We received this timeline in an email and it was so helpful in seeing what's going on while we wait. There are so many steps and things that are happening that we don't even think about.
1. Dossier to AWAA
Once your dossier arrives in our offices,
*we review it for completeness (5 business days),
*we send it electronically for translation (5 days to 3 weeks for translation based on translator availability),
*we prepare it for the Haitian Consulate (3 business days),
*we mail it to the Haitian Consulate in Chicago for authentication and receive it back (3-5 days), and
* we make 5 full copies (4 to send to Haiti and 1 for our files).
2. Dossier to Haiti (5-7 days to mail to Haiti)
Your dossier will be sent by Fed Ex or carried to Haiti by AWAA staff and delivered to Aimee Wilson, AWAA’s in-country adoption representative, or the orphanage lawyer depending on the orphanage preference/process.
3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs - MOFA (3 weeks – 8 weeks)
Once your dossier arrives in Haiti and is delivered to the orphanage’s lawyer, your dossier will be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for legalization. During this process, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs determines whether all required documentation is included in your dossier and legalizes the authentication by the Consulate General of the Haiti in Chicago.
4. Submission to IBESR (Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches)
Once your dossier is legalized by MOFA, the orphanage will contact myself and Aimee Wilson, our in-country adoption representative. A formal cover letter will be attached to your dossier in both French and English, indicating the contents of your dossier, the orphanage you have chosen to adopt from, your child request and the contact information for the orphanage and their lawyer. Aimee will submit your dossier to the IBESR and receive a receipt indicating that your dossier was formally submitted. On this receipt will be a File # specific to your family.
-The IBESR is the Haitian Adoption Authority that processes the child’s orphan status and approves prospective adoptive parents to adopt Haitian children.
5. Wait for a Formal Referral from IBESR (6 to 8 months – at this time)
Your dossier will be in the IBESR for a minimum of 6-8 months. During this time, the IBESR will conduct 2 birth parent interviews for each child and birth parent adoption counseling. Abandoned children will go through a paperwork process to confirm their orphan status. At this stage, the IBESR is confirming the orphan status of the children that meet your child request. The IBESR’s multi-disciplinary team will determine which child is the right match for your family. In many instances the IBESR will communicate with the orphanage’s multi-disciplinary team or social worker for suggested matches. At this time, the IBESR is stating that the matching process takes 6-8 months from time of dossier submission.
6. Formal Referral from the IBESR
Once a child has been formally matched to your family, the IBESR will notify AWAA by email of the formal referral. You will receive a formal letter of referral from the IBESR, one picture (in black and white), a social history, psychological evaluation, medical lab results and possibly a legal document. You will have 14 days from the date of the cover letter to respond to the IBESR in writing with your proposed travel dates. They will confirm that the IBESR social worker can accommodate your dates and will inform AWAA when you can make travel arrangements.
7. Bonding/Socialization Trip – Trip #1 – 14 days
You will travel to Haiti to meet your child and stay for your 14 day bonding trip. During this trip, a social worker from the IBESR will meet with your family to evaluate your bonding experience and to interview you. You will also file your I600 in Haiti during this trip.
WE ARE HERE!!!!!
8. Exit the IBESR (2 weeks to 2 months after bonding trip)
Once you have returned home from your bonding trip, the IBESR social worker will submit a report to the IBESR approving the match for your family. IBESR will prepare your “exit letter” and contact the orphanage lawyer that your dossier is ready to be picked up.
9. Parquet (1-2 months)
Once your dossier has been picked up from the IBESR, the lawyer will submit it to Parquet, also referred to as pre-court.
10. Court System (1-2 months)
Once the District Attorney has approved your dossier in Parquet and it will be sent through the court system. You will not have to travel to appear in court as your POA will allow the orphanage representative to act on your behalf. Once this court process is complete, your child will have your last name and you will have an adoption decree.
11. Attestation Signature (National Archives) (2 to 4 weeks)
During this stage the signature on the act of adoption from court will be legalized.
12. Minister of Justice (2 weeks to 3 months)
This is a legalization process where all papers in your dossier are reviewed for completeness and all signatures are verified.
13. MOI – Minister of Interior (3 weeks to 3 months)
During this process, ALL of your adoption paperwork will be reviewed, confirmed, evaluated and determined to be complete. If items are missing or incorrect, your dossier will be sent back to the Minister of Justice for correction and sent back to MOI for verification. Once all your documents are complete, MOI will issue authorization for a passport to be printed.
14. Passport (2 weeks to 2 months)
At this stage, your child will be issued a Haitian passport.
15. USCIS (currently stated at 6 weeks processing time)
Once your passport is printed, the lawyer will submit your paperwork to USCIS for I600 approval. You will be notified by email when you have been granted I600 approval. At that time your paperwork will be sent to the consulate at the US Embassy.
16. VISA Appointment (1 day – 14 days from I600 approval notification)
The Embassy will determine whether a visa is ready to be issued for your child(ren). You will be notified by email the date and time of your child’s visa appointment in Haiti.
17. Visa Pick-Up
48– 72 hours after your child’s visa appointment, the child’s visa will be ready for pick up at the US Embassy in Haiti.
18. IBESR Travel Authorization (48-72 hours after visa printing)
You must obtain travel authorization from the IBESR after your child’s visa is printed in order to leave Haiti. This will be applied for as soon as we receive notice of your child’s visa appointment so as soon as you have a visa, we can submit a copy to the IBESR and they will sign the travel authorization.
19. Trip #2 (3-7 days in length)
This is the moment you are all waiting for and it does happen! You will travel to pick up your child. You have the option of attending your child’s visa appointment and stay in Haiti while the visa and travel authorization is issued or you can have the orphanage representative attend the visa appointment and you can travel to pick up your children at your convenience.