Ugandan and Rwandan adoption, for anyone who might be interested... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 44 Old 10-22-2009, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone!

After 4 years of navigating the international independent adoption world, we finally have found our children in Uganda! We have a referral for a baby girl, almost 5 months old, and a 2.5 year old boy, and we couldn't be happier. We have found an amazing lawyer in Uganda who is caring and thoughtful, knows what he's doing, charges reasonable fees, and helped us find our children. We found an orphanage in Western Uganda where there are many (not sure exactly how many, but many is too many) children receiving the best loving care the staff can give. We found a treasure trove of beautiful photos of these kids on flickr ...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snaptography/
and while we are happy to have our referrals for our two children, there are so many children in Uganda needing families!

I'm only bringing all of this up because, while we have been on this adoption roller coaster for 4 years now, adopting independently from Uganda is a relatively simple and inexpensive option for people wanting to adopt internationally. So yes, I'm recruiting!!

We were involved with Rwandan adoption for a while as well, and thanks to Jaya (ariahsmum) here on MDC, we learned so much about the adoption program there as well. It takes a little longer, and there are a few more steps with your paperwork, but it's also an inexpensive, fairly quick, and *I think* very reliable program, though it is just getting organized and sorted as there have been more families wanting to adopt from there recently.

It can be scary to get involved with lesser known countries, but there are many families who have adopted from these countries who would be more than happy to see more kiddos find their families, and would be thrilled to help someone navigate the process.

I know that there are children in need of families in every country around the world, but just in case someone out there is thinking of an independent adoption from Africa, I wanted to let you know that it is possible, and not as difficult as you may think! feel free to pm me if you want more info!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#2 of 44 Old 10-22-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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Very cool! I am definitely interested in this for the future. We have talked about doing an international adoption (Ethiopia came up) in the next couple of years as well as doing a foster-adopt. Don't ask my why we want to try each method!

So I'd love info on what is working for you.

Also, CONGRATULATIONS on getting your referrals!

Erin caffix.gif , Happy wife of Honey Bearguitar.gif , mom of Curly Miss (11/04), Little Mister (10/06), Princess Abi (3/08), and The Bean (9/09) jumpers.gifadoptionheart-1.gif  <>< oh, and I blog.

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#3 of 44 Old 10-22-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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Congratulations on your referrals. Can you tell us more about these kids?

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#4 of 44 Old 10-22-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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Thank you so much for the insight!

We're looking to adopt a girl (already have 3 bio boys). Been reading up on Uganda, blogged about a blog I've been following My blog, blogging about Katie

Amazing story, Katie's mission.
I haven't looked into the specifics of Uganda, I think we're aiming more towards domestic. Logistically easier (travel wise, etc), and we don't mind the wait that we'll most likely face.

Thanks for posting!!
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#5 of 44 Old 10-22-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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And I forgot to add....the photos on your link are gorgeous!
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#6 of 44 Old 10-23-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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We're a family with three boys looking in to adopting 1-2 girls from Africa. One more child makes more sense practically, but I feel very strongly that there are two little sisters out there who need our family.

We've been mostly looking into Ethiopia, but I'd be interested in learning more about how this goes for you.
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#7 of 44 Old 10-25-2009, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sunday crepes, since you asked ...

our little ones are a baby girl, 4.5 months old, and a toddler boy, nearly 2.5 years old. both abandoned, no known family. they're just absolutely beautiful, and they are in an orphanage that seems to be wonderful, though I don't know much about it yet... our lawyer is wonderful, we're just waiting on one last approval and then we can get a court date (hopefully in november, if we get our approval in the next week or so) and go get them!

I know we still have a long road in front of us, but I'm just really enjoying *this* part, it feels so nice!!

I can't wait to report back how totally EFFORTLESS our process has been, so that more families will find their way towards Ugandan kids.


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#8 of 44 Old 10-26-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tiffani View Post
sunday crepes, since you asked ...

our little ones are a baby girl, 4.5 months old, and a toddler boy, nearly 2.5 years old. both abandoned, no known family. they're just absolutely beautiful, and they are in an orphanage that seems to be wonderful, though I don't know much about it yet... our lawyer is wonderful, we're just waiting on one last approval and then we can get a court date (hopefully in november, if we get our approval in the next week or so) and go get them!

I know we still have a long road in front of us, but I'm just really enjoying *this* part, it feels so nice!!

I can't wait to report back how totally EFFORTLESS our process has been, so that more families will find their way towards Ugandan kids.

