Hi Celina... I adopted from Cambodia, but at one time we were looking in to Russia. I don't know what exactly you want to know about it, but I do know that it requires 2 trips of 2 weeks at a time to complete the adoption.
The Russian Program
Adoption Horizons started a program in Russia in August 1995, and in May 2001, became the first Canadian agency accredited by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Adoption Horizons works with 9 different regions in Russia: cities in close proximity to Moscow, in various parts of Siberia, in Central Russia, and the Far Eastern part of Russia.
Russian legislation requires that all children presented for international adoption first must be registered for one month with the Regional Data Bank and for six months with the Federal Data Bank. Thus, the youngest child available at the time of referral will be at least eight and a half to nine months old. All the children are tested for HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis B prior to placement. Once a child is identified, the adoptive family receives a short medical summary along with 1-3 photographs. During the first trip, the adoptive parents meet with the child at the orphanage for a period of 6-10 hours, collecting all the social and medical information on the child, as well as taking videos and pictures. This information they can later share with their doctor and practitioner back home.
Russian adoption law requires two mandatory trips to complete an adoption. The first trip, which lasts five to seven days, is made to meet and establish contact with the child. The second trip, lasting 10–21 days, includes a visit to the child in his orphanage, an appearance at the Regional Court to finalize the adoption, and a stop at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow to obtain the child’s entry visa. The gap between two trips is four to eight weeks. All international adoptions are processed by the Russian Regional Courts. Both parents must appear in court in the city where the child is residing.
It is mandatory that shortly after the parents’ first trip, a Canadian DMP examines the child for Canadian Immigration purposes. The results of the medical exam are sent to the Canadian High Medical Commission for approval. Adoptive parents also receive a copy of the medical report. After the child’s medical is approved by the High Medical Commission, the Canadian Embassy in Moscow issues a letter stating that the entry visa for the child will be granted.
Length of process
The whole process takes approximately six to ten months after a homestudy is completed. Identification time for the child may range from two to six months. However, each case is unique and length of time may vary depending on the availability, age and gender of the child.
The Russian government accepts applications from married couples and single prospective adoptive parents. There is age restitution in Russia. Generally, there may be no more than a 42-year age difference between an adoptive mother and a child. Applicants who are older then 42 are eligible to adopt toddlers.
Couples should be married for at least 2 years. The adopted child leaves Russia as a Russian citizen with a Russian passport. Upon arriving to Canada, adoptive parents may apply for a Canadian citizenship for their child.
Being from the US, I am unfamiliar with Canadian laws for international adoption, but I can tell you about the US proceedure.
1- Find an agency! Please don't use a lawyer, use an agency, they are familiar with the laws, forms and customs, and they are established. I don't even want to tell you about the horror stories of shady adoption lawyers.
2- Complete all the paperwork
3- Familarize yourself with Russian, you WILL be there for 4 weeks (over 2 trips) and you will most likely be staying with a 'foster' family who will provide your food, shelter and transportation to the orphanage. Good to know what you are eatting, and most importantly... what they are saying when they don't think you can understand.
4- Be prepared for a culture shock. As I was forewarned by my agency, you aren't 'matched' with a child before you arrive at the orphanage, although they MAY know what child you will adopt, you aren't officially matched until you go there and take the files etc.
5- Get copies of any records you can and bring them to the pediatrician. If your local pediatrician is unfamiliar with 'adoptees' try the Children's Hospital. I had DD"s records read by the international disease unit (sounds scarey, but who is going to know more about third world country and disease ... remember, Cambodia) Russia may not be a third world country, but there are ailments that are routinely looked for in country that may not be a concern or thought of in your country.
If you look at my sig line, you will see that I have 2 boys adopted from Russia, and one girl from China. We went to Russia under the "old rules" - one trip, we were only there for 6 days......different than it is now, but still, I could probably answer any questions that you might have. Have a great time time with it - adoption is a great thing!!
My cousin adopted a little girl from Russia about 3 years ago. She was about 1 1/2 years old when the adoption process was final.
Many of the rules already posted were true of her, but they were a lot more strict with her because she was going to be a single mom.
I know she made at least 2 trips to Russia and was spent a lot of money in travel costs and adoption fees to adopt her. A requirement also was to 'work' in the orphanage to become accustomed to the baby and Russian culture I suppose.
I will check with her and see if I can provide you with her email address or if she can give me any specific websites/agencies that can help you.
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