Friday, January 13, 2012

Kenya Adoption - more details and timeline.

I have some more details to share with you...

For some reason everyone expects you to know what steps take place and what they all mean. Too bad there isn't an instruction manual! Add to that an adoption dictionary...

So far, I have told you what a Dossier is like,  and the documents required as well as the fees. What I was a little off base on in that last post, was the process.

Here's the deal with the process (And once again with a disclaimer - * As I understand. *)

Once you dossier is compiled, you send it to your agency. In our case, they have an in house notary  who notarized all of our original copies, so they could make (3?) copies. Once they verify the checklist is complete, they send it to the Canadian Foreign Affairs in Ottawa.

"Foreign Affairs Canada, through its missions abroad, provides consular services and acts as Canada's diplomatic liaison in communications and problem resolution."

What do they do with it? They notarize it,  and authenticate it. (I have also hear the term legalization thrown around. )Why? "Authenticating a document simply means confirming that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on the document is genuine." How is that for a government answer? What the heck is the point of having it notarized in the first place then? I don't know... Clearly there is something about this step that I don't quite 'get'.

After this, it is sent to the Kenyan Embassy in Canada for authentication. I guess you can never have enough stamps! ;)

At this point, I'm unsure if it goes back to the agency, or if it is forwarded directly to Kenya. However - it is sent to the adoption authority in Kenya. The National Adoption Committee, NAC. This is the central body governing all adoptions in the country. It has been said that they are to start meeting every month. The last one was in December, but the one prior to that was in July. With some newly appointed members to the NAC, there is good reason to believe that they will start meeting regularly. The NAC, approves your dossier and adoption request. From this point, they have 30 days to notify the Kenyan Adoption Society (in our case, KKPI). The Adoption Society then has 60 days to report back to the foreign agency (Sunrise) with the NAC decision. If it was approved, it will be accompanied by a brief report on the children available, and a timeline.

Once you get your referral - which is typically pretty quick, you have 60 days to move to Kenya.

Upon arriving, the local Adoption Society will pick you up and assist with accommodations etc.

The parents will then undergo a 3 hours pre/placement training session. At this point you will start your 2 week familiarization period with the child in the orphanage. Once your social worker signs off that you have started to bond well - you can take the child home for the 3 month fostering period. During this 3 months, you will be assessed by the social worker. Once the social worker signs off with an adoption recommendation, the court procedings start. There are approximately 3 court procedings... Once you are legally named as the child's parents, you apply and wait for your visa before you can head home.

So - steps/timeline, from scratch.

Home Study - 5 months (especially if you are with CHOICES - they have a 5 month minimum policy)
Citizenship - just over 4 months. (Apply for this as soon as you know that Kenya is the one.)
Compile your Dossier
Checked and Notarized by local agency.
Foreign Affairs - 2-4 weeks
Kenyan Embassy - 3 weeks
NAC Approval - 30 days
KKPI Referral - 60 days
Familiarization - 2 weeks
Fostering - 3 months
Court - 3 months
Visa - 3 months

Currently, our dossier is completed and sitting in our Agency's office. I'm waiting to hear what the current status is. IF it is sent to Ottawa on Monday (considering courier time), I would think that our dossier should arrive in Kenya in March and should be seen at the April NAC meeting. This could mean a June (?) referral...

Adopting parents/experts - please correct me if I'm wrong about any of the above.
Photo Source


Sarah said...

I like seeing posts about the process especially when things are always changing! It is helpful to see it all written out.

Interesting that Choices has a 5 month minimum on the homestudy when the provincial regulation is a 3 month minimum. I wonder if this has anything to do with the new criminal records checks and the length of time they are apparently taking? Will post more info about this on my blog.

'Jo' said...

Nope - has nothing to do with that. I was finished everything (so was the SW) in just under 3 months--- but we had to sit and wait another 2 before she was allowed to sign off. The reason I was given was that it's a lot to take in, and we need the time to process it all.
(My SW actually got her hand slapped for not prolonging the process.)
I can't make sense of any of this. Most adoptive parents do their 'processing' well before they enter the HS stage.

If you are at all interested in Kenya, my latest conversations and investigations prove that it is very likely that adoptions will be completed in 6-9 months. I think 7 months has almost become worth shooting for!

Denise said...

Wow, what an adventure you have ahead of you! I can't wait to see how it all works out and follow your journey to Kenya! Haiti has similar requirements with documents being legalized, authenticated... whatever. My understanding is that getting a document notarized shows that you are really the person signing. Getting the notarized document legalized, proves that the notary is actually a notary and not just someone with a fake rubber stamp/seal. They check the list of all notaries or lawyers with signatures. Clear as mud? :) In Haiti EVERYTHING seems to get legalized over and over... it's enough to drive me crazy!!

Denise said...

PS - CRAZY that you have to wait 5 MONTHS to get your homestudy approved!! I've never heard of that.

Candice said...

HA!!! I love the comic at the end of your post. It made my night!!

Quinn And Zoe said...

We didn't have to have a 5 month minimum for our HS. I believe the minimum is 3 months, perhaps things have changed... all said and done ours ended up being 4 months, and the last bit was slow as we were back in classes full swing.

So sorry to read you and your family have had a rough go the last while... here's to 2012 being better :) (hopefully with a baby to boot!)

'Jo' said...

Thanks for clarifying that Denise...
Zoe - I just had a peek at your timeline - your are exactly the 5 month mark - or over...(?) can't really tell when the actual day of signing off was. When I say 5 months, I meant 5 months from the day the application was sent until the SW signs off. In our case, we met with our social worker 5 days after our application was accepted. We did not know that there was this unwritten rule of 5 months until it was all finished and we asked for it to be completed. That is when we were informed that it went too quick.

Candice (above) is also experiencing the same thing right now. Kinda sucks - as you go in thinking 3 months, and then get the little surprise notification afterwards. And of course you don't think to ask as you just assume 3 months.

3 months is the country standard minimum, but CHOICES told me that was their own agency policy.