Sunday, October 20, 2013

IBESR procedure update

As you know we currently wait to hear that the US approved our I-600a form. Then we will scan the form and send it to our agency and our dossier will be sent to Haiti.

Haiti's social services, IBESR now takes the responsibility to match us with adoptable children. This procedure remains very new with many people wondering how it will work. Right now on a Facebook group for people adopting from Haiti I've only heard of folks who were already matched being rematched by IBESR.

IBESR Procedure Explained is a blog written by the folks at a creche near Port-au-Prince.

The big changes come from wanting only children who meet the criteria for adoption to be matched with new families. The Haitian families will meet more than once with the authorities along with a psychologist to make sure they understand and agree to place their children for adoption.  New changes for children who's family abandon them, mothers disappear or are mentally handicapped.

What I think this would mean for our family [keeping in mind that things can change rapidly and that ultimately the Lord remains in charge]:

  • We will need to receive dispensation [Once the new law is published in the Moniteur Journal then dispensation will no longer be required.] before matching with our children. As noted in the blog hundreds if not thousands of charts remain to be signed by the president for dispensation-some have been waiting for over a year at this stage. 
    • While this may increase our waiting time prior to receiving a refurral it should shorten up the time between matching and our children coming home. From what I understand from adoptive parents the wait becomes much harder once you have a name and face so this will be better. 

  • Our children may come from other locations from Haiti not just the creche that our agency works with in Northern Haiti. They did say that if we do not have a family who is a match for the children we bring to IBESR, then IBESR will notify other agencies to ask if they have families who are matches for the children.

  • Good matches being a priority not how long a dossier has been waiting: this may speed up our process. They asked us to please bring all handicapped children, children with medical needs, older children, sibling groups, and abandoned children.  They want to try to place these children first. 

  • Once we agree to referral we will need to spend a couple weeks at the creche getting to know our children including a few hours being observed by a social worker. They are working to try to connect this visit with the first civil court visit. 


Encouraged with these comments about the IBESR staff "They seem to have a handle on how to implement the new procedure."  "very organized and I was very impressed."  " I was very happy that they are willing to approve matches already made by the agencies and the crèches.  They said since this is the transition period, they are being more lenient." "Over all, we came away feeling, like after a year of trying to find out how the new procedure will work, we now have some idea of the actual procedure and how we can work with IBESR to make the matches go quicker and smoother. "

Specific Prayers

  • Dispensations to be signed or the new law published. [If the new law is signed and means that all the old cases no longer need the president to sign a huge load of dossiers will become active cases all at once!]
  • IBESR staff. Not only implementing the new procedure but also working on all of the cases already in the system. 
  • Legal staff as they decide new procedures for abandoned children. IBESR has changed some requirements for children whose mothers have disappeared or are mentally handicapped and they can not sign for the child to be adopted.  The adoption lawyers and the IBESR lawyers are arguing over the correct procedures and the interpretation of the law.
  • Additional staff responsibilities with home visits, education of parents, observing families/children during the 2 week visits.....
  • Communication with the creches. Making the 'good' matches with new families. 
  • Those still stuck in the system or adjusting to failed adoptions.
  • For our children and their family as they meet with the social workers, sign away their rights and work through these hard, life changing discussions. For the creche and staff who will provide the initial care for our children. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I-600a fingerprints in the mail

Yesterday our fingerprint forms headed to the USA along with the requested copies of photo ID's.

Yesterday the hardcopy, sent in the mail request for fingerprints made it to our house.

Today the envelope should start the journey through the USA postal system heading to the Department of Homeland Security in Missouri.

We pray it does not get lost or delayed on its trip north.

Will respond to the nice man who sent the E-mail asking how often we receive mail and let him know to watch the mail. [And maybe nicely ask him to let us know when it arrives.]

Now we wait. Could take 2-3 months to hear back [not sure if the count started when we first sent in the form or when they receive the fingerprints].

Once we receive notice of our I-600a approval we will be able to scan it and send it to our agency.

Then we will wait again. Our first real hard wait - for a referral.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

I-600a Praise

As we noted in the last blog we needed to wait to hear about our I-600a application or after 1 month start trying to contact someone.

While on LaGonave we were able to check E-mails only a couple times. Sunday evening, after most of the visitors left we checked our e-mails and found one from an Immigration services officer of the orphans adoption unit of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service of the Department of Homeland Security.

He was checking on how often we received our mail as our fingerprints needed to be received in 45 days or our application would be denied. His E-mail included an attachment of what we needed and stated that we could have this done at the embassy.

Monday morning Cory headed to Port-au-Prince with his first stop being the USA Embassy. One needs to have your USA passport to enter and we also needed it to renew our Haitian residential visas at the Haitian Immigration office.

The security woman at the entrance told him we needed to be in line on Tuesday morning before 7 a.m. We were in line by 6: 40 a.m. having left the Ortlip Center shortly after 5 a.m. By 7:30 we moved passed the first check point with our letter.

Then you hand in any cell phones outside the Embassy and receive a small plasic card with the number of the cubby your phone will wait in. Then you pass though security much like an airport-placing your personal items and belts in a tub while you walk through a metal detector.

After a short walk though a yard you enter a building with a brightly painted orange and light purple waiting room with many windows like at some banks on one side.

At first we went to the US citizen room but as we did not have an appointment [Cory tried several times to call on Monday but could not get the right person] we went back to the main room. After a bit of a wait our names were called and a nice lady took the letter and asked us to wait.

Then we were called to one of two homeland security windows to answer when we would be returning to the USA. Well we do not have any travel plans at this time so she went to talk to her supervisor while we waited again.

Good news-someone will come to take our prints. Just have a seat and wait. While this wait took a bit longer we did not mind knowing that had we traveled all the way home a return trip to the Embassy would mean 12 + hours of road travel and an overnight or two.

A young lady came and took our prints twice. A bit of panic when she noted she would not take our prints if we did not know the complete address of our employer but thankfully in Cory's wallet he had a card with the address.

One last wait after washing the ink off our fingers and we walked out of the Embassy with our forms 4 1/2 hours later.

Tuesday we will send off this last piece of documentation.

Prayers:

  • I-600a approval
  • Approval of new law
  • Continued progress for families waiting or stuck
  • New system of matching in Haiti