Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Random thought for the day: Immigration

When we adopted Axel, we had a slight problem with his adoption documents which we *thought* was quickly resolved.

When we adopted Asher the social security department rejected his birth certificate. Fortunately I'm in frequent contact with the Serbian government and was able to request a new set of documents. (which were mailed to me using snail mail and took seven weeks to get here!) At the same time, I learned about USCIS form G-884, which is a request for original documents. When you enter the country with your newly adopted child, you hand over to immigration officials your packet of gold, which is a sealed envelope containing one set of adoption documents. Form G-884 is a request for those documents to be returned to you. I filed this form for Asher's documents and 6 or 7 months later the arrived on my doorstep.

We were planning on having Axel go along on this trip to get B, which meant I needed to get him a US passport. When I brought my documents into the passport office the person at the counter suspected I we would have a problem because the birth certificate has an error on it. It is the same error that was on Asher's birth certificate. Interestingly both boys came from the same city within 12 months of one another. Their birth certificates were done by the same person in the same city in Serbia, and have the same error. We sent the forms off anyway in hopes it would be accepted. Unfortunately today we were informed we would need to provide a new set of documents. I have a new set of documents waiting for me in Serbia but that is 6 weeks away. At this point the passport rejection just confirmed for us that Axel should stay home this time. Although we had some big plans for him while there, and I was anxious for those who knew him "before" to see the new Axel, we'll let this issue be our decision maker. In the meantime, just like I did for Asher, I'm going to request his original documents from Immigration.

So here is my thought for the day regarding B's adoption.  Wouldn't it make sense to file the request for original documents WITH that magic envelope when we enter the US with B? I mean, if they have the request for originals right then, doesn't it make sense to process his file, then upon completion send his original documents rather than waiting until after his file has gone to some storage facility? In my head this makes sense, but we all know that things don't always make sense within the federal government.

And that, my friends, is my random thought for today. Please don't forget to check out our fundraiser! So far $550  $650 dollars have been raised, which will cover shipping of the items plus one of several in-country expenses. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has given so far. I don't have a list of contributors so please don't be shy about commenting and letting me know so I can thank you personally. 

1 comment:

  1. I had a friend who tried this with her kids...the immigration officer who handles the magic envelopes said that he can't take the form it has to go through the "proper" offices. When she pushed it, it came down to the fact that if he took the form, he would still have to send it to whatever mysterious office handles those requests.

    Have the paperwork ready and just send it in as soon as you get home.