adoption update and I-600 education session

For all of you who were waiting with baited breath to find out if our dossier was submitted in time, your wait is over: according to the agency, their representative in Vietnam submitted it to the IAD before the deadline. We don’t have a log-in date (I feel like I’ve bugged our social worker enough in the last few weeks with a flurry of emails along the lines of “our dossier expires in 1 week, any news….our dossier expires in 3 days, any news…our dossier expires tomorrow, ANY NEWS YET?) Can I just say that our social worker now (the Vietnam program director for our agency) is really good about returning emails promptly? Soooo much better than ASW. So now we wait (just like we have been doing, but minus the anxiety).

I do want to explain something here to non-adoptionland people about a big change in the way that the US embassy will handle Vietnamese adoption from here on out….its been a huge deal the last couple of weeks. I’ll probably screw it up and http://www.adoptionbuzz.org/ (why won’t the link thing work for me?? rarrr!) has the actual memo or whatever from the Embassy, or links to it, but here goes: Under the old way, the US embassy in Vietnam would conduct an investigation as to whether your adoption was legit after you had your GandR ceremony (and the child is yours under Vietnam law). In the vast majority of cases, everything is in order, and you are allowed to bring that child home to the US. Your petition to classify a child as an orphan under US law (I-600) is granted. However, rarely it happens (mostly with unethical agencies, don’t get me started), that everything is not in order, and the child, while legally belonging to the American parents under Vietnamese law, cannot be classified as an orphan under US law, and that child cannot be brought into the US. Imagine the utter heartbreak for the parents of such children. On second thought, I can’t imagine. In this situation the family is issued a NOID by the US embassy (Notice of Intent to Deny), and I can’t think of a worse scenario. Several have been issued in recent weeks. So. From now on, parents will submit thier I-600 after they get a referral, and the US embassy will do the investigation before the family travels to Vietnam. Good news, yes? Only a few drawbacks: 1)right now the embassy is saying these investigations will take 60 days. Hopefully that means up to 60 days, but I don’t think that’s clear at this point. This sucks big time because 2)the Embassy is only allowing for something like a 3 week transition period to the new system. Which means that if you have a referral but no travel dates yet, you could be set back a couple of months. 2 months in which the child you love waits in an orphanage. 2 months which will include Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s, which means longer than 2 months. At least 5 of the blogs that I obsessively follow are in this situation, and my heart and prayers go out to these families. I have no earthly idea why the US Embassy couldn’t say, “Look, we are going to make this change for all families who receive a referral after Nov. 1. If you already have a referral, we will handle your case under the old rules, and do the investigation while you are in Vietnam.” Doesn’t this make more sense, or am I crazy? Of course, as Hunky would remind me, why am I expecting a federal agency to do the sensible thing? Silly ren.

Alright, this post is only getting longer, so I’ll say farewell. Halloween’s tomorrow, ya’ll! This means cute pictures cant be far behind!

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