Steps to Adoption

The process is as follows:

  1. If you reside in a Hague country you will need to contact the Central Authority concerning intercountry adoption in the country you reside (to find the Central Authority please visit here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Intercountry-Adoption-Country-Information.html) and ask if they consider you a habitual resident of that country for the purpose of adoption.  If you intend to adopt a child from a country other than your country of residence, you will also need to consult the Immigration Authorities in the country of residence to determine whether the adopted child can enter and reside with the adoptive parent both prior to and after the child has documentation of US citizenship.  It is strongly encouraged and preferred that this determination be in writing from the Central Authority or competent authority before moving forward.  For more information on the Department of State’s FAQ’s concerning expat adoption please click here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/adopt_ref/adoption-FAQs/adoptions-by-prospective-adoptive-outside-us.html.
  2. If you reside in a non-Hague country, you will need to contact the competent adoption authority to determine your resident status in that country for the purpose of adoption and research information regarding relevant laws and procedures for U.S. citizens who wish to adopt while residing there (to find the competent authority please visit here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Intercountry-Adoption-Country-Information.html).  If you intend to adopt a child from a country other than your country of residence, you will also need to consult the Immigration Authorities in the country of residence to determine whether the adopted child can enter and reside with the adoptive parent both prior to and after the child has documentation of US citizenship.  It is strongly encouraged and preferred that this determination be in writing from the Central Authority or competent authority before moving forward.  For more information on the Department of State’s FAQ’s concerning expat adoption please click here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/adopt_ref/adoption-FAQs/adoptions-by-prospective-adoptive-outside-us.html.
  3. Download the application (found on the pull down menu of our website under “Get Started”, complete it, and scan the signed copy to apply@smallworldadoption.com, along with any determination you receive from the Central Authority or competent authority.
  4. Before moving forward with submission of your application fee, Small World will reach out to the Central Authority or competent authority for determination as to whether or not Small World can complete your homestudy while you are residing in that country.  Once Small World receives that information, you may proceed with payment of the application fee.
  5. Click “make a payment” and pay your app fee of $250.00 by cc.
  6. Our reviewers will review your application and contact you usually within 2 business days.
  7. You will then be sent a contract.  Please sign and return by email.  We will sign it and return to you a signed copy.
  8. Our business office will send you an invoice for the Homestudy and 2 post adoption reports   HS $2,000 and Posts $400 each.  For example China requires 6 post adoption reports 2 of which must be paid at the time of Homestudy so the total will be $2,800.00 if your adopting from China and the additional reports as they come due over a five year period.
  9. We will assign to you one of our Social Workers for your homestudy and a case manager to help keep things moving and complete your homestudy.

Depending on caseloads and availability we try to assign one of our employees living closest to you or traveling to you.  You will be  responsible for the travel costs of our employee to visit your home for the inspection and personal interviews.  This travel amount includes transit, meals, and generally one night in a hotel near your residence.  In some hard to reach regions of the world and in some special circumstances such as critical time pressure situations you may request one of our stateside social workers to visit you.


Small World has a state of the art online database where you will upload your homestudy documents and find all forms and documents you need ready for you to download.

Documents Required

The table below shows how many documents often overlap and are used more than once during the adoption process. The columns show the documents or action needed to complete the process and the end result.

Please refer to the actual list of requested documents and instructions supplied by your primary provider when preparing your dossier.

DOCUMENT   AGENCY   USCIS   DOSSIER
Application Agency Application Form I-800a (or I-600a ) Application Letter to
Certified Birth Certificates for each parent Photocopy Accepted Photocopy Accepted Original Certified Copy
Certified Marriage Certificate Photocopy Accepted Photocopy Accepted Original Certified Copy
Certified Divorce Certificate Photocopy Accepted Photocopy Accepted Not Needed for Dossier
Certified Death Certificate Photocopy Accepted Photocopy Accepted Not Needed for Dossier
Criminal History Records for each parent Photocopy Accepted you will get fingerprinted at a US consulate Original Certified Copy
Homestudy Photocopy Accepted Original Notarized Copy Original Notarized Copy
Immigration Approval Photocopy Accepted Issued when all above are submitted and approved. Original Notarized Copy
Employment Letters for each parent Photocopy Accepted Original Notarized Copy
Certificate of Income and Property Photocopy Accepted Original Notarized Copy
Health Examination Certificate for each parent Photocopy Accepted Original Notarized Copy
Parents Passports Photocopy Accepted Photocopy
6 Family Life Photos Photocopies Accepted Actual Photos
2 Passport Photos of Each Parent Required Agency Document Actual 2×2 Photos
Adoption Services Agreement Required Agency Document
Release of Information Required Agency Document
Guardianship Statement Required Agency Document
Children’s Medical Forms Required Agency Document
Health Insurance Cards Required Agency Document
Autobiographies Required Agency Document
Last Year’s Tax Return Required Agency Document
State Child Abuse Clearances Required Agency Document
References Required Agency Document
Previous Homestudies Required Agency Document
Prior Adoption Decrees Required Agency Document
Child Desired Form Required Agency Document
Hague Training Required Training Required Training
RESULT:
AGENCY APPROVAL
  RESULT:
IMMIGRATION APPROVAL
  RESULT:
CHILD!