I'm really excited for you. I have a special place in my heart for you since you helped me with adoptive nursing so long ago and doubly because of Esther. I don't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer, but any info on how the little boy is doing attachment wise?

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#9 of 44 Old 10-26-2009, 02:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we have absolutely zero information about him as of yet... hoping to hear more this week about how he came into the orphanage, any history they have, etc. all we know is that his parents are unknown. we have been lucky enough to see video and photos of the kids in the orphanage (not sure if the photos are our kids or not, but there are a few we think might be), and they seem to have a pretty strong attachment to the main caregiver... in every photo she looks like a mama duck with a bunch of ducklings surrounding her. The kids I know of who have come from uganda have all only been home a short time, but progress with all of them has been fairly quick. I know the real attachment questions are answered when they begin growing into adults, but the kids at the orphanage we're adopting from seem to be in as good a care facility as can be expected, though there will obviously be signs of neglect, the orphanage staff just can't be a mama to all of them... I'm sometimes taken with the work involved with the baby, and then I remember how hard this will be on little guy... hopefully I'll have time to make a nice slow transition with him, and he'll save his best work for when we're home!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#10 of 44 Old 10-26-2009, 02:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sbrinton View Post
We're a family with three boys looking in to adopting 1-2 girls from Africa. One more child makes more sense practically, but I feel very strongly that there are two little sisters out there who need our family.

We've been mostly looking into Ethiopia, but I'd be interested in learning more about how this goes for you.
We're at 3 boys too, and looking at adopting a daughter. as of now focusing on domestic, but SO interested tio hear about more/different options too!!

I think that's why I found this so interesting & exciting when I first read & heard about it
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#11 of 44 Old 10-26-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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Tiffani, can you tell us more about the process of adoption from Uganda? How did you decide to go the route of private international adoption? How did you find the people you are working with? Thanks!
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#12 of 44 Old 10-26-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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Does Uganda allow same-sex couples to adopt? I know most countries don't but I'm not sure of their policies. Anyone know?

Mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09)
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#13 of 44 Old 10-26-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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Does Uganda allow same-sex couples to adopt? I know most countries don't but I'm not sure of their policies. Anyone know?
Hey, I'm also a lesbian (but I'm single) and I asked two agencies about adopting from Uganda and Rwanda. They both said the Rwanda doesn't accept single or lesbian women. Uganda will also not work with LGBT families but single women can adopt girls ages 5 and up. I was told by both agencies that the in-country stay was lengthy - about 4 to 6 weeks.

Personally, this is why I chose to do fertility treatments because its practically impossible now for single women to adopt healthy babies internationally. The only country I am aware of that allows single women to adopt healthy baby is Ethiopia and even in this country, the opportunity is drying up since many agencies are not accepting singles, have extremely long time-lines or they want singles to adopt children with severe special needs.

I don't mean to sound all "doom and gloom" but for most singles, you have to flexible on health and/or age in order to adopt internationally nowadays. If special needs don't bother you then international adoption might be perfect for you because there are many children with correctable special needs looking for families.
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#14 of 44 Old 10-26-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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I Pm'ed you! Thanks for posting this!

Mamma to identical twin girls (June, 2006 born at 30 weeks), new bundle of joy due August, 2011
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#15 of 44 Old 10-27-2009, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tiffani, can you tell us more about the process of adoption from Uganda? How did you decide to go the route of private international adoption? How did you find the people you are working with? Thanks!
We initially decided to go the route of independent international adoption when I was really wondering where all the money was going for Ethiopian agency adoptions. I am not saying anything, don't know anything, but it concerns me. We also couldn't afford that route when we started this journey 4 years ago, and I just envisioned US doing it all ourselves. Now I know, of course, that it's just the path we needed to take to find our kids , but was also happy to find that in Uganda and Rwanda both, an agency isn't necessary, and can actually be a detriment.

We were signed on with an agency for Ethiopia (a Canadian agency that recently went bankrupt amid really sketchy banking by the director) and pretty quickly realized that we couldn't possibly afford it. We did some research, and decided on indy adoption from Zambia. You have to stay there for 3 months, though, and we tried really hard to coordinate that, but we just couldn't get it sorted. So... we moved to New Zealand, and stumbled onto Uganda, which has been difficult for some people, but through the wonderful world of blogging, we learned the pitfalls and also made a lot of contacts, which is everything in indy adoption. You really do need experienced families to help you through the process.

