The Adoption Process

Reece’s Rainbow is not an agency nor an adoption facilitator. Reece’s Rainbow is a grant foundation, helping families fundraise to offset the financial burden of international adoption.

We charge no fees to agencies (or families) for advocating purposes. Waiting children are listed on Reece’s Rainbow by the agency or facilitation team who has their information, and inquiring families are referred back to that listing agency for additional information.

Families applying with Reece’s Rainbow must already be in contact with a licensed home study social worker to complete their home study. You need to be in a financial position to pay for that upfront, along with any initial adoption agency fees.

When your Reece’s Rainbow application is received AND accepted, your family sponsorship donation page (FSP) will be set up.

These children have no time to spare. Their very lives depend on an aggressive, expedited adoption process….as quickly as the pieces can come together.

If you do not feel you will be able to meet this requirement, please wait to request a match until you are closer to meeting this goal. If you need to save up for your home study and agency fees, please do so prior to committing to a particular child.

Please read this information carefully …

1) Read carefully through our New Family page.

It takes more than a heart of a gold and the desire to give a child a family to adopt internationally. Reece’s Rainbow does our best to help overcome the financial/cost obstacle, but there are many other factors that all families must meet before knowing if adoption is a realistic option.

Our New Family page is designed to be an easy read to determine if you are qualified and financially prepared to make an adoption commitment at this time.

Please read this information carefully …

1) Read carefully through our New Family page.

It takes more than a heart of a gold and the desire to give a child a family to adopt internationally. Reece’s Rainbow does our best to help overcome the financial/cost obstacle, but there are many other factors that all families must meet before knowing if adoption is a realistic option.

Our New Family page is designed to be an easy read to determine if you are qualified and financially prepared to make an adoption commitment at this time.

2) Our New Family Liaison can help.
Our New Family Liaison can help answer any basic questions about listed children and the different country programs.
3) Download the Family Sponsorship Program (FSP) application.
3) Download the Family Sponsorship Program (FSP) application.
Families must complete and submit the following forms, along with a $25 application fee:
    • Application Contract (submit via e-mail or fax)
    • Social Worker Pre-Approval Form (submitted via fax directly from your social worker)
    • Family Bio for FSP (submitted via email)

All forms should be faxed or emailed to Michelle.

Reece's Rainbow reserves the right to request a copy of the completed homestudy at any time prior to grant disbursement.

4) Make a “love offering” to our Voice of Hope Fund.
4) Make a “love offering” to our Voice of Hope Fund.

Reece’s Rainbow is a non-profit grant foundation which relies strictly on donations from our adoptive families and individuals to remain operational. Families who choose to adopt children from our site are respectfully requested to make a $250 (or more) donation to the Voice of Hope Fund.

Contributions to this particular fund are crucial for us to remain operational. We are completely dependent on these donations. This is not a required fee. It is a love offering to help grow the organization and ensure these orphans with Down syndrome will always have a voice through us. This donation is tax-deductible and does not count as an adoption cost.

5) Your approved FSP application.

5) Your approved FSP application makes you eligible for any grant funds a child already has, and also to accept additional donations, all of which are tax deductible. And even if you don’t feel comfortable asking your friends and family to donate, this still makes it possible for complete strangers to share in your adoption journey.

6) Piles of paper.

6) PILES OF PAPER: For the international adoption process, you will be compiling TWO SETS of nearly identical paperwork. Keep this is in your head at all times. One set will be for your home study agency or social worker. The other set is for your DOSSIER (doss-ee-ay). Both piles will include such things as physicals, fingerprints, police and child abuse clearances, and financial documents. Your dossier is the pile of papers that gets sent to the foreign government with your official application to adopt one of their children. Documentation requirements are different in every country — YOUR LICENSED AGENCY WILL GUIDE YOU THROUGH THIS PROCESS.

7) Birth and Marriage Certificates.

7) BIRTH and MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES: Even if you have an original copy of your birth certificate, you may need several additional certified copies to complete all of the various paperwork state-side and abroad. Vital Check is the best value for the money, and they’re fast too. You will need an original birth certificate with a raised seal for your passport and your home study. You will need marriage certificates for your dossier and for your trip to the embassy in the foreign country.  Please click this link for more important info about birth certificates.

8) Passports.

8) PASSPORTS: If you do not already have passports, the easiest place to get them is at your post office. They will cost approx. $165 each.  As of early 2018, they are taking approximately 4-6 weeks to be processed, so it’s a good idea to take care of this early in the process.

  • You will need a certified copy of the birth certificate for each person traveling/applying for a passport.
  • If you have children you intend to bring with you, they must have a passport, too.
  • You can pick up 2 forms from your post office, complete them, and then go back for your picture.
  • Pictures can also be done at Walgreens stores
  • You do not have to specify which country you intend to travel to, even though there is a place on the form asking for that info.
  • A notarized photo copy of each of your passports is required as part of most dossiers, so please get these ordered quickly.
9) USCIS Application.

9) USCIS APPLICATION: I-600A or I-800A: your USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Service) application consists of 3 parts.

