1. Request for a pre-application consultation to discuss the adoption process, requirements, categories of adoptable children, service fees, length of processing time, and other adoption issues and concerns. Seek clarification of some of your particular concerns.
2. Submit your application to the Adoptions Unit of RESOURCES FOR LIFE. If your application is accepted, sign the agreement for services and other basic documents (e.g. consents for clearances, etc.) to start processing of your application
3. Have your HOMESTUDY completed. Be prepared for joint/individual interviews and home visit(s). Other members of your household will likewise be interviewed. Be prepared with your financial and other related documents. Refer to the checklist of required documents.
4. After completion of your home study, you will be applying immediately to the USCIS for determination of suitability to adopt a child from a Convention country with the form 1-800a, and the required fee. Approval of this form (1797C) will need to be included in your dossier, which consists of your application and other documents pertaining to you as prospective adoptive parents. This dossier is prepared and forwarded to the Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) in Manila, Philippines, to determine your eligibility to adopt your relative child. You will subsequently be notified of ICAB’s approval or disapproval, as the case may be.
5. If approved, you will then wait for the child’s assessment completed by the Field Unit of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the region where the child resides. ICAB will approve or disapprove the adoptive placement of the child in your home, depending on the result of the child assessment and other considerations. You will be properly notified of ICAB’s action
6. If ICAB approves the adoptive placement of your relative child in your home, it will forward to RESOURCES FOR LIFE the Child Study Report and other documents pertinent to the child, including the PLACEMENT AUTHORITY. At this point, you may file the Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative (form 1-800) and submit to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) all required documents pertinent to you and the child.
7. The USCIS will send you its Notice of Action/Approval on you 1-800 petition. If approved, you notify you social worker immediately so the ICAB will be properly informed. (If disapproved, USCIS will be instructing you on what do to next). Meanwhile, the USCIS will be sending a cable to the US Embassy in Manila about the approval. At this point, ICAB will prepare the child’s travel documents for immigration and placement. Your relatives’ coordination with ICAB is important at this point. The child will undergo medical examination prior to the passport issuance. In the meantime, you will work on your own travel documents and arrange for your travel to the Philippines to pick up the child. At least one parent is required to travel. Your travel plans are to be communicated to ICAB at least two weeks prior to arrival in Manila.
8. While in Manila, you will need to visit the Intercountry Adoption Board’s office for the pre-placement orientation and for the child’s documents prior to leaving the country with your child.
9. You will notify your social worker immediately after your arrival in Hawaii with your child. An office visit with you and your child is required. Within 30 days of the child’s arrival, you will need to enroll the child for health insurance coverage as required by law. You will be issued a CERTIFICATE OF ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT by your social worker for the purpose of enrollment
10. A 6-month supervision of trial custody will start upon the child’s arrival. Meetings with the social worker at your home or at the office will be arranged. Bi-monthly supervision reports are required to be submitted to ICAB, with photographs of the child and your family taken during the supervision period. If no major problems arise during this period, the AFFIDAVIT OF CONSENT to finalize legal adoption will be requested from ICAB.
11. Upon receipt of the AFFIDAVIT OF CONSENT, you will petition the Family Court to finalize the child’s adoption. If granted, you will receive the ADOPTION DECREE, a copy of which is forwarded to ICAB. At this point, RESOURCES FOR LIFE will be closing your case.