Gas card! Gas card! Gas card!!! Okay, we admit that doesn’t exactly go with an LWB prize pack, but hey….we told you we were shameless and we want you to enter!

Total prize pack is worth over $250! Now that’s a fun contest, right?

Second prize will receive a Love’s Journey book, and third prize gets their choice of an adult or child’s LWB logo t-shirt.

All you have to do to enter and receive one chance in the drawing is email info@lwbmail.com and say “I support helping rural children in need.” That will count as one entry!

You earn FIVE extra entries into the drawing if you post an entry about our contest in your blog and let us know.

You get FIFTY ENTRIES (yes 5-0) if you make a video on why families are wonderful (to go along with our Unity theme) and mention the words “Live With Hope, Love Without Boundaries” at least once. Post it on Youtube with the header “Love Without Boundaries Unity Fund.” Send us your name and the link so we can credit you 50 chances! Since we are having fun with this celebration, we are going to follow the same rules and say we need your video to make us smile at least once. We know kids always make us smile, so we know this won’t be any problem!

International supporters are also welcome to enter. The contest will end Friday, August 15th at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Get your comments in before then. We’ll announce the winner on Saturday, August 16th! The winner will be selected by random drawing.

We are also having a $1 challenge to kick off this fund, where we are challenging EVERYONE we know to pop $1 in the mail (LWB, 306 S. Bryant, Ste. C-145, Edmond, OK 73034) to help a rural child in need. Who needs an extra diet Coke today when you could put those four quarters in an envelope to save a life? Can we get 5,000 people to send in $1? We won’t know until we try. Spread the word! And enter our contest!

Let’s celebrate the joy of families as we launch this new fund to help those families in China truly in need.

Good luck!

Monday, July 28, 2008

We Love Lucy! An Older Child China Adoption Story

This family is currently in China to bring home their almost 4 year old daughter Lucy. The post below is taken from the travel blog 'We Love Lucy'.

After heading back to our hotel to wait for JingXuan...she arrived at around 11:45. When she walked in, the woman from the SWI told her we were Mama and Baba. She came right to me and kissed my cheek and said, "Mama". She also went right to Toby. We gave her the backpack we had for her, and the princess cell phone was an immediate hit. We were able to ask some questions about her, and then the SWI staff was on their way. XuanXuan waved bye bye and was off playing. Her arms and legs are covered in mosquito bites.
It didn't take long for us to realize we have a genuine "spicy" girl on our hands. For those of you who don't know what I mean...the Hunan province is known for it's spicy food and "spicy"girls! It didn't take us very long to realize she was bossing us around in Chinese. Our guide, Smile, said, "I think she is like a CEO".
XuanXuan had gotten car sick on the ride from Changde, so our guide ordered room service for her...congee and eggs. She sat at the little table and fed herself...and her baby. She loves her baby doll that we sent her. I don't really know how long she has had it because it's pretty clean, but it does have marker on her face, so I know she has played with it.
She loves to was her hands...VERY much. So I showed her the bathtub and she was ready to hop right in. Toby dropped in a washcloth and she immediately began washing herself and her hair. It was so sweet, but made me sad to think she thought she had to do it herself. After her bath, I showed her the drawer with all of her clothes, and she knew exactly what she wanted to wear. I let all those ideas of what her first outfit should be fly right out the window, and let her decide. Candy, she chose the white shorts and cute light green polka dot shirt you bought her.
We took her to the playroom for awhile, and back to our room to play for awhile. She is such a sweet little girl. She is extremely smart and very easy to make laugh. She is definitely keeping us on our toes. We looked at her photo album with her, and she repeated the names of each of the boys.
We had dinner in the restaurant, and this girl can eat!! Every waitress was hanging around our table talking to her, and she was making them laugh so hard. She is very friendly, and willing to go to anyone right now...she even gave two gentlemen on the elevator kisses on the cheek. I will need some advice on when I might need to limit some of this behavior. She is just so sweet that everyone is just attracted to her.
Back in our room after dinner she has on her panda jammies and has brushed her teeth, and is still playing. She did not nap today, so we will try to get her to bed in the next few minutes...wish us luck!
Sorry if this seems all over the place, but it is crazy in here right now...and I am a little exhausted. Good Night!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stolen Baby Found in Guatemala Adoption System

This article is from Welt..Online

24. Juli 2008, 10:18

Illegal Adoptions

Stolen baby found in Guatemalan adoption system
Adoption officials said Wednesday, July 23, that DNA tests indicate a Guatemalan baby reported stolen from her mother was being adopted by a U.S. couple, the first strong sign that the Central American nation’s troubled adoption system relied in part on abducted children.

An employee of Guatemala's National Adoptions Council, left, greets a child held by his adoptive mother after a press conference in Guatemala City. The child, whose real name has not been revealed in order to protect his identity, is the first case of adoption under the new Guatemalan adoptions' law.
Authorities have long believed that children were stolen or bought to supply Guatemala’s US$100 million-a-year adoption industry before thousands of pending adoptions were frozen in May.
Previously, dozens of mothers reported stolen babies and at least two were found in orphanages, although they had not yet been put up for adoption. But adoption officials revealed to The Associated Press on Wednesday, July 23, that DNA tests identified toddler Esther Zulamita, who was reported stolen on March 26, 2007. The girl was in the process of being adopted to an unidentified U.S. couple.
Jaime Tecu, director of a team of experts reviewing all pending Guatemalan adoptions, said the DNA test results represent the first time officials have directly linked a baby reported stolen by its mother to the fraud plagued adoption system. "This is the first time that we’ve been able to show, with irrefutable evidence, that a stolen child was put up for adoption,“ Tecu said.
Guatemala City adoption industry Guatemalan baby DNA adoption process The baby’s mother, Ana Escobar, said armed men locked her in a storage closet at the family’s shoe store north of Guatemala City and took the 6-month-old. "When I got out, my daughter was gone,“ she told the AP in an earlier interview about the case.
She spent months searching hospitals and orphanages, looking for the child. In May, Escobar says she was sitting in the National Adoption Council’s offices, hoping to get access to the babies whose adoption cases were being reviewed. She looked up and saw a toddler who looked like her baby.
The image of the child being carried by an official haunted her, and she asked officials to see more photos. Soon she was sure the baby girl was hers. All of the girl’s papers were in order, including DNA tests showing that her birth mother was someone other than Escobar. But Escobar convinced officials to take new DNA tests. "She was so sure that the child was hers that we agreed to search the house where the baby was kept,“ Tecu said.
The baby was placed with a caretaker while her adoption was pending, but Escobar convinced a Guatemalan judge in May to let her care for the child while the new DNA tests were performed. "I can’t explain how excited and happy I am,“ Escobar told the AP on Wednesday. "It’s a miracle.“
Tecu said officials will investigate the lawyers who handled the adoption, the doctor who signed the falsified DNA tests, and anyone else associated with the process. "This was run by a mafia, and we're going after them,“ he said.
Guatemala froze all 2,286 pending adoptions in May, and officials are reviewing each case to confirm there is no fraud.
At the same time, Guatemala is just starting to adopt babies under a new, more stringent system run by an independent adoption commission. Before the reform, foreign couples, mostly from the U.S., paid up to US$30,000 to adopt children. The previous system was so quick and hassle-free it became the second-largest source of foreign babies to U.S. couples after China.

A Taiwan Adoption Story...Taiwan Treasure

This family is currently in Taiwan to bring home their beautiful daughter Claire. The post below is from the day before they met their daughter for the first time. If you would like to follow their journey and send some good wishes their way, their blog is 'Taiwan Treasure'.

T minus 2 hours

Two hours until we hold Claire. I've been awake since 3:30am. I can't sleep. We just had breakfast and I feel like I'm going to throw up. I'm very nervous. I wonder what it's going to feel like. I just want to take a moment to say Thank you to everyone. To our families thank you for supporting us through it all, through indecision about how we were going to start a family, through years of struggling to make ends meet so we could save the money, through this whole adoption process..thank you . We love you dearly. To our friends near and far, new and old, thank you for hoping and praying with us. Thank you carrying our dreams, for holding onto faith when we didn't have any, for shouldering our tears through it all. It has meant the world to us.
It has been 6 years since we first started this journey. 6 years of hoping and praying that we would have a child. 6 years of putting our lives on hold....for this one moment, two hours away.
Thank you for being there with us every step of the way. It's going to be amazing!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcome Annalise!...A Single Mother's China Adoption Story

