The adoption dossier is a key component of the Ethiopian adoption process. The documents pulled together to complete the dossier present a picture of a family’s physical, emotional, and financial health, allowing the Ethiopian government to evaluate the family’s ability to care for one of its children.
The adoption dossier documents range from the simple (birth certificates and photos of the family home) to the more complex (the adoption homestudy and USCIS clearance).
Potential adoptive parents (PAPs) working through the Ethiopian adoption process often call it a “paper pregnancy”, because of the amount of time and effort that goes into compiling the adoption dossier.
However, with time and dedication, adoptive families will deliver a fully completed dossier to the Ethiopian government for consideration.
Documents Needed for the Adoption Dossier for Ethiopia
Although many components of the dossier will remain the same from adoption agency to agency, there are some fluctuations. The number of each type of document required can vary, and some agencies may impose other additions in order to circumvent later inquiries from the Ethiopian government.
This list will provide a general understanding of the documents required, but each family should consult their adoption agency.
- Cover statement explaining why the family has chosen to adopt from Ethiopia
- A copy of the adoption homestudy, completed and certified by a qualified homestudy provider (typically a licensed social worker)
- Photos of the adoptive family and home
- U.S. government approval to adopt (USCIS)
- Certified copies of the adoptive parents birth certificates and marriage license
- Letter from a physician stating medical history and overall health of each family member
- Police clearance letter from the local police department (and in some cases, the police departments in other states or cities in which the adoptive family has lived), stating that the family members have a clear arrest record
- Reference letters from friends
Other Documents that May be Needed for the Ethiopia Adoption Dossier
- Letter from employer stating length of employment and salary range
- Divorce decree, if applicable
- Information about past arrest history, if any
- A personal financial statement or a letter from the adoptive family’s financial institution stating overall financial wellness
After the dossier documents are compiled, potential adoptive families will typically forward the dossier to their adoption agency for review. The documents (all or some) may then need to be certified and authenticated by the Secretary of State of the PAP’s state of residence, the U.S. Department of State, and the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C.