The following is a general timeline sent to us from our agency.
For some, this will be a helpful checklist as we move along. For others, it will be confusing and overwhelming... in which case, forget you ever saw it and just keep checking in with us.
The blue highlighted text indicates steps we have completed. Yay!
Red text is my own commentary.
10 STEPS TO YOUR ADOPTION STARTING YOUR CASE ·
Your dossier is sent to the attorney in Guatemala via FedEx.
· The entire dossier is translated into Spanish for the courts.
· The case is presented to the Ministry of External Relations.
The Ministry of External Relations registers the case and certifies all the documents.
· This takes about 2-3 weeks.
· The attorney submits the Request for the Authorization for the DNA test to be administered. You must have your INS I-171H to get the authorization.
· The Embassy issues the Authorization for the DNA test.
· The attorney will fax the Authorization to our office.
· We send your Payment Authorization to Labcorp who will process the DNA test
· The lab will send a receipt showing payment to our office
· We send the paid receipt to the attorney.
· The attorney can now make an appointment with one of only three approved doctors to administer the DNA test.
· This takes about 4-6 weeks.
· The birth mother and the child will be tested.
· The specimens will be sent to Labcorp via express mail
· The test will be administered.
· This takes about 7 – 10 days.
· The results will be faxed to our office. We will email you.
**We recieved documentation that DNA was a match on Friday! :)
· The certified and notarized results will be sent to the US Embassy in Guatemala.
· The Embassy will open a case review of the adoption file. They are ensuring that all of the documents are in order.
· The Embassy will release the case once they are satisfied that all is in order. This is called the CONSENT
· This takes about 4 weeks but sometimes longer if the Embassy is experiencing delays. The Embassy can call the Birth Mother into the Embassy for a personal interview at any time. This will not stop your case but it will slow it down as the Embassy will not issue a Consent until they have had the interview which can take several weeks to schedule and complete.
· The case will be filed in Family Court.
**This should be happening very soon. Maybe next week? DONE!
· A Social Worker will be assigned to the case.
· The Social Worker will arrange for an interview with the birth mother.
· The Social Worker will arrange for an interview with the foster mother to see the child.
· The Social Worker will prepare a report for the courts.
· The Family Court judge will approve the case to continue.
· This takes about 5-6 weeks. Some of the attorneys will tell us when the interview is and others do not. We are tracking it and following up so as soon as we know, we will let you know.
PROCURADURIA COURT (PGN)
· The case will be presented to the Procuraduria Court (PGN).
· A PGN attorney will be assigned to very carefully review your case file. The PGN attorney can ask for any additional documentation from the attorney or from the adopting family. NO information is given out about the case when it is in PGN until it is either released or sent back for additional information.
· This USUALLY takes about 10-12 weeks but it can take as long as the PGN attorney needs. If the PGN attorney requests additional or corrected information from you, it will delay your case. We are following up on each case will let you know the moment we hear anything from the PGN about your case- good or bad.
Note: In 2007, we have experienced significant slowdowns in processing time so you should not be alarmed if your case is in PGN for several months. It should also be noted that unless PGN issues a “previo” which is when the reviewing official finds an error or missing information, our attorney does not receive updates on the status of the file so there is often very little information being given during this time. If we do receive a “previo”, we will advise you.
BIRTH MOTHER SIGNING
· The birth mother will come in to sign off on the final paperwork.
· This takes about 1 week.
BIRTH CERTIFICATE · Once the case is released from PGN, the Civil Registry where the child was born will issue a new birth certificate. The name will remain the same with your last name added to the end. This is the name you will use for the flight reservation for the child.
· This takes about 1-4 weeks depending on where the original birth certificate is from. Right now it is taking at least three weeks to get a new birth certificate for babies born in Guatemala City.
· A Guatemalan passport will be issued with the new last name of the child.
· This takes about 2-3-4 days. FINAL EMBASSY REVIEW · The entire case is presented to the US Embassy once again for another review of the case. · The Embassy will confirm that all of the documents are in order.
· The Embassy will issue a "PINK SLIP" that will authorize the Final Medical exam.
Note: We have been advised by the US Embassy in July 2007 that review will no longer take 48-72 hours but approximately 6 working days
FINAL MEDICAL EXAM
· The child will go to the US Embassy-approved doctor to get a final review of the medical records and to be sure that all of the vaccinations are current. This is needed for the child to get the Visa to travel to the U.S. 2-3 days
TIME TO TRAVEL!!! · Pack your bags and go to Guatemala!!!!! this takes about 15 minutes!!!!
**Okay, Mom. Okay, Laura. Clearly the agency director has never heard of my infamous packing disorder. Go ahead and chuckle.
Hope this helped!