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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adoption Info

Our adoption was different as we are US Citizens in South Africa on a temporary residence permit, but thought I would share a little....

When the magistrate said that the laws had changed and we now needed an apostille for our paperwork, I wondered, "What in the world is an apostille, and how do I go about getting it?" and NOBODY could give me an answer! After months of trying to find out, I finally stumbled across a website that could help me, so thought I would pass on what I learned. I actually think that as I was looking for information the websites were being updated with it, because it took several search sessions before I could find anything.

We were trying to keep our adoption costs to a minimum, and therefore trying to avoid the fees it would cost to get the help of a lawyer (which we succeeded in doing).

We had to have an apostille for US documentation, which included a marriage certificate and the copies of our passports. The apostille for the marriage certificate comes from the state in which you were married. Each state has their own application process and costs. The following website is helpful, just search for your state and follow the website link:

Then this is where we sent our copies of our passports (once they were certified by the Consulate because they were simply photocopies):
"The Department of State, Authentications Office is responsible for signing and issuing certificates under the Seal of the U.S. Department of State (22 CFR, Part 131) providing authentication services to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals on documents that will be used overseas. This office receives a variety of documents from commercial organizations, private citizens, and officials of the Federal and State governments. Documents include but not limited to: company bylaws, powers of attorney, trademarks, diplomas, transcripts, distributorship agreements, articles of incorporation, good standing certificates, home studies, letters of reference etc. It also ensures that the requested information will serve in the interest of justice and is not contrary to U.S. policy."

It was a long journey with many challenges along the way, but I would love to be a help to anyone else trying to give a precious child a home! Please send me a message if you have a question, and I'll be happy to help if I can! Even if it's just to listen. :)

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