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Does Uganda allow same-sex couples to adopt? I know most countries don't but I'm not sure of their policies. Anyone know?
I highly doubt same sex couples would be allowed to adopt from Uganda, unfortunately. Single women are allowed to adopt, and here is the blog of a woman who adopted two gorgeous, healthy babies from Uganda recently. She adopted from Sanyu, an orphanage where you have to contact the director and ask to come for a week or two to volunteer at her orphanage so she can get to know you and determine if she wants you to adopt from there or not. You also need a letter from a religious leader to adopt from there. Doesn't specify which religion, though, and nowhere does she say she will only adopt to Christian families, and I have talked with her quite a bit, and was planning a trip there at one point. "Letter of recommendation from a religious leader" is the exact requirement.

I would think your homestudy would reflect your couplehood, and that would make same-sex couples very unlikely candidates for Ugandan adoption, I'm afraid. Single women, though, are not ruled out by any stretch.

I'm not aware of any agencies in Uganda who are having a lot of success. Uganda and Rwanda both prefer to work directly with families, so getting in touch with a well-respected lawyer in either country is your best bet.

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#16 of 44 Old 10-27-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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Hey, I'm also a lesbian (but I'm single) and I asked two agencies about adopting from Uganda and Rwanda. They both said the Rwanda doesn't accept single or lesbian women. Uganda will also not work with LGBT families but single women can adopt girls ages 5 and up. I was told by both agencies that the in-country stay was lengthy - about 4 to 6 weeks.

Personally, this is why I chose to do fertility treatments because its practically impossible now for single women to adopt healthy babies internationally. The only country I am aware of that allows single women to adopt healthy baby is Ethiopia and even in this country, the opportunity is drying up since many agencies are not accepting singles, have extremely long time-lines or they want singles to adopt children with severe special needs.

I don't mean to sound all "doom and gloom" but for most singles, you have to flexible on health and/or age in order to adopt internationally nowadays. If special needs don't bother you then international adoption might be perfect for you because there are many children with correctable special needs looking for families.
Thanks; that's so helpful!

Mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09)
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#17 of 44 Old 10-27-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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I looked into Ugandan adoption recently and I am quite certain that to adopt from their you have to be Christian. I am under the impression it is a requirement put in place by the Ugandan government that applies to all international adoptions. So the letter from a religious leader would have to be from a Christian pastor or priest.
BUT-do not use me or anyone on this forum be your place where you get expert advice. Look into it yourself- maybe I am wrong.
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#18 of 44 Old 10-28-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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If anyone feels comfortable posting this (or pm'ing me if not), what kind of cost, start to finish, is involved with an adoption from these countries? I am interested in adoption, but I don't have the slightest clue what kind of cost is associated. That's the only thing that I could see standing in the way for us.

Anyone want to pull together a guess for me??

 

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#19 of 44 Old 10-28-2009, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is not a government law, it's an orphanage preference, and yes, some of the orphanages there will only adopt to Christian families, but not all of them.

Thandiwe, I'll go through the costs tomorrow, I was just checking in quickly, but we're in the middle of building things and rearranging and such, so I have to run!! I'll quickly say that the Ugandan end of things is roughly $2500-$6000/kid, depending on who you use for a lawyer and how complicated the case is (ours is on the lowest end of that spectrum). travel, airfare, etc, plus homestudy and USCIS ($670/kid + $80 fingerprint fee per person living in your home)... international homestudy varies...

ack, I'm going to get caught!!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#20 of 44 Old 10-30-2009, 01:05 AM
 
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OMG!!! I'm soooo over the top excited for you guys! Really, travel in November? Really I can hardly believe it, I am going to pee my pants... I cannot wait for your kiddos to be home! I'm following you,mama...

Now what do I have to do to get my hands on photos of your new guys?

Jaya

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#21 of 44 Old 10-30-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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Wow! I didn't realize this was a referral thread! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Wishing you a smooth and easy process, and lots of love in your family-to-be.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#22 of 44 Old 10-30-2009, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks you guys!!

ROM, it wasn't really a referral thread, but it turned into one!

It's not looking like November travel is going to happen, sadly. I'm trying to focus on how much more convenient it will be to travel in January (courts close in december) for so many reasons, plus a little more time to prepare, but I want them home NOW!!! I *may* still get to go in november, but I highly doubt it...

Thandiwe, I can't really add much to what I said before about cost -- if you have any other specific questions, though, ask away!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#23 of 44 Old 11-03-2009, 03:00 AM
 
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How did you get connected with the laywer you are working with? How does he find children? Are they at one specific orphanage and how do they end up there?
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#24 of 44 Old 11-03-2009, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I got in contact with our lawyer through another online friend who is using him. word of mouth, you could say. most independent adopters have blogs these days, so it's pretty easy to connect either through blogs or facebook or yahoo groups or what have you.

