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Thinking of adoption?   Learn Adoption Basics



Thinking about adoption? The following information will help you understand the basics.  International adoptions are composed of three major parts: the homestudy, immigration approval, and the dossier.


I.  Homestudy


Each adoptive family must have a homestudy done by a social worker licensed in your state and approved to do homestudies for international placements.  This process will include several interviews, possibly some adoption related reading and/or seminars and a visit in your home.  For Montana families, we provide the homestudy at a cost of $1,400.  If you live outside this state, we will assist you in contacting a social worker in your state for your homestudy, and we will work closely with her.  Homestudies run about $1,400 -$3,000 and are paid directly to the homestudy provider. This cost is additional to fees listed below for each country.


II.  Immigration Approval

The U.S. immigration authorities must approve each American who does an international adoption. This is a simple process with a short application, the I600A, being filed.  We will assist you in filling out this form.  Each state has an immigration office, so your form will be mailed to the office in your state.  Families interested in international adoptions must have the annual income to meet U.S. regulations for income. To see if your income is adequate, see the guidelines at this link.
You must count the new child you are adopting as a family member when looking at these guidelines.


III.  Dossier

The dossier (pronounced “dah see aee”) is the paperwork required by the country that you are choosing to adopt from.  Your compiled list of documents becomes your dossier for the adoption. You will be sent a packet and have a personal assistant help you with each of the various forms and letters that will be assembled. The assistant will have personal experience in the country you select and will be available for support and answer any questions you have concerning the process.



The adoption programs vary in cost. The I.R.S. allows a $13,000 tax credit to adoptive families with an annual income under $200,000.  Please note, this is not a deduction but a credit off the taxes you would owe.  It is equal to over a $30,000 deduction.  This credit may be used over a period of five years. So if you pay federal income taxes and your annual income is less than $200,000, you will receive the money you paid on your adoption, up to $13,000, back in income tax refunds.

Each adoption incurs the following fees:
Agency application            $200
I600A Filing Fee                 $670 plus $80 per adult over age 18 in the home for fingerprinting
Home Study                       $1,000 - $3,000 (varies according to state and area)

Agency fee $2500

Country fee (see below)

Country Fees
Each country of adoption has a country fee. Country fees are sometimes subject to change, and in this case, the fee increase must be passed onto the adoptive family. This is rare, however.  Agency fees will not be raised.


International adoptions require flexibility because we are working with another country and foreign government for your adoption. While we attempt to give you accurate timeframes and processes, these are sometimes changeable.  Some countries have had their adoption programs for a longer period of time and others are in a constant state of change.  While Compassionate Hearts Adoption Agency does its best to provide prospective adoptive parents with all available information, in international adoptions there can be no guarantee as to the physical, emotional, psychological or intellectual potential of any child placed through the agency.  You must be prepared for possibly incomplete or inaccurate information.  It is strongly  recommended that you share your referral information with your pediatrician and other childcare providers experienced in international adoptions for evaluation of the information. Please contact us by phone or email if you would like an application to begin an adoption, or if you would like more information or references on an adoption program.


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