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Creating the Dossier

After the Home Study is complete, you’ll have to start compling a dossier, which is a file of all the documents that are needed to apply with CARA. Your agency will guide you on the required documentation for the dossier.

The following steps can help you complete your dossier efficiently:

  1. Apply for I-800A with UCSIS as soon as you have the Home Study approved.
  2. Collect all the required documents as recommended by your agency.
  3. Once you receive the I-800A approval, notarize all the documents.
  4. Send all the documents for apostille with your Secretary of State. The apostille process authenticates documents, such as birth or marriage certificates, to ensure they are valid in another country.  It can vary slightly by state and you can find the details on your state’s Secretary of State website.

You will have to make three copies of Dossier and submit it along with the original apostilled documents.

Creating the Dossier can feel overwhelming, but be patient through the process and systematically work through the list of required documents. Your agency should be able to guide you through any challenges you might encounter while creating the Dossier.

Once you have Dossier ready, your agency will be able to apply to CARA and once that application is accepted, you will be waiting for your referral.

Below is a checklist of documents that typically need to be part of the dossier. Your agency will provide you with their checklist:

Item Notarized Or Certified County Certification if applicable Secretary of State APOSTILLE
1. CARINGS Registration Form
2. Home Study Report with local agency license and social worker’s license
3. Recent photographs of family and family home (approx. 8 needed)
4. Additional photo requirement of 5 originals of the same passport photo
5. Marriage certificate*
6. Certificate of Medical fitness signed by a medical doctor and a Letter of Infertility or Letter of Motivation to adopt
7. HIV Test Result Reports
8. Hepatitis B Test Result Reports
9. Declarations of financial status
10. Letters of employment
11. Income Tax returns (Form 1040)  for the last three years
12. Bank statements
13.  Letters of reference from friends/professional contacts
14. Adoption decree of previously adopted child/children, if any. Post-placement reports of said child.
15. If applicable, letter of consent from children in the family, over the age of 7
16. Police Clearance Reports
17. Birth certificates **
18. Copy of passports
19. USCIS Approval Notice (I-800A approval)
20. Copies of OCI card/Indian passport
21. Family Declaration and Undertaking
22. Power of Attorney Forms
*Undertaking from EFAA: Sponsoring foreigner ***
*Undertaking from EFAA: Post-adoption reports ***
*Undertaking from EFAA: Pay adoption fees to RIPA ***
*Certificate from EFAA sponsoring application of foreigner to adopt according to law of country ***

* Marriage certificates may not be available to couples who were married in India. In this case, you can write an affidavit: “We hereby certify that (–name–) born on (–date–) in the State of (–) in India and (–name–) born on (–date–) in the State of (–) in India, were married on (–date–) in (–place–).” Then sign and notarize this affidavit.

** Birth certificates may not be available to parents who were born in India. In this case, you can write an affidavit: “I hereby certify that my name is (–) born on (–) in the State of (–) in India, I am an Indian citizen (or I became and US citizen on (–date–).” Then sign and notarize this affidavit.

*** These documents are provided by your agency

Tip: When notarizing, make sure your notary expiry date is at least two years out. This will save you from having to re-notarizing the documents when applying for court order.

Tip: Consider downloading a scanning app, such as Genius Scan, on your smartphone. This allows you to easily photograph all your documents and have a digital copy to store, search and send as needed.


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