Our lawyer is in touch with orphanage staff (I think at a few different orphanges?), and just asks if they have children available for adoption. The two we're adopting have "unknown" listed for both parents, and we know the baby's story, but not the toddler's (yet -- we will know it soon). abandonment is usually the reason for them being in the orphanage. some of the kids in the orphanage have living, known relatives, and you would have to decide if you wanted to pursue adopting them, if the relatives agreed to it -- they would be in severe poverty, in those cases, and unable to meet their children's basic needs. Our first match was a little girl with a living father (though she had never been in his care, to our knowledge) and older sibs, and I agonized about taking her from them, and them from her, even though they obviously lived in crushing poverty. she died of malaria before we could get her.

Some lawyers leave you to contact the orphanages yourself, and that can work just as well. There are a few different orphanages in Uganda that are approved for adoptions, but only one in Rwanda currently.

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#25 of 44 Old 12-04-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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I am truly new to this sort of thing but would very much like to find more information on Ugandan and/or Rwandan independent adoption.  Not sure what it means to "pm" you.

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#26 of 44 Old 12-05-2010, 03:11 AM
 
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Tiffani, I know you must be super busy. Congratulations!

 

I would be interested in knowing what caused the delay. This thread was started over a year ago and, if I understand correctly, you ended up traveling almost a year later than you had hoped.


Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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#27 of 44 Old 12-13-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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I'd also be interested in an update from you.  Adoption has been weighing heavily on my mind lately, and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Africa.  Unfortunately the cost of going through an agency is extremely prohibitive for us and it would be quite some time before we would be able to afford that.

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#28 of 44 Old 12-15-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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Dear Tiffani,

 

I do realize you must be super busy and prob. not on here at all. When you do get a chance... Do you happen to know of any other U.S, citizens living abroad and adopting from Uganda. I have questions to which I just cannot find the answers, as it is so rare. I would be so thrilled to talk to someone, if you know of anyone else.


Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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#29 of 44 Old 12-16-2010, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know of other families living abroad adopting from Uganda, but Uganda has no problem with it, as long as you have a current homestudy (and in our case we moved and didn't have to update our homestudy -- was REALLY worried about the US embassy taking issue with that, but it was a non-issue) and can provide. The issues are with the embassy issuing you a visa -- where do you live? we had to leave new zealand because they wouldn't grant the kids visas to enter NZ because we hadn't gone through the NZ adoption system (and NZ doesn't have a system for adoption that includes Uganda anyway) and because we would only have legal guardianship of the kids before finalizing in the US. You can finalize elsewhere in the world, you just have to appear in a US court (I think) to finalize. It's complicated, because you do have to follow the state rules of either the last state you lived in or the state you think you'll be returning to.... it's all a lot less official than you might think, and many of the "rules" are not hard and fast... like us coming in under the radar with moving between homestudy and court/visa issuance. I think you might have sent me this by private message as well, and I apologize for not replying -- I actually thought I was replying to your pm, but then I ended up here on this thread somehow. :) I'll check again for a pm from you, and if you have more questions, feel free to ask!!!!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#30 of 44 Old 12-16-2010, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, and we had a few different things contribute to our delay, most notably someone in Uganda took issue with the increase in adoptions happening, and told the canadian and US embassies that the adoptions/legal guardianships were illegal.  This person has since been fired, and was totally wrong, but the embassies needed official confirmation from different branches of the Ugandan gov, and it was a huge mess.  that stalled things for 4 months, but because of that stall, other things were stalled as well -- if that hadn't happened, I think NZ wouldn't have had a problem issuing the kids visas and we wouldn't have had to move -- oh, and before that, we were delayed in getting our approval from the US gov because my husband had to do his fingerprints 3 times and having them done in NZ was a bit of a gong show...  If we hadn't had the fingerprint issues we would have been in Uganda (stuck there) when the embassy stopped issuing visas for the kids to leave Uganda, and we could never have afforded for us to be there for 4 months waiting for visas... then after the embassy situation cooled off, our VERY CAREFUL lawyer (bless his heart) was hesitant to start the machine up again, and the judges were hesitant, everyone was hesitant and discussing everything, then there was a court recess for the summer... just one thing after another, really...


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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Adoption , Adoptioned Llc , Adoption Works Press , Adoption Crossroads , Adoption Update , Adoption Is Okay , Adoption Awareness Press , Adoption Is Forever

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