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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Update on India program

I know it's been a while since I have blogged about our India adoption and it's because there hasn't really been anything to report. We are still steadily building our dossier and fundraising. However, yesterday we got a call from Melissa at AWAA in the India program telling us about a change. Following the conversation, we got this email:

Dear Families:

CARA* has announced that they are closing to any new applicants/registration from December 1, 2012 to February 2013  due to “sufficient number of applicants registered for inter-country adoption.” We do not know if this means they will reopen sometime in February or soon after. We do know that last time they closed it took several months longer for them to reopen than originally anticipated. Therefore, we want all families to be prepared for potential delays in re-opening and the unknowns of when that will happen and what new quotas or rules may apply to the process at that time.

Currently AWAA has families in the following stages of their process:

1.       Completing paperwork/not yet registered with CARA: All families who have not yet been registered with CARA were called this morning and informed of their various options.
2.       Registered with CARA and waiting on orphanage assignment: These families are aware that CARA is updating their internal website and we will be notified of the orphanage assignments after that time.
3.       Assigned an Orphanage: Many families are waiting for confirmation from their orphanage assignment regarding their dossier and referral waiting process. Orphanages are still operating for inter-country adoption though we continue to expect delays in communication with the orphanages.
4.       Waiting for Approvals: Some families have received a referral or referral review opportunity and are waiting for approvals from the orphanage or courts in India. Orphanages and courts in India will still be processing adoptions.

Please feel free to continue to call or email me with questions about your adoption process. Our offices will close Thursday and Friday this week for the Thanksgiving holiday but I am in the office for the next few days. AWAA will be praying for CARA as they reorganize their system and for all our families in the India program.

If I don’t talk to you again before the holiday, I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Sincerely,

Melissa

This happened last year at about this same time and they reopened in February so I FULLY expect them to reopen again. When Melissa called us, she gave us various options of what we could do. They are:

1.  Withdraw from India and transfer to another program: This was not even an option for us. The path of international adoption is filled with unknowns, slow-downs, changes, etc. We knew this when we signed up for it. Since we aren't even done with our dossier, this just means we have more time to get it finished and when they DO reopen, we could be at the top of the list to get assigned an orphanage.

2.  Hold all paperwork: We could suspend our home study and paperwork if we did not feel 100% sure we would want to register or continue when India reopens. Again, this wasn't an option either. We KNOW we have at least a daughter (and possibly a sibling group) in India somewhere and we will continue on until we get her/them home.

3.  Continue paperwork, complete home study. Once our home study is completed, they will send us the 1-page CARA registration form and with those 2 items we would be ready to register with CARA when it reopens. We could also then move forward with the I800a USCIS application and the rest of our dossier documents so everything will be ready when we are registered and assigned an orphanage. This is the best option if we are 100% sure we will move forward regardless of when they reopen. The only downfall to going forward with the I800a is that there is a small risk of paperwork expiring if India doesn't open back up until later in the year, but generally speaking as long as our paperwork is not older than 12 months when it is submitted to India, we will be OK for the initial dossier mailing to the orphanage. Later, when our paperwork is presented at court, all families will have to update paperwork or complete complete new paperwork according to that specific orphanage and court rules. These details won't be known until we get to that point of the process.

We could also wait on the USCIS application, but it does have to be submitted within 6 months of finalizing our home study.

So, at this point we are still working on our dossier, raising money via fundraisers, and praying every day for our daughter/children in India. We are also praying for the family that this really affects...those who were so close to getting submitted and now won't be able to for at least 2 more months.

*Central Adoption Resource Authority

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