Program Guides, Fee Schedules & International Adoption Steps

talking-about-adoption-with-kids-Transracial-preschool-parenting-adviceThank you for your interest in adoption!  We post our adoption program guides here.   We are confident you will find our adoption fees straightforward and easy to understand.  Let us know any questions.  Call 520 531-9931 or email

Burundi Adoption

2017 Guide to BURUNDI

2017 Fee Schedule Burundi

Mexico Adoption

2017 Guide to MEXICO

2017 Fee Schedule Mexico

Burkina Faso Adoption

2017 Guide to Burkina Faso

2017 Fee Schedule Burkina Faso

International Relative Adoption in Non-Hague Countries

2017 Relative & Parent Initiated Guide & Fees

ABC Infant Adoption — US Domestic Adoption



This is a list of the international adoption steps.  It is not exhaustive — it is an outline…

Preliminary steps:

  1. Home Study — your state approval
  2. USCIS approval, after submitting the I-800A or I-600A
  3. Dossier completion and translation
  4. Central Authority approval of dossier (in Mexico this starts with the SRE)
  5. Foreign National authority approval of dossier (in Mexico this is the National DIF)
  6. State or regional approval of dossier (in Mexico this is the state DIF)
  7. Then the official referral process begins, which involves a wait of several months, sometimes years

Referral steps:

  1. State or region recommends child for family adoption; typically not final until after state and/or national adoption committee approval
  2. Foreign authority preparation of the referral report, called the Article 16 report, which includes the child social and medical history, and birth certificate, and letter declaring the process complies with the Hague Convention, called the Article 17 report
  3. Referral documents translated and reviewed by family for acceptance (allow two weeks)
  4. Family completes I-800 or I-600 and other forms to be sent by agency to USCIS for approval of referral documents with submission; USCIS generally takes 2-8 weeks for approval and may request additional information
  5. USCIS transfers file to National Visa Center, which notified the US Embassy and the family
  6. Family is notified by USCIS and the US Embassy or Consulate serving adoption process that the I-800 is approved and they may move forward with the adoption and receive new receipt numbers for their case*
  7. Family submits the DS-260 online for most countries (in Burundi, this must be submitted in person by the agency attorney at the Nairobi US Embassy; it cannot be submitted online)
  8. US Embassy issues their approval, called the Article 5 letter, to the foreign authority; the Embassy may request additional documents prior to issuing this letter
  9. *For Mexico at this juncture, the family must apply for a Mexico adoption visa at a Mexico Consulate in the US and then travels to Mexico to obtain the Mexico adoption immigration card, which is required for the court petition; this may involve two trips to Mexico, to apply for the immigration card and then pick up the immigration card (this is not needed for Mexican Nationals) and submit it to ICF and/or our attorney as it is required to file a petition for the adoption hearing

Foreign Court and/or administrative steps:

  1. The foreign Central Authority receives Article 5 letter from the US Embassy, which then travels to the appropriate state or regional offices and must be received prior to a petition to court for an adoption hearing being filed*; court dates for review or hearings maybe one to ten months out, depending on the county, the average being about five months
  2. Petition and required documents are filed at the court (including for Mexico the adoption immigration card issued to the parents)
  3. Court/Judge approval, then a waiting period or waiting for final documents to be signed by Judge; the latter is often between 15-60 days, depending upon the state and the Judge, and receipt of the adoption decree or “sentence” and final approvals (in Mexico this is the “causa ejectoria” and in Burundi it is the letter of “no appeal”)

Post court preparation for child to leave the country after the adoption decree is issued:

  1. Registration of new birth certificate in child’s birth city (generally a local application)
  2. Preparation of certified documents for US Consulate and Central Authority (adoption decree, birth certificate, translations, etc)
  3. Translation of documents that are required by the US Embassy or Consulate
  4. Application for new foreign passport in child’s new name (generally applied for in the principal city of the country or may be applied for in the state or region if offices exist)
  5. Travel to the location of the Central Authority to obtain adoption certificate and final documents, sometimes meeting with the Director of the Central Authority for an interview
  6. Travel to the location of the US Embassy or Consulate designated to process adoption visas and arranging for the medical clinic exam for approval of child; generally wo appointments — one for exam and lab tests and one to get results; the child’s visa cannot be issued without the lab results and, if the lab results show latent TB or other unknown infectious disease, the child may be detained for further testing or treatment
  7. Meeting for interviews with US Embassy or Consulate for final approval and to complete the visa application process; the child visa is issued within about 3 business days
  8. Travel home! Please send copies of final documents to the agency

Please contact us when you arrive home; we would like to be in touch to assist and support you with transition and adjustment, as your child may experience considerable dislocation trauma and anxiety.  It is essential for parents to limit stimulation and keep the child in the home for “nesting” and attaching rather than introducing child to a host of friends and relatives.  Children need special time with new parents to establish a bond and learn that they now have a primary family.  Parties and outings to highly stimulating places (including the grocery story) should be delayed for at least three months.  Maximize this time to develop your own parent-child relationship.  It is a window of opportunity that will disappear as the child matures.  Expect the first six months to be very puzzling and sometimes challenging, as your child is going through major psychological transitions to form an expanded identity as a member of your family.