  1. The application itself,
  2. Your Federal digital fingerprints, and
  3. Your completed home study


10) Homestudy.

10) HOME STUDY: Your home study is an in-depth study of your home, your family, and your financial ability to support a child, with or without special needs. Even though it is listed all the way down at #10, the home study is one of the FIRST things you should be starting with.  You can find a home study agency/social worker in your area at The Homestudy is conducted by a licensed social worker or home study agency affiliated with the adoption agency you are using. There are many documents and appointments that must be done before your home study is complete. Your social worker/agency will provide you with all of the necessary documents you must have filled out, signed, and notarized.

Click here for tips on what to expect from your home study process!

11) Federal Fingerprints.

11) FEDERAL FINGERPRINTS: after you send your initial I-600A application and fees in to DHS, you will receive a notification of appointment for fingerprinting at your local DHS/Immigrations office. This is usually NOT the same address you mailed your I600A application to. Follow the instructions on the form you receive, and be sure to bring your driver’s license with you at the appointed date and time. DO NOT BE LATE. The earlier you get there, the faster you’ll get out. It shouldn’t take more than 30-45 minutes.


12) USCIS APPROVAL FORM 1-171H/I-797C: After what seems like forever, you should receive your I-171H or I-797 approval form from INS. While you are waiting, you would have been working with your adoption agency/facilitator to compile your “dossier” (pronounced DOSS-EE-AY). This is a another set of important documents which must be notarized and apostilled, translated into the adoptive country’s language, attached to your I-171H INS approval, and submitted to the country you are adopting from for THEIR approval. Adoption is a “hurry up and wait” process, but worth every second!

13) Apostilles.

13) APOSTILLES: This is applicable to your dossier documents. It is not a part of the home study process. This is a fancy term for your state government to certify everything which has already been certified.

HELPFUL TIPS! When you receive your I171H, please DO NOT SEND THE ORIGINAL IN YOUR DOSSIER. You should make a photo copy of it, front and back, have that notarized and apostilled. ALSO, if your marriage certificate was issued in a different state than you are living in now, that must be apostilled in the state of issuance. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF ALL OF THE STATE ADDRESSES FOR APOSTILLES

14) Submit Your Dossier.

14) SUBMIT YOUR DOSSIER: Your agency or facilitator will translate and submit your dossier, which includes your official application to the foreign government, an apostilled copy of your home study, and your I-171H INS approval form.

15) WAIT.

15) WAIT: for notification back from the government that you have an appointment to travel. This could be (1) month, it could be (8) months….every country is different, but the hope is that with children who are deemed “waiting with special needs”, your wait will not be endless. This is THE hardest part about the entire process…you’ve been approved! Your child is waiting! YOU are waiting! Why can’t they hurry up? Don’t they understand? Believe me, everyone goes through this. It is a rite of passage.

WHILE YOU ARE WAITING: Contact your local bank and have them order you NEW BILLS to take with you, especially if you are adopting from Ukraine. This process can take several weeks, so it is a good idea to do this ahead of time.

16) Travel.

16) TRAVEL: While you are in-country, there will be a good bit of running around to do, but your facilitator will do most of that. There will be a lot of waiting around time too, so take that time to spend sightseeing and learning more about your child’s heritage! Purchase some souvenirs for your child to keep to remind them of where they are from. It’s okay to be different, and should be celebrated in your family.

We highly recommend Golden Rule travel to assist with your travel plans.

17) In-Country Documentation.

17) IN-COUNTRY DOCUMENTATION: Your agency will be able to guide you to know exactly what original documents you should carry with you during your travel.

You will definitely want to make a photocopy of each of your passports and have them notarized. Keep them in a safe place (not on your person) so that if your original passports are stolen, you have proper documentation to present to the US Embassy for safe return home. Also, carry extra copies of your birth certificates and driver’s licenses. You will need other documents to present to the foreign embassy and courts to finalize your adoption of your child and get a VISA for them to return home with you. Your agency will guide you with this.

18) Post-Placement Reports.

18) POST-PLACEMENT REPORTS: Post-placement reports are required by the foreign governments to ensure that the child they entrusted to you is adjusting well. These are performed by your home study agency/social worker, and each country requires a different number total in different intervals.

Post-placement reports are not covered by adoption grants. They are the financial responsibility of the new family.

19) US finalization of your adoption and birth certificates.

19) US finalization of your adoption and birth certificates: Most people will tell you that it is a good idea to finalize your adoption here in the US, even if it was legally finalized abroad.  This makes it possible to get a US-issued birth certificate and apply for your child’s SSN. Long term, both you and your child will benefit from full, documented US citizenship. Finalization is done in your local county courthouse.

20) Join our “After the Rainbow” Post Adoption Support Group.

20) Join our “After the Rainbow” Post Adoption Support Group on FaceBook, exclusively for families who have adopted a child internationally through Reece’s Rainbow.




Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 146
Combined Locks, WI 54113
CLICK HERE to contact us.
Your questions will be directed to the appropriate team member.
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