Creating A Dossier Baby Binder

By November 5, 2012 Adoption 3 Comments

I’ve created Adoption 101 for the beginners.  We all had to start the adoption process the same way, constructing piece by piece a Home Study & Dossier.  You’ve heard the term Pregnancy Paper Trail or Dossier Baby, due to the vital importance of its growth and birth pattern.  Your dossier will be one big fat baby!  You don’t want to lose your Dossier Baby, so the best place to keep it safe is in one big binder.  Have fun, you can decorate your binder from top to bottom in pinks, blues or crazy colors, but the inside.. the guts of the dossier are priceless.  My friend, Jamie actually lent me her dossier and I remember her telling me if there was a fire, grab your kids and my dossier and then run for your life!  Jamie held my hand through the entire paper pregnancy, so I dedicate this post to her!  Thanks Jamie for putting up with all my craziness.

What is an adoption dossier?


Dossier: When used in the context of adoption, this term refers to a set of appropriately authenticated and translated legal documents which are used in international adoption cases to process the adoption of a child in its own country by the adoptive parents, or for the adoptive parents to obtain the legal custody or guardianship of the child in the foreign court, so the child can be brought by the adoptive parents to the United States for adoption.

Constructing your Home Study & Dossier Paper Baby:

Instructions- buy 2 large, 3- ring binders
Step 1
Start by getting organized.  Create a cover page. This list will include everything 1-? you are required to complete.  You’re going to have a lot of documents and papers to deal with and it will become a mess quickly if you don’t take charge. Use a large 3 ring binder or similar filing system to keep things in order as you compile your homestudy- 1st, then your dossier.


Step 2
Request a list of documents from your agency. Review each item carefully and make sure you understand the instructions. It’s important to follow directions carefully, or your documents may be rejected by the country you’re adopting from.
Step 3
Order certified copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees and death certificates. These can take a few weeks or more to arrive and you can compile the rest of your dossier while waiting for these items.
Step 4
Go through the list methodically, getting one document done at time. Just start with the beginning and go down the list. Try not to allow the large number of required documents to overwhelm you.  Jamie regularly reminded me not to peek ahead.  Stay focused.
Step 5
Talk to your agency as you are working on the homestudy & dossier. Your agency contact is there to answer questions and help you with any problems. Remember, it’s better to clarify things now than to submit a dossier with errors and delay your adoption.

Important Tip:One of the most difficult parts of putting together an adoption dossier can be finding a notary to notarize your documents. It may be worth the effort to have a friend become a notary or to find an individual you can pay to accompany you to doctor’s offices, employers and other locations.


There are courier services available (check with your agency) that will assist you and dossier preparation services to construct your documents for home study and dossier.  If you are overwhelmed with paperwork, this service might be the answer for you.

Check out this link: The Adoption Stork

If you start feeling craZy, email me and I promise I’ll cheer you on!  You can do it!  Let me know in comments what newbies want in Crazy Adoption 101.




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