This I800A is a fairly new process ever since the United States joined the international HAGUE convention in April 2008. It used to be the I600 form you had to file, but things have changed and an entirely new department was formed just for people adopting from other HAGUE convention countries. The whole process of doing a HAGUE adoption is much more complicated than before April 2008- or so I'm told. I don't know any different so it seems fine for me. But, talking to other families who were pre-hague, it's a lot of new hassles and red tape. More hoops to jump through and more time added to the adoption process.
So, we are now "on the clock" so to speak! While we are waiting for our I800A approval, which should take about 2 months, I am finishing up our dossier. I now have all the papers I need and tomorrow I go to get them notorized- thank you Patti!!!
Once notorized we have to go to the county courthouses of anyone who has notorized any of our paperwork. I think that will only be Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County, thankfully. Then have to give us a certification that our notary is really a notary. This is called authenticating a document. I think they have a fee, but need to check how much it is...
THEN, we have to go to Annapolis where they put a pretty gold sticker on the paper- called an apostille (at a hefty $5 per document!WHAT?) to prove that the person who certified us at the county courthouse was who they say they are! Whew. Our government at work here, people! Why can't we just go straight to the top and get just the pretty gold stickers???
After we have all the notaries, authentications and apostilles we then mail our dossier to a certified translator in Tennessee who will translate each and every WORD of our documents. And then, get this, she will have to notarize, authenticate and apostille all the documents ALL OVER AGAIN in Tennessee to prove she is certified to translate! Is this only insane to me? LOL! And she charges $.12 per word and $50 an hour to get the certifications and apostilles. Grrr... I just want to know who gets the crummy job of COUNTING all the words! She told us it would take about a month to do the translations.
So that's the part of the journey we are at right now. Wait for immigration approval, get lots of pretty stickers and get all our words turned into Spanish! In about 2 months time our whole dossier should be finished! Then it gets sent off to the Mexico DIF! WOOHOOO!