We filed our paperwork with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) this week. For international adoptions, we are required to have approval from the US Government to adopt an orphan overseas. As part of our application, the USCIS requires both of us to be fingerprinted at one of their offices. We will likely receive an appointment notice to have that done in the next few weeks. The USCIS updates their processing times online for applications at each of its field offices. The office responsible for our application is taking about five to six months to process applications, according to the website. We held off filing this paperwork immediately because we were anticipating a wait for a referral – the USCIS approval, an I-171H, is only valid for 18 months before it has to be renewed.
Today marks our third month waiting for a referral. These first few months seem to have gone by so quickly, probably due in part to the busyness of the holidays. When we started, we were told to expect a 12-18 month wait for a referral of a child. (We did not specify a gender.) I spoke with our agency today and found out that the time frame is still about the same. However, it’s been leaning towards the longer side of the estimate. So that would mean we would be due to receive a referral sometime in the spring of 2009.