Steps

(red=completed step)

1.  Social worker completes the home study and we gather all documents.

2. Send hs to ISS-US for certification

3. ISS-US certifies hs

4. a) ISS-US sends hs and letter of certification to USