Basic Steps and Timeline of the Haiti Adoption Process

Timeline from Application Approval to Bringing Your Child Home: Approximately 23 - 33 Months

Application

5 working days

Approved Home Study

Approx. 8 -10 weeks

Dossier Preparation

Approx. 3 months

IBESR Approval & Child Match

Approx. 8-16 months

Receipt of Adoption Decree, Passport, and Visa

Approx. 8-12 months

Travel to Haiti (2 trips)

Minimum 15 days (socialization trip) Approx. 2-5 days (to bring child home)

There are benchmarks in every Haiti adoption. To give you an idea of what is involved in a Haitian adoption through CCAI, the following highlights the major steps and timeframe of the process.  Because of the nature of international adoption, this timeframe can change during your adoption process, but CCAI is committed to keeping you informed of the current timeframe as you work toward your adopted child.  Understanding the process and timeline now will enable you to be better prepared for this incredible journey that brings you and your child together. 

CCAI Application for Adoption – 5 Working Days

Your application allows CCAI to screen your qualifications for a Haiti adoption. From your application, we are able to determine whether or not you meet the requirements of our agency and the requirements of the various U.S. and Haiti government entities that will be involved in your adoption. If a family submits a complete and truthful application and is approved by CCAI, we are committed to serving you through all the stages of a Haiti adoption.

Home Study -  Approx. 8 to 10 weeks

Your dossier cannot be complete without your Hague compliant home study. The home study process includes several interviews by a licensed social worker who is affiliated with a home study agency that is part of our Exempt Provider Network.

It is reasonable to expect eight to ten weeks (this timeline may be longer if your social worker must wait for child abuse and/or FBI clearances to be completed) for your social worker to complete your home study and write a home study report based on federal, state, and Haitian government requirements. The CCAI Dossier Team will review the report before it is finalized and goes to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Dossier Compilation, Review, Translation, and Mail to Haiti –  Approx. 3 Months

Once your adoption application has been approved, you will begin to compile your adoption dossier. Your dossier is a collection of documents that report on various aspects of your life and represents you as adoptive parents to the Haitian government. This part of the adoption process often seems daunting to adoptive families, but it is important to remember to follow CCAI’s copyrighted Adoption Dossier Guide for HAITI, and get help from our knowledgeable Dossier Team. Most of your dossier documents, including the notarization and certification pages, must be translated into French before legalization.

Our Dossier Team will critically review your documents and bind your dossier. We will then send it to the Haiti processor via international express mail. The Haiti processor will review your dossier and personally walk it through all of the steps of the process.

For those families who need extra help to complete their dossier, CCAI does offer the option of a Full Dossier Compilation Service for an additional fee.  Please email dossier@ccaifamily.org for more information.

IBESR (Haitian Adoption Authority) Approval and Official Child Match – Approx. 8-16 Months *

Every family considering Haiti adoption must come to terms with the difficult wait between dossier submission and travel to complete their adoption. Please remember that timelines are controlled by the Institut du Bien Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR), Haitian Civil Courts, and other Haitian government offices and are subject to change.

Once your dossier is submitted to IBESR you can expect them to take roughly 4-8 months to approve of your dossier and to begin the official child match process. The child match process will require that birth parents come to IBESR for an orientation and two interviews with IBESR officials to ensure the birth parent’s understanding of adoption and their desire for their child to be made available for adoption. Birth parents will also be required to sign a legal document giving up their parental rights in court. After these steps are completed, IBESR will issue a child match letter asking the prospective adoptive family to confirm the match with the child(ren) and inviting them to come to Haiti for a 15 socialization/child match trip. Families will be officially matched by IBESR and receive their IBESR authorization within a couple of months after their socialization trip.

* The timeframe may lengthen while you are in process. However, the wait time at the top reflects the timeline that families have experienced. This may not be your timeline. Throughout the wait, families are encouraged to check in with CCAI regularly.

Receipt of Adoption Decree, Passport and Visa – Approx. 8-12 Months

After your file has exited IBESR the next big steps in the Haitian adoption process will be to receive an adoption decree, which can take several months. When this document has been issued the child(ren) you are adopting will officially receive your last name and will be considered legally yours according to Haitian law. Your child(ren) will then need to receive a Haitian passport, which can take up to two months. After receipt of a Haitian passport, the child’s dossier will then be submitted to USCIS at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. USCIS will review all of the adoption paperwork and the child’s dossier to ensure that they are legitimate. This process typically takes around four weeks, culminating with approval from the Embassy. At this time the file will be transferred to the U.S. Consulate who will schedule a visa appointment approximately two weeks in advance. The child’s U.S. visa is issued a few days after the appointment.

Travel to Haiti – Approx. 17-20 days total

You will travel to Haiti at least twice. Your first trip to Haiti will be for the socialization/child match trip. This trip must be a minimum of 15 days. CCAI staff will arrange your local travel, accommodations and visit to the orphanage/crèche. Your second trip will be to complete your adoption and bring your child(ren) home and will last approximately one to three days (one day in Florida and one or two days in Haiti). We will provide you with the needed travel training and preparation for both trips. Although only two trips to Haiti are required, please note that after you are officially matched by IBESR you are free to travel to Haiti to visit your adoptive child(ren) as frequently as you see fit and can be arranged with the orphanage.

Post Adoption Support and Adoption Validation

After you return to the United States, CCAI will provide ongoing post adoption support to assist you with your adoption transition. Seven post adoption reports must be submitted within a five-year time period after placement to satisfy Haitian requirements. Photos are to be attached to all reports. CCAI will provide you information on how to validate your finalized adoption through your local court, enable your adopted Haitian child to receive a U.S. birth certificate from your state, and obtain her/his Social Security card and citizenship, if necessary.

Your Home Study

A home study is an evaluation of each potential adoptive family prior to the placement of a child in the home.  An approved home study report will enable us to recommend you to Haiti.  Therefore, the home study is an extremely important part of the adoption process. The purpose of a home study is to completely and accurately assess the readiness of an adoptive family to ensure the placement is made in the best interest of the adoptive child and the adoptive family.

The home study process usually includes at least four interviews by a CCAI social worker on separate days.  At least one visit/interview will be in the adoptive family’s home.  These interviews will help our social worker to evaluate your adoption motivation, family backgrounds, marriage stability, financial ability, physical condition, understanding of parenthood, home and community environment, support system, and other relevant issues to determine your readiness for adoption. 

It usually takes six to eight weeks for a social worker to complete your home study and write a home study report based on federal, state, and Haitian government requirements.  A CCAI Child Placement Supervisor will approve the report before it goes to the USCIS.  Your home study will also be a part of your dossier that will go to IBESR in Haiti.

CCAI’s social workers are experienced and dedicated professionals.  As your home study providers, they will help support and prepare you during the most exciting journey of your life.