Kazakhstan is one of the former Soviet Republics of Soviet Union. Kazakhstan gained its independence in 1991 with the fall of Soviet Union. Kazakhstan is the wealthiest of the former republics and is quickly moving into a premier leadership role in Central Asia. On June 8, 2012 Adoption Options, Inc. received accreditation to assist adoptions in the Astana region of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan announced they would reopen to international adoption in January 2013. At this time, we are awaiting confirmation that the Kazakhstan adoption program is open and ready to accept new applications.
Children available for adoption from Kazakhstan range in age from 6 months to 16 years of age. The children include a mix of native Kazakhs and Russians who have migrated there since Russia conquered the area in the 18th century. About 70% of the children are of Asian background while 30% are considered Caucasian. Many of the children are intermixed creating a beautiful array of appearances of children.
The Kazakh Adoption Program will be required to make three trips to Kazakhstan to complete the program. The following activities will take place during these trips:
Trip 1 - Typically four to five weeks duration
In accordance to Kazakh law, both parents must spend exactly four weeks with the child they wish to adopt. This obligatory and will be monitored and recorded each day by orphanage and child protection officials. Time spent with one child is not transferred to another child if new placement is made. That is, if parents decline an initial referral and a new child is presented, they must spend exactly four weeks with the child they intend to adopt.
Upon arrival to the orphanage's region, the parent reports to the Department of Education and Science. The meeting is typically set between 10 - 11 am. There, the local inspector interviews them and all documents are carefully reviewed. If all are in order, the inspector officially grants permission with an order that will allow them to proceed to the orphanage to meet their prospective child. This process will take between 1 to 2 hours.
Following this meeting, in the afternoon, the parents proceed to the orphanage along with the inspector who represents the child's interest. Upon arrival to the orphanage, the parents and inspector meet with the Chief Doctor who presents complete information on the child including his/her medical and legal status. Parents should use this opportunity to present all medical questions and concerns. If parents are satisfied with the presentation and accept the information provided, they are presented for the first time to the child. The initial parent-child introduction (usually lasting between 30 to 40 minutes) takes place in the presence of the inspector and Chief Doctor. If this interaction is positive and the family continues to bond with the child, the parents and child will continue to spend the next 2 to 3 hours together in a separate room. Following this initial introduction, the parents will spend the next 4 weeks together. Each session would be between 2 to 3 hours and will be checked off, verified and signed off by the parents, orphanage director and inspector. A daily report, which will include observations of the family and child interaction as well as photographs, will be prepared by the inspector. This is compiled into a comprehensive evaluation, which will be presented to the courts.
After the four-week visitation requirement has been fulfilled, the parents will sign all necessary paperwork and legal documents, register them with the courts and apply for a court date. The parents then depart Kazakhstan and return to the USA.
According to the law, the judge should review the case: the parents' petition to adopt along with all legal documentation within 2 to 3 week time frame. If all conditions are met and a favorable decision is made, the judge will issue an invitation to the court. Based on experience, court date is assigned approximately 30 to 40 days (one to one and a half months) after the family returned home from the first trip.
Trip 2 - Typically three to five days duration.
In accordance with Kazakh law, both parents are required to be present for the court hearing.
Upon approval of the adoption petition, the parents must inform the coordinator if both parents will be making the third and final trip back to Kazakhstan together or if only one parent will make the journey. The ONLY time that only one parent is permitted to travel without their spouse is the final (3rd) trip. This decision must be made prior to the third trip (most likely families will make this decision even prior to the second trip as this will determine the length of stay for the second trip). If only one parent returns, the appropriate paperwork enabling him/her to do so must be filed at the United States Embassy to finalize immigration and visa.
Upon completion of the court hearing and American Embassy (if necessary), the parents are able to return home. Appeal time is fifteen (15) days. The final court decision and adoption decree will be issued only after the 15-day appeal time has passed. All final documents will be taken care of by the coordinator. Upon completion, coordinator will invite parents to make their third and final trip back to Kazakhstan to pick up their child. This typically happens approximately one month after the parents return home from their second trip.
Trip 3 - Typically three to five (3-5) days duration.
Both or one parent(s) travel back to Kazakhstan to pick up their newly adopted son or daughter. This trip will involve the final steps of the official medical evaluation and exit interview at the American Embassy. Your child will be issued an IR-3 visa, which entitles your child to automatic US citizenship upon entering the United States.