After the Declaration arrives
So what happens next? During assessment we needed to choose a country. From the early stages of year 1, we had been in correspondence with the only adoption agency now existing in Ireland. I’m not going to name the country we first chose, it is now irrelevant which I’ll explain later. During the time of the assessment, going to the LAC and then the AAI, we had been keeping the agency up to date as it progressed.
We received the dossier listing for our chosen country and had been working on gathering that paperwork. The dossier information needed is individual to and set by the sending country. It is a collection of documents needed to meet legal requirements for adoption. It can consist of some of the following; Garda vetting (can take some time if you’ve lived abroad for any length), up to date medical and letter from your G.P., birth and marriage certs, Home study, Article 15-Declaration, usually a country specific letter and more besides. We tried to have everything ready for when the Declaration arrived from the AAI. It’s very important to follow the instructions from the adoption agency, but the usual protocol is the complete Dossier goes to a Notary (www.notarypublic.ie) and then must go to the Department of Foreign Affairs to be apostilled. Then you keep a copy, 2 go to the adoption agency; 1 for them to keep and 1 to go to the country of choice.
I’m going to mention the cost of getting the dossier notarised here as to me it was a hidden cost. I didn’t really look at the process as a whole, just concentrated on getting the declaration and when we got there I was kind-of lost. The adoption agency fees for Ireland and the chosen country were always quite clear. The notary does a lot of work and makes sure your pack is done correctly and signs every individual page on 3 copies and spends a lot of time on it. However, as I had never engaged a notary before I didn’t know what I was at or what the cost was going to be. Anyways the cost was €700.00 including the apostilling at the DFA. It also took longer than I expected. It probably took about 6 weeks between the notary and the DFA, again this was my naivety.