Paulette is currently in China to bring home her beautiful daughter Annalise. Her travel blog is 'together forever'.
The post below is taken directly from her blog:
Annalise is doing better but it was not an easy day for either of us I am exhausted and she is finally asleep. She is very attached to her nanny and has never been out of the SWC. It was hard for her to let go and come to me. The grieving process has already begun so I can only hope she will come around soon. Back at the hotel she was beginning to feel a bit better and began to play with a few toys. Thank goodness for the toy baby bottle it is her favorite. I will fill you in more when I’ve has some rest but enjoy the picture she is just beautiful and quite a smart little girl.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A China Adoption Story....Welcome William!

This family is currently in China to bring home their beautiful son William. You can follow their journey on their blog 'Aging With Grace'.

Well, it was a bit rough at the start with many tears on William's part when we first met him. When we walked in the conference room the little guy was already lying on the floor crying very hard. With the help of a small Lightning McQueen car I had with me and some M & M's the tears stopped. William bonded with Dan right away, which I wasn't surprised about. After only 3 hours with him we are seeing his personality already immerge, he's all boy, he's very polite...says 'please' and 'thank you.' He calls us Mommy and Daddy and is quite facinated with Grace. I'm so proud of Grace, all the attention has been on William and she's been patient and so sweet to her little brother. I would have more pictures but we've been pretty busy. All I can say is thank you for your prayers, I feel them at work. We are so grateful that he's part of our family now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hague Convention information from the US State Department

Hague Adoption Convention

On this page »


The United States is part of an important treaty on intercountry adoption called the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). The treaty governs adoptions between the United States and nearly 75 other nations.

  • The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008.

  • The Department of State is the U.S. Central Authority for the Convention and oversees compliance with the Convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA). In this role, the Department of State also serves as U.S. liaison with other adoption Central Authorities around the world.

  • The Hague Adoption Convention protects children and their familiesagainst the risks of unregulated adoptions abroad, and ensures that intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of children. The Convention also serves to prevent the abduction, sale of, or traffic in children.

General Information

For Parents

For Adoption Services Providers

For State Authorities and Social Workers

Adoptions from the United States (Outgoing Cases)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Russia Adoption Story...Bringing Nicholas Home.

This family is currently in Russia to bring their beautiful son Nicholas home. You can follow their journey on their blog 'Bringing Nicholas Home'.

Nicholas has made my first two days as a mother really easy. He is remarkable and is blowing both of our minds with his flexible disposition.I’m going to try and recap the past three days as best I can before my memory fails me.We left for Nizhny Tagil at 8a on Wednesday morning knowing that we had to be back in Ekat by 3p to pick up Nicholas’ passport. On the drive out there, we were told that there was a military presentation happening in NT, which apparently is an annual event, and Wednesday (hello, Morgan luck) was the unofficial start of the 3-day celebration – when all of the government officials come. President Medvedev himself was expected to make an appearance. Big day in Nizhny Tagil = big traffic on Putin’s highway. Vadim is a master on the road, no doubt – but, there is nothing that can be done about parking lot traffic. We were all four getting a tad concerned about pulling off our 3p return.Eventually traffic broke up and we arrived at the orphanage a little before 11a. Dr. Ludmilla sat with us and acquired the final signatures required from me. She put her hand on mine while we were sitting across from each other at her desk and told me that Matt and I are ‘heroes’ for staying with Nicholas in the hospital last trip. From moment one, it has been evident to us that she truly loves these children. I know that’s not a job requirement and I must say that it was the single most comforting thing for us to recall when we were missing him terribly. In fact, during the long wait between trips, I was concerned that she would start believing that we didn’t want him and/or we were dragging our feet. Natasha translated that Dr. Ludmilla understands that the judge slows the process. She also thanked us for the gifts that we left for the orphanage – particularly the blankets and hats! Natasha told her that my mom made them and she smiled and told my mom that she has ‘golden hands’!When we finished the paperwork requirements, she left the room briefly and came back with Nicholas. He was so excited to see me! No doubt in my mind that he remembered our quarantine adventures. It was adorable – he kicked his little legs, screeched, smiled and trembled all over. We changed his clothes and went outside with Dr. Ludmilla to take pictures of V&P, LH’s little cuties whom share more history with our Nicholas than we do.We waited at the orphanage while Vadim ran somewhere to pick up some document that we needed from Nicholas’ birth city. While we were there, we played outside with Natasha and Dr. Ludmilla bade Nicholas her final goodbyes – made me very tearful. She wished him good health and a happy, prosperous life in which he will reach his best potential. She told him to grow up strong and she wished him good luck as he started his new life in America.She told me that she was his first real mother – she has had legal custody of him since his birth. She told me what foods he has been exposed to and she gave me some suggestions for easing his transition. She told me that the first couple of months would be the toughest and to be patient with him and with myself. She told me that 6 more children were delivered to the orphanage from the baby hospital that very morning and then she asked me to come back – for a girl so Nicholas will have a sister.All of this touched me to the core and though Matt and I have been entirely clear that we would NEVER put ourselves through the Ekat experience again, I must admit – in that moment it felt important to tell myself that I will be back, I will see her again, I will have another opportunity to convey the depth of gratitude that I will likely end my days feeling for her. I love her for loving him. It’s as simple and as profound as anything I have ever felt for another human being.48 hours later – I have learned so many amazing things about my son, which communicate clearly that his life at orphanage #8 under the custody of Dr. Ludmilla was entirely okay. Without a shadow of doubt I know that he has never been abused. He is a trusting little man whom has not experienced a deep violation of his sweet nature. I believe fully that he was protected there – as best is humanly possible in an environment that is quite simply not ideal for children to grow up. I also believed that he was deeply loved by someone – someone whom was not capable of coming down and telling him goodbye on Wednesday. I have mixed emotions about that – it breaks my heart for her and for him; but it also protects it from a potential display of emotion that would have haunted my nights.Though my mom captured each step on video camera, I have no recollection of walking away from his baby house with him in my arms. It was too surreal to remember – so many emotions indelibly printed on my psyche – it was just not necessary for my brain to be present. The drive back to Ekat was uneventful aside from my mom feeling very sick from being overheated (Susie fans – she has some stories to tell you about this lllooonnnggg drive!). Nicholas was great in the car, he was content looking out the window, wiggling minimally, and munching on cheerios. It was determined that it would be best not to feed him before we left ~12p because they didn’t know if he would get car sick and Vadim was worried about traffic on our way back.We arrived at the passport office ~2p and Vadim dropped Natasha and me off so he could take my mom and Nicholas back to the hotel – mom still didn’t feel well and Nicholas needed a nap. All went well with his passport and I was back at the hotel ~4p. When I got there, Nicholas was just waking up, so he and I ate some dinner in the room, packed for our big trip to Moscow, showered / bathed and hit the sack!We were picked up at 5:30a for our 7:10a flight and were so happy to see P&B in the lobby waiting to meet Nicholas! They reunited with their boys on Thursday – as did B&K – and, M&G picked up G on Thursday as well – all of them have very much been on our minds and in our prayers.Parting ways with Natasha at the airport was a tearful event. I will miss her terribly and I feel so grateful to her for taking such good care of us – talk about a trauma bond! We are so blessed to have earned her friendship and I have no doubt that we will stay connected and we will see each other again (when we adopt Nicholas’ sister, right?!).Nicholas was a major trooper throughout our travel day. He ate breakfast on the plane and snuggled with me while I sang to him – he was so sleepy. And, get this – he fell asleep in my arms!! It blew me away. He fought it so hard and he only slept about 5 minutes before I moved and woke him up after which point he could not relax back into me, but he did it – less than 24 hours after being with me!! I know not all of you readers will understand how profound this feat is – but, many of you will understand it implicitly. In truth, I expected it to be months before he would fall asleep in my arms. He is a trusting little guy. And, since we’ve been here in Moscow, he has become such a snuggler. No doubt he has bonded to me. In fact, I believe he bonded with both Matt and I on 6/19. He has not seemed traumatized by his experiences so far. He is intrigued to be sure – but, he’s not acting fearful.Jane picked us up at the airport and we immediately schlepped to the photographer for his visa photo and to the bank for currency exchange and to the clinic for his visa medical – then to the hotel ~12p (he was awake minus 5 minutes for 9 hours by this time and was barely even fussy). When we got here, we fed him, put him to bed, had a carpet picnic from room service and promptly went to sleep until ~5p! We were all exhausted.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

US Department of State Regarding Adoption from India



April 2008

: The following is intended as a general guide to assist U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a child from a foreign country. Three sets of laws are particularly relevant: 1) the laws of the child’s country of birth govern all activity in that country including the eligibility of individual children for adoption, as well as the adoption of children in that country in general; 2) the laws of the adoptive parents’ state of residence establish qualifications they must meet in order to adopt; and 3) U.S. immigration law governs the immigration of the child to the United States. In addition, the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, to which the United States became a party on April 1, 2008, establishes legal and regulatory requirements for intercountry adoption.

The adoption of children from countries that are party to the Hague Convention must follow the procedures outlined by the Convention, and its U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA). More information on the IAA and the Convention can be found at travel.state.gov on the Children and Family pages on intercounry adoption.

The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual state of the laws of a child’s country of birth and is provided for general information only. Moreover, U.S. immigration law, including regulations and interpretation, changes from time to time. This flyer reflects our current understanding of the law as of this date and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.


India is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) and with which the Convention is in force for the United States .

Under U.S. law, an adoption case involving a Convention country already in process on April 1, 2008 when the Convention entered into force with respect to the U.S. did not/not change into a Hague case on that date. These transition cases will continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for orphan adoptions which were in effect at the time the case was filed, explained in the State Department Flyer “How Can Adopted Children Come to the United States ”.

If the Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition (I-600A) or Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative (I-600) was filed before April 1, 2008, then the Convention and the IAA will not apply to that case. The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) considers a case properly filed when USCIS receives an application or petition along with any required filing fee. The filing date is stamped on the application or petition to show the time and date of actual receipt. For further information on transition cases, please see the FAQs: Transition Cases and the Hague Adoption Convention .

Under Indian law, foreign prospective adoptive parents considering adoption of a child from India are required to use an adoption agency that is “enlisted” with the Indian Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA). Further details on enlisted agencies may be found on the CARA web site at http://www.adoptionindia.nic.in/carahome.html

It is important to note that Indian law does not permit foreigners to adopt Indian children, but rather to receive guardianship (custody) that allows the prospective adoptive parents to depart India and to adopt the child in the parents home country.

Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for issuance of immigrant visas to Indian orphans:

Fiscal Year

Number of Immigrant Visas Issued

FY 2007


FY 2006


FY 2005


FY 2004


FY 2003


ADOPTION AUTHORITY IN INDIA : The official national agency that oversees the intercountry adoptions in India is the Central Adoption Resource Agency. Its contact information is:

Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA)
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
West Block VIII, Wing II
2nd Floor, R.K. Puram
New Delhi - 110 066
Tel: 91-011 618-0194
Fax: 91-011 618-0198
Web site: www.adoptionindia.nic.in
E-Mail: CARA@bol.net.in

Couples with a composite age of 90 or less, or single persons up to age 45 can adopt; parents should be at least 21 years older than the child; in no case can a prospective adoptive parent be less than 30 or more than 55. Please refer them to the CARA website for specific details.

There are no residency requirements in order to obtain legal custody of an Indian orphan.

Once prospective adoptive parents have received approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security to adopt abroad (approval of their I-600A petition) and arrive in India, they should anticipate needing 2-3 months to complete all formalities in India, barring any unforeseen delays

Because India is a Convention country, adoption services must be provided by an accredited agency, temporarily accredited agency, approved person, supervised provider, or exempted provider. These terms are defined in 22 CFR Part 96 and explained in the Department’s website Brochure for Prospective Adoptive Parent(s) at http://travel.state.gov/pdf/Prospective_Adoptive_Parents_Guide.pdf. For purposes of this document, accredited agencies, temporarily accredited agencies, and approved persons are referred to with the shorthand term “accredited adoption service providers.”

It is essential that prospective adoptive parent(s) seeking to adopt from a Convention country use an accredited adoption service provider. The Department maintains a current list of accredited adoption service providers . The list of accredited adoption service providers is also provided on the website of the Hague Permanent Bureau at www.hcch.net.

In addition, all recognized adoption agencies (or, as they are referred to in India, placement agencies) in India are local and must be registered with their Indian state Voluntary Coordinating Agency (VCA). No placement agencies provide national coverage, so prospective adoptive parents must determine the Indian state from which they propose to adopt. The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), established in 1990, licenses all the VCAs and all Indian placement agencies. CARA also, to some extent, regulates the agencies and enforces laws pertaining to adoption. CARA also serves as India ’s Central Authority under the 1993 Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention.

Foreign agencies that wish to sponsor applications of prospective parents to adopt an Indian child must apply for “enlistment” with CARA through the Indian embassy in their country. The CARA web site lists U.S. adoption service providers (agencies) approved by CARA. Prospective parents must work through one of these agencies in order to adopt in India . These agencies then work with a local placement agency to complete the custody process in India on behalf of the prospective parents. Only an Indian agency recognized and listed by the Indian Government may make children available for adoption by foreigners.

To find the current list of authorized Indian and U.S. agencies, prospective adoptive parents should visit CARA's web site at: http://www.adoptionindia.nic.in/carahome.html and go to "Indian Placement Agencies” and “Enlisted Foreign Agencies." The Indian Placement Agencies page lists authorized Indian agencies and, among other things, provides the status of the agency's license. The Indian placement agency usually files the paperwork with the court, minimizing the need for a private attorney. However, links to attorneys lists maintained by the U.S. Embassy and three consulates in India are provided below.

New Delhi - http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/judicial_assistance.html
Chennai - http://chennai.usconsulate.gov/uploads/images/ia8t6wtgvUD1ip1tJSW4jg/wwwflawyer.pdf
Mumbai -
Calcutta -

The fee in India for obtaining legal guardianship of an Indian child under this procedure is approximately U.S. $3,500, not including any U.S.-based expenses (such as the home study, application or petition filing costs, etc.). Prospective adoptive parents can expect to pay a total of between U.S. $12,000 to $15,000 for adoption services. The U.S. Embassy in India discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, “donations,” or “expediting” fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of “buying” a baby and put all future adoptions in India at risk.

ADOPTION AND GUARDIANSHIP PROCEDURES: All persons or organizations contemplating guardianship/adoption of an Indian child should visit the CARA web site and also review the recently revised “Guidelines for Adoption from India 2006” released by CARA in March 2006, updating the 1995 guidelines.

Indian law only allows Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists to complete full adoptions of Indian children. However, Under the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890, foreigners may petition an Indian District Court (or Family Court in larger urban areas) for legal custody (guardianship) of a child for the purpose of taking the child abroad to conclude a full and final adoption. Please Note: The recently enacted Juvenile Justice Act does not appear to have an effect on the intercountry adoption process in India . The U.S. Embassy will continue to monitor the implementation of this legislation, however, and modify this flyer as the situation warrants.

India makes an effort to place all abandoned or relinquished children with an Indian family in India first. If that is not possible, then they prefer that an Indian family abroad be found. Finally, if no Indian family can be found, then the child can be placed with a non-NRI family. Typically NRI couples adopting from India will find the process goes much more quickly and smoothly than for a non-NRI couple. And there may be more options for the NRI couple as well. An NRI couple may adopt a young healthy infant, whereas a non-NRI couple may find it difficult to locate an agency with such a program.

A "No Objection Certificate" (NOC) must be issued for every child processed for an intercountry adoption and only CARA is authorized to do this. The court will normally require, at a minimum the NOC, a birth certificate or affidavit of birth, and evidence of abandonment, prior to granting the custody order. Once the court has granted the order, an Indian passport must also be obtained in order for the child to leave India .

Important Note Concerning Indian Passports: Licenses held by Indian adoption agencies are generally valid for three years, and are renewable provided the agency is reviewed and approved for renewal. Not infrequently, the license renewal process can extend beyond the expiration of the license, leaving the agency temporarily without a license. Because of fraud concerns, regional passport offices (RPOs) in some parts of India, particularly southern India , will not issue passports to children in cases where an agency's license is in the process of being renewed or if it has been suspended or lapsed. Each RPO is free to make its own determination on issuance policy, and if the RPO determines not to issue a passport to the child, neither CARA nor the U.S. Embassy/Consulate nor the Central Passport Office can intervene to alter that determination, no matter how much of the adoption process may have been completed when the license lapsed.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR ADOPTION/GUARDIANSHIP IN INDIA : All prospective adoptive parents must provide the following documents to the Indian District Court when applying for guardianship of an Indian child:

  1. Approved I-600A;
  2. Birth certificate for the child;
  3. Abandonment certificate for the child from an approved adoption agency;
  4. No Objection Certificate from CARA;
  5. Child’s Indian Passport.

