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.