FAQ about Adoptions

Adoptions Long 7

What does IBESR stand for?

IBESR stands for " Institut du Bien-Etre Social et Recherches " in French. In English, this means the Institute of Social Well-Being and Research.

What does IBESR do for my adoption?

IBESR is Haitian Social Services. The role of IBESR is changing in Haiti.  They are the Central Authority for Adoptions.  They have social workers that study your dossier to see whether you meet their requirements to adopt a child. They interview biological parents and counsel them on adoption and also family preservation. IBESR now does all of the matching for children and adoptive parents.  They have contact with all adoption agencies. They also judge whether your proposed child is a good match for your family. Once the social worker approves, then IBESR gives a Certificate of Authorization telling the courts that they have approved you to adopt your Haitian child.

Everyone talks about the minimum age limit for adoptive parents, but is there an upper age limit for adopting a child?

An adoptive parents cannot be older that fifty (50) years old at time of referral.  This means that forty-nine (49) must be the cut off age when sending a dossier to Haiti.

Does IBESR require parents to make a certain amount of money to adopt?

IBESR requires that a family be able to support any child they want to adopt.They do definitely look at your income. GLA looks at your salary to make sure you are above the current Poverty Guidelines put out by the US Government. These guidelines are the minimal yearly income for a family.

What form should my social worker use for the Home Study and how long should it be?

There is no set form for your Home Study. It should be an International Home Study which is usually 5 to 10 pages long. Some Home Studies are as short as 3 pages. I have never seen a North American Home Study under 5 pages and most are closer to 10 or more pages.

Who can do our Psychological Evaluation? Can our Social Worker do it? How many sessions do we need?

Your Psychological Evaluation must be done by a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Someone with at least a Master's degree in psychology who works as a family therapist or counselor is also acceptable. Your social worker can not do your psychological evaluation. A one-page letter addressing your competence to parent an adopted child is acceptable. You do not necessarily need extensive psychological testing with multiple sessions. Usually one session is sufficient.

Whose name should be on my Power of Attorney (Procuration)?

Please put "Mrs. Dixie Bickel and/or Ms. Magaly Francois" on your document. The address to use is: #2, Imp. Paul, Rue Aime Bastien, Thomassin 32, Petion-Ville, Haiti.  You will also need a Power of Attorney listing your agency's representative who is in Haiti so that he/she is allowed to do the work for your dossier at IBESR.

How long of a wait before I receive my proposal of a child?

Since IBESR is starting to give all proposals, we are unsure of the time line.  As they become adept at the process itself, their time will speed up and time to proposal will decrease.  Right now, it is taking longer because they have all of the children in the orphanages to approve to be sure they are even eligible for adoption.

How often will I receive photos and updates on my child?

GLA tries to send photos and updates once a month on your child. We do not always have time to answer emails about your child until the updates are sent out. We will try to answer all of your questions at update time.  These updates will only be sent to your agency.

What should I bring for my child when I come to Haiti to take them home?

Once you arrive in Haiti and take your child to be with you, you will need to use your own supplies and clothing for your child.  Bring diapers (if needed), shoes, clothing, supplies for bathing, hair supplies, etc.  GLA staff or your agency will give you a list of needed items along with sizes closer to the end of your adoption.

For American Families: What documents does an American Family have to submit to USCIS (US Immigration) for approval?

  1. Form I-600A: Please note on the application that you want the Adjudicate Orphan First Program.
  2. Home Study, done by a licensed social worker.
  3. Birth, Marriage, and /or Divorce certificates.
  4. Form FD-258: Finger Prints for USCIS (USCIS will send you an appointment for your fingerprinting at your local USCIS office after you submit the I-600A and all related documentation)
  5. $760 USD Fee

Where can I find the forms I need for US Immigration? (I-600, I-600a, I-864, G-28, and FD-258)

You can find these forms on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services web site under Immigration forms.

Do I need my I-171H approval from US Immigration before I can authenticate and legalize by dossier?

Only paperwork going to the IBESR needs to be translated into French, authenticated, and legalized. The I-600 and the I-171H are documents needed for US IMMIGRATION. Leave them in English.

Do I need to file two I-600A forms if I am adopting 2 children who are not siblings?

Yes, you must file an I-600A for each child if they are not siblings. If they are siblings, then one I-600A is enough.

Do my authentication seals from the State Department (Secretary of State) need to be translated?

Yes, they must be translated and be included in your dossier for IBESR.

What is the difference between an I-600A and an I-600?

An I-600A is the US Immigration form that you file when your adoption process is just starting. You may already know the child you are adopting but have not completed the adoption paperwork yet.

The I-600 is filed when the Haitian Court paperwork is finished and the adoption has been legalized in Haiti. We are requiring all of our American families to come to Haiti twice. Once at the start of their adoption, so that they can file an I-600 in Haiti; and at the end of the adoption to take their child home.

When should I file my I-600A?

You can not file your I-600A until your Home Study is completed. We ask that you not file your I-600A too early because it is only good for 18 months. If filed months before your dossier is complete and ready to come to Haiti, it may expire before your adoption is finished. If it expires, you must pay the $760 filing fee again.