Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ok Power in Info: What happens between Court & Visa Apt?

While sufring the net, I saw this wonderful blog of info. So here you go, while I can not take creidt for it, It does give you some tanagelable info that does make sense. PS added more to my Medical travel list, see post after this one.

What happens between the court date and the embassy date?
Posted by : Mary Owlhaven in Ethiopia Adoption Blog at 09:35 am , 504 words, 1062 views

An adoptive mom emailed me today, frustrated. She said that she got the referral of a baby girl in August during the court closure and is not scheduled to have a court date until late November, with travel planned for mid January. She is understandably eager to get her baby home and is wondering if her timelines are normal. She was also wondering just what has to happen between the court date and the embassy date since her agency is being vague regarding details.

Her timelines sound very normal to me. In fact, I know some families who got referrals in early summer who have not yet gotten through court. More cases these days are taking several attempts to finally pass court. Some this happens because a child's relative does not show up in court. Also lately the Ethiopian Children's Commission has been swamped with paperwork and has been a little slower to send their part of the paperwork on to court, which delay often is not discovered until the actual court date, causing a new court date to be necessary.

As far as travel permission, sometimes families are scheduled to travel as soon as 2-3 weeks after court. But it is just as common to have 4-6 weeks between your court date and your visa interview. Agencies that allow parents to travel a couple weeks after the court date risk having parents have to cancel plane tickets if the original court date is not successful.

There are quite a few steps that have to happen between the court date and the embassy date.

-- A few days after your court date, the courts will issue the court paperwork: the adoption decree as well as your child's new birth certificate with the adoptive parents' name on it.

---Both of those documents are needed so that your agency can go get your child's passport photos and then the child's passport. In my understanding the passport office is only open two days each week, and with the recent boom in Ethiopian adoptions, this office is very busy.

-- It will take another week or so for the passport to actually be issued. (This is fast, actually-- think about how long you waited in the US for your passport. Several times I've paid big bucks to have a passport expedited and have still waited several weeks.)

-- Once your agency has the passport in hand, they can do your child's visa physical, along with that last HIV test. And then, finally, everything is pulled together for the embassy visa interview, which will be done while the adoptive family is in Ethiopia. Keep in mind that the embassy interview is scheduled weeks ahead of time. Some families will wait as little as 3 weeks after the court date. Others will not have their interview scheduled till 6 weeks after the court date.

The entire process takes a lot of patience. Hang in there as you wait and know that everyone is trying to get things done as fast as possible.