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May 22, 2007

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Comments

thalia

Thank you for all the thoughtful answers, I really appreciate your points of view, as well as loving all the happiness in your posts.

Re the H-0-lt and openness, i guess there are several options here including keeping in touch with the foster family but not making it a big deal, waiting til after adoption #2 and then getting back in touch, or sticking to H-0-lt's policies. I'm not very clued up on what levels of contact are best for adoptive children, my sense is that it varies, but my instinct (which may not be yours) would be to find some way to stay in touch. My godmother's adopted twins have been back to korea to visit their foster families and I know having that contact - because their birth family is seemingly uncontactable - has been very important for them.

Have you talked to the H-0-lt ppl about why they are so focused on super-closure?

HoldingPattern

Hi Thalia, Just to be clear it is the Korean agency, H01t Korea, that prefers closed adoptions. Our American agency, H01t International, is a completely separate entity and DOES prefer open adoptions. Both agencies work closely together, but are indeed separate. In this case, because H01t Korea is the one with the birth parent contact, they are the ones who control the information. H01t International has lobbied H01t Korea for more openness, but I think that the staffers of H01t Korea deeply, sincerely believe that closed adoption is better for the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents. They live in a culture where adoption is so hidden (and shameful) that a couple adopting domestically will often fake pregnancy (wear pillows, etc) prior to placement. And now, with the new law changes in Korea, I think it will be possible to even hide the adoption from the adoptee.

Summer

Thanks so much for these last posts. I will miss you! And I will you on my RSS feeds in hopes of hearing from you sometime in the future.

ali

Sigh. I will miss reading your blog and hearing all about Munchkin's life. Thank you for sharing as much as you have. I've admired how level-headed you have been through all this (the crazy infertility stuff, the adoption snags, etc.). I want to say congratulations--but it sounds odd, but, really, congratulations on your happy, healthy, beautiful boy.

Eli

I want to thank you for your blog. I just found it last week, and it's been so enlightening and (most of all) comforting. We are in the process of adopting from Korea --three months into the wait for a referral-- and I am struggling with how to view adoption. At first I thought it was so rosy, but after spending time exposing my mind to some of the alternative views of adoption I felt very bogged down and confused. It was helpful to read that you went through a similar experience, and that you gave yourself a little bit of a break. I needed to see that that was okay.

I'm so happy for your family, and for your child who obviously has a very devoted and thoughtful mother. :) I hope you leave your blog up for a while...other people like me might stumble on by and find a lot of support and comfort when they need it. Best of luck in the future, and I hope you keep writing about your experiences!

Eli

Doh...one more thing. As I'm reading I'm gaining some knowledge about your love of organization. If it helps, I've put together two lists of books about Korea, Korean-Americans, Koreans, and Korean Adoptees at Amaz@n. It's pretty thorough. If you go to their "listmania" search bar, usually to the left or right side on most Amaz@n pages, and insert "Korea Children," both of the lists will pop up. It sounds like your son will have A LOT of great support for learning about his Korean heritage, but if you're looking for books--they're there. Cheers.

moehong

This is amazing to me. Holt Int'l, the American part of the company, makes the "open adoption" portion almost mandatory on the adoptive parents' part. I mean, we had to sign a waiver saying we wanted an open adoption. But Holt Korea isn't consistent with that?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Adoption To-Do's

  • 

    Total Expenses So Far: $21,531

    Select country (Korea) (11/14/05)

    Select agency (11/17/05)

    Tell our families

    Receive preliminary application

    Preliminary App filed (12/5/05):

    • Fill in application
    • Photo of us, photo of house
    • Write medical statement, elaborating on treatment for depression
    • Line up four non-relative references
    • One copy of tax returns from past three years
    • Pay $200 fee
    • Notarized adoption services agreement $10
    • Fedex to Agency $15

    Receive Big App (12/15/05)

    Receive Korea Adoption Guidebook

    Home Study Paperwork: (1/19/06)