The abandonment certificate can also serve as birth certificate if no formal birth certificate has been filed for the child. The above documents are obtained during the course of the adoption process in India , but must all be ready by the time of the court hearing on guardianship. Once the court has granted guardianship, all the above documents, plus the court order will need to presented to the USCIS office in New Delhi at the time of filing the I-600 petition.

For more information on authenticating U.S. documents to be used abroad, please see the Judicial Assistance section of our website.


Embassy of India
2107 Massachusetts Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Phone: (202) 939-7000
Fax: (202) 265-4351
Web site: http://www.indianembassy.org/newsite/embassy.asp

India also has consulates in Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco .

IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS: As of April 1, 2008, U.S. citizens wishing to adopt in a Convention country must begin the process by filing with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a form I-800A Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS website (www.uscis.gov) to download forms and filing instructions.

EMBASSY AND CONSULATES GENERAL IN INDIA : Americans living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate via the State Department’s travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the country of travel. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Consular Sections of the Embassy and Consulates General are located at:

U.S. Embassy, New Delhi
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi - 110021
Tel: 011-2419-8000
Fax: +91-11-2419-0017
Email: IVND@state.gov
Website: http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/

U.S. Consulate General, Kolkata
5/1, Ho Chi Minh Sarani
Calcutta- 700071
Tel: 033-3984-2400
Fax: +91-33-2282-2335
Email: pascal@state.gov
Website: http://calcutta.usconsulate.gov

U.S. Consulate General, Chennai
No. 220, Anna Salai
Chennai - 600006
Tel: 044-2811-2000
Email: chennaic@state.gov
Website: http://chennai.usconsulate.gov

U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai
Lincoln House
78, Bhulabhai Desai Road
Mumbai - 400026
Tel: 022-2363-3611
Email: webmastermumbai@state.gov
Website: http://mumbai.usconsulate.gov

APPLYING FOR A VISA AT THE U.S. EMBASSY AND CONSULATES GENERAL IN INDIA : Procedures for applying for an immigrant visa are similar among the four U.S consular posts in India , but there are variations at each, so prospective adopting parents should contact the specific post for exact details on scheduling an appointment, etc.

NOTE: Due to workload constraints and other factors, it is rarely possible to issue a visa on the same day as the interview. Parents should plan on 1-2 days for processing and issuing the visa.

Please see the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 for further information on acquisition of U.S. citizenship for adopted children.


  • U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Citizens Services - For information on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction, and security information for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, call Toll Free 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST/EDT, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444.
  • U.S. Department of State Visa Office - For information on immigrant visas for adopted orphans, call (202) 663-1225. Press 1 for additional information on visas, and press 0 to speak to a Visa Information Officer, available 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST/EDT, Monday through Friday (except Wednesdays 11 a.m. - 12:00 noon)
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) - recorded information for requesting immigrant visa application forms, 1-800-870-FORM (3676).
  • National Visa Center (NVC) Public Inquiries (603) 334-0700, Email: nvcinquiry@state.gov.
  • Country Specific Information - The State Department has general information about hiring a foreign attorney and authenticating documents that may supplement the country-specific information provided in this flyer. In addition, the State Department publishes Country Specific Information for every country in the world, providing information such as location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, political situations, and crime reports. If the situation in a country poses a specific threat to the safety and security of American citizens that is not addressed in the CSI for that country, the State Department may issue a Travel Alert alerting U.S. citizens to local security situations. If conditions in a country are sufficiently serious, the State Department may issue a Travel Warning recommending that U.S. citizens avoid traveling to that country. These documents are available on the Internet at travel.state.gov or by calling the State Department's Office of Overseas Citizen Services Toll Free at 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours.
  • USCIS web site