I mentioned in my last post that we are scheduled to come home March 16th, but that we could get delayed. There are lots of steps to finalizing our baby’s adoption in Vietnam, and there can be delays at any point in the process. We also have to complete each step before we can move on to the next step, so a delay at any point delays everything else.
This is what happens once we are in Vietnam:
1. We will arrive in Vietnam and go over paperwork with Thuy (our agency’s in country facilitator).
2. We’ll visit the baby’s orphanage, which is about a 3 hour drive from Hanoi.
3. Hopefully on the same day as the orphanage visit, we will have the baby’s Giving and Receiving ceremony (G&R). This is generally a short ceremony in the government offices of the province. Our G&R is scheduled for February 27th, but the provincial authorites have the right to delay it by 7 days. After the G&R, the baby is considered our daughter in the eyes of the Vietnamese government and she will be with us for the rest of the trip.
4. We apply for a the baby’s passport from the provincial police. Provincial police mail the application to the Central Police Immigration office in Hanoi. The office prints the passport, then mails it back to the provincial immigration police office. This can take 5 days to 2 weeks. Of course we are hoping for 5 days!
5. We go to our first appointment at the Consulate of the US Embassy to file paperwork and to be interviewed.The Embassy forwards our paperwork to the USCIS Office in Ho Chi Minh City for approval by a USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) officer. This process may take 48 hours or longer.
6. We then take the baby to the SOS clinic for a medical exam. We will receive documents needed to apply for the baby’s visa at our second Embassy appointment.
7. The second appointment at the Embassy is for the baby’s visa. If the visa is approved, it is usually issued the next working day and can be picked up at 4pm.
8. We fly home and our baby is a US citizen!