    • S: Complete "Personal Data" form with 67 essay questions
    • S: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • S: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • S: Criminal Record Statement
    • S: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • S: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • S: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • S: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • S: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • T: Complete 51 essay question "Personal Data" form
    • T: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • T: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • T: Criminal Record Statement
    • T: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • T: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • T: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • T: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • T: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • Complete detailed Financial Statement
    • 1 photocopy marriage license
    • Photo of baby's room
    • Map & directions to home
    • Copy all, keep for records
    • FedEx packet to agency, $15 (1/12/06)
    All 4 non-relative references return 3-page, 10-essay questionnaires directly to agency (1/28/06)

    Home Study Part 2: (4/3/2006)

    • Receive & pay invoice for home study $3066 (2/1/06)
    • Schedule social worker visits (2/10/06)
    • Childproof house (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers) $40
    • Social worker visit #1 (joint) (2/21/06)
    • Acceptable Medical Conditions Form (2/27/06)
    • From that details how "open" an adoption we are willing to consider  (2/27/06)
    • Social worker visit #2 (S only) (2/28/06)
    • Social worker visit #3 (T only) (2/28/06)
    • Sign up for module 1 & 2 of parenting class
    • Book travel for parenting class in Southern California
    • Modules 1 & 2 of agency parenting class (in SoCal) $500 (1/21/06)
    • Receive 2 completed, certified, notarized copies of Home Study (4/3/2006)

    Agency sends Home Study to Korea (HSTK) (4/7/2006)

    Sign up for modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class

    Take modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class (4/9/06)

    I-600A filed with US-CIS (Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition for Visa) (4/6/2006):

    • I-600A form
    • Copy certified Home Study
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • Photocopy of marriage license
    • Copy of most recent federal tax return
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • $545 fee + $140 for FBI fingerprints = $685
    • Cover letter
    • Copy all for records
    • Mail to US-CIS San Francisco

    FBI Fingerprinting:

    • US-CIS acknowledges receipt of I-600A (4/12/06)
    • FBI Fingerprinting appt. scheduled (different than LiveScan fingerprints)
    • FBI Fingerprinting completed, for each (4/28/06)

    Receive I-171H (Approval of I-600A) (5/11/06)

    Pick baby name

    Arrange for medical evaluation of referral

    Receive Referral (12/29/06)

    • Child's presentation letter
    • Child's information
    • Photographs
    • Medical records
    • Confidential background information

    Medical evaluation of Referral by Oakland Children's Hospital (1/10/2007)

    File Referral Acceptance Paperwork: ($140 + $12) (1/6/2007)

    • Child Information Transmittal
    • Pay invoice for $17,500
    • 3 Placement Agreements - all notarized
    • T: 4 Statements of Adoption (for child's Korean passport) - all notarized
    • 3 Travel Option forms
    • 1 Foreign Travel Release - notarized
    • T: 2 Affidavit re INS Vaccination Requirements
    • T: 2 I-864 Affidavit of Support for Immigration
    • S: 2 I-864A Contract between Sponsor and Household Member
    • Copy of entire last year tax return, with ALL attachments
    • Copy of all last year W-2 and 1099 forms
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • T: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • S: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • Photocopy of marriage license (again)
    • Photocopy everything for records
    • FedEx to agency (1/6/2007)

    Receive child's "legals" from Korea (in English & Korean): (1/22/2007)

    • Affirmation and Oath Certificate (attests these documents are true and correct)
    • Certificate of the Guardian (certifies Korean agency was guardian)
    • Statement of Guardianship (transfers guardianship from Korean agency to American agency)
    • Extract of Family Register (birth certificate equivalent)

    I-600 visa petition form filed w/ US-CIS: (1/25/2007)

    • I-600 form
    • Copy of I-171H
    • Copies of child's legals
    • Originals of child's legals, with note and SASE envelope requesting they be returned
    • Copy of child report
    • Copy of child photos
    • Copy of most recent 1040 tax form
    • Copy of I-864
    • Copy of I-864A
    • Letter with visa cable instructions
    • Fedex to US-CIS San Francisco $25

    Meanwhile, the Korean agency works away:

    • Our application is translated
    • Korean agency applies for Emigration Permit with Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare
    • Ministry approves Emigration Permit (aka "EP")
    • Agency gets I-171 (I-600 approval) cable from US Embassy in Seoul
    • Baby tested for Hepatitis B & HIV
    • Visa physical for baby
    • Submit application for baby's IR-4 Visa

    Resubmit our I-600 visa petition after US-CIS screws up (2/9/2007)

    Buy baby gear (3/17/07)

    Baby CPR & safety class (2/17/07)

    Line up a regular pediatrician (3/5/07)

    Line up a pediatric cardiologist (3/14/07)

    Investigate childcare options (3/17/07)

    Line up Daycare (5/25/07)

    Get on preschool waiting list (1/5/07)

    Setup nursery(3/19/07)

    Get life insurance for both

    Write wills with statements of guardianship wishes (both)

    Set up trust

    S: Get pre-approval family leave with HR (1/24/2007)

    Buy gifts for foster family, Korean agency staff (3/16/07)

    Make travel arrangements to Korea ($185 plus 240,000 frequent flyer miles) (3/13/07)

    Wrap-up job for a 15-week leave (3/12/07-3/16/07)

    Finalize leave plans with HR (3/15/07)

    Travel to Korea (3/19/07 - 3/25/07)

    • Meet both foster mothers (3/21/07, 3/22/07, 3/23/07)
    • In-Korea pre-flight medical exam (3/22/07)
    • Go to US Embassy in Seoul to process Class-B Waiver (acceptance of medical condition) 3/22/07
    • Get the final Visa paperwork (3/22/07)
    • Take custody of child! (3/23/07)
    • Long plane ride back to USA (3/25/07)

    USA Medical Evaluations

    • Add baby to my health insurance (3/28/07)
    • Evaluation by regular pediatrician (3/30/07)
    • US immunizations (3/30/07)
    • Evaluation by pediatric cardiologist (4/18/07)
    Receive Placement Confirmation Notice from Agency (3/28/06)

    Receive baby's Green Card in mail (4/16/07)

    Get social security number under baby's Korean Name as permanent resident (4/27/07)

    Receive post-placement packet in mail from Agency(4/15/07)

    Post-placement visits from social worker: (9/12/07)

    • Visit #1 (4/28/07)
    • Visit #2 (6/30/07)
    • Visit #3 (7/26/07)
    • Visit #4 (9/12/07)

    Create and file child "progress reports" with 8-18 photos each, for Korean agency and government, and a letter with photos for foster family (9/12/07)

    • 1-month progress report (4/28/07)
    • 3-month progress report (6/30/07)
    • 4-month progress report (7/26/07)
    • 6-month progress report (9/12/07)

    File US Physician's Examination Report with Agency (4/17/07)

    File Adoption Finalization Paperwork in our county in California (5/1/07) ($20)

    • Form ADOPT-200 (Adoption Request) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-230 (Adoption Expenses) (5/1/07)

    RE-File Finalization Paperwork the State changed in July '07 (ARGH!) (11/13/07)

    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (11/13/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (11/3/07)

    Finalize Adoption in County Court

    • Receive "Consent to Adoption" from agency (11/2/07)
    • Schedule court hearing (coming in December '07!)
    • Adoption finalization court hearing (Munchkin is now a US citizen, and his American name is now his legal name!)
    • Have a HUGE Party to celebrate!
    • Send agency/Korea copy of child's adoption decree (child is no longer considered a Korean citizen)
    • Send adoption announcements

    Secure proof of US citizenship for child:

    • Complete & file N-600 with US-CIS, pay fee
    • Receive Certificate of Citizenship
    • File passport application
    • Receive passport
    • Apply to SSA to get status changed from resident alien to citizen, SS# name changed (passport is proof)

    Start the process all over again for kid #2!