Adoption Expense and Timeline


This expense journal is very individualized to our needs, however it can give someone a rough estimate on what to expect to spend on an international adoption.  I will update this as we move forward in the process.

Baker Victory Services

Initial application ———————————————————- $850

Background checks ——————————————————– $22

Home study (social worker) ——————————————— $700

Website training sessions ———————————————– $149

Document certification ————————————————– $116

Villa Hope

Initial application ——————————————————— $300

Form I-800A ————————————————————– $890

Formal Application ——————————————————-  $6,000 (1/2 required at this time)

Psychological evaluations (Peru required)—————  2,000 (not covered by insurance)

Psychiatric Evaluation (Peru required) __________ $500 (not covered by insurance)

Dossier overseas fee —————————————————— $11,547 (1/2 required prior to dossier preparation)

Home Study review fee ————————————————– $500

Dossier processing fee ————————————————— $500

Document Certification (marriage, birth etc.)———–  $130

Document authentication (notarized documents) —- $100

Documents Apostile ——————————————————- $190

Airfare is also a concern since you don’t get a lot of notice when you are ready to travel to the adoption country.  Here are a few sites I’ve researched that offer help in purchasing flight tickets for international adoptions.

Adoption Airfare

Fellowship Travel International


Golden Rule travel

Certain Airlines offer discounted airfares for international adoptions, however, you should call and inquire over the phone, as most don’t post it on their sites.


When you call the airlines, have Adoption Information available since the airline will need specific info for you to qualify for the adoption fare. Also, make sure you have your adoption paperwork ready to show proof when traveling back with your child.

  • Name, address, and phone number of your adoption agency.
  • Information from your Notice of Favorable Determination letter (INS I-171-H or I-797C)
  • Proof of your U.S. residency.

Average Timeline for International Adoption



  • Researched and decided on an agency that works with Peru and is a Hague Convention Agency.
  • Chose the agency that will take care of the homestudy since it had to be in NY (state of residence)
  • Filled out both agencies’ initial application.


  • Began homestudy process (visits, interviews, etc)
  • Started doing the online classes required for the homestudy packet
  • Requested reference letters from 3 close friends and relatives
  • Compiled background checks from all the places we had lived in 25 years.
  • We were fingerprinted for national background check.


  • Waiting for homestudy to be notarized, apostilled and completed
  • Began formal application from the placement agency (working with Peru)


  • Waiting for the formal application to be approved so we can start putting together the dossier.


  • Application approved through agency, official directions for completing dossier arrived.
  • Completed more online classes on attachment, delays, loss etc
  • Needed to notarized all the papers and documents I was signing.


  • Completed the Form I-800a from for approval to adopt from a Hague Convention country from US citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (Homeland Security)
  • More papers to be filled, signed, notarized and apostilled.


  • Received the form I-797c notice to appear from USCIS. We had an appointment to get fingerprinted for the 3rd time this year.
  • Began looking for a psychologist and psychiatrist to fulfill the required evaluation. (seldom covered by insurance)


  • Fingerprints done
  • Found a psychologist and gave her the required evaluation for her review and preparedness.
  • Photographed the house to include every room and the front façade.


  • USCIS needs me to redo fingerprints because they were not classifiable. (were rejected by computer)
  • Psychologist evaluation 3 visits of about 2 hours each.  Son received a 1/2 hour session.
  • Put together a photo book of our house, our family, our hobbies and activities, us with a few close friends and family members.  (Peru likes to see many pictures)


  • USCIS informed me that my fingerprints are no good so I need to acquire a police clearance from every place we have lived in 5 years.  The good news is that my husband’s prints are A-ok.
  • We are still waiting for the psychological report so I can contact the psychiatrist that will write a letter on its findings.
  • Make an appointment for physicals (These expire in 3 months so its the last thing I’ll do)


  • Received the psychological evaluation
  • Certified all the legal documents (ie: birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.)
  • Psychiatrist found
  • Certified all notarized documents
  • Received the psychiatric evaluation
  • Apostile of all documents in NYC


  • Made the appointments for physical exams with chest x-rays and blood work.
  • Arrange for a notary to witness doctor signature on medical evaluation
  • Mailed all other documents to agency for dossier to be started
  • Mail certified and apostiled medical evaluations



  • Dossier was presented for approval the last week of January.
  • Wait for approval of dossier


  •  Received request from the Peruvian government for clarifications on our home study and psych evaluation.


  • Observations completed notarized, certified, apostilled and sent back to Peru.


  • On August 21st we received approval to adopt from Peruvian government.


  • Redo I-800a and Home study


  • Received a match (it did not work out)



  • Received a required clarification for I-800a (due date April 10th).


  • Our representative in Peru presented our changes to the DGA for ages and number of children.


  • Our family was officially approved by the DGA and is now considered waiting to be matched.


  • Peru halted foreign adoptions after hearing of a family in the US that was  just charged with child abuse of children they adopted from Peru.  Upon investigations they discovered that many agencies (including the one who oversaw the family being charged with abuse) had failed to turn in post adoption reports mandated by the Peruvian government and the Hague Convention agreement.  (our agency was the culprit)


  • We lost communication with our agency and they are becoming less and less forthcoming.  We are now communicating with our rep in Peru but no information is given as far as status of our case or adoptions in general.


  • We received an email from Villa Hope on December 31st, informing us that they will be closing their doors effective the end of the year.  We were devastated and need to find a new agency ASAP.



  • We researched our options and found an agency out of Denver Colorado, AngelDance International.  They are willing to take our case but they need us to transfer our dossier from Villa Hope.


  • We signed the contract with our new agency.  We had a few extra payments for switching and a new document to sign and apostilled so our new Peru representative can present it to the DGA.


  • Had to update paperwork for our I-800a and redo fingerprints.
  • Needed to update home study to reflect a few changes (new dog, new home, Chris’ father passed away, etc.)


  • Social worker visit to make changes (Chris was away TDY so had to be skyped in).


  • Home study completed and I-800a updated.
  • booked our tickets for Peru visit (unrelated to adoption but scheduling a meeting with DGA and meet our Peru rep.)


  • Peru visit is amazing!! Met with DGA assistant and Peru rep. for AngelDance (loved her).  We found out Villa Hope had not made the changes we requested, paid for and updated I-800a to.  Found out we might never have been matched the way we appeared in request.
  • Peru rep showed me a sibling group that might fit our family and us them.


  • August 8th: Filed a request to study the files of the sibling group of 3.
  • August 31st: DGA approved our family to study the children’s file (the approval normally takes 10 days, by Peru law, but it has been taking between 3-4 weeks).
  • We have now been given 10 (working) days to respond with a letter of intent if we decide to pursue the adoption of the children.  We are!!
  • We arranged a phone interview with social worker to change the home study to reflect us being able and capable to adopt children up to 11 years of age.  Once we receive the updated home study we must also update the I-800a to reflect that change.


  • September 8th: We sent in a letter of intent to adopt the children yesterday and it was presented today.  We now wait for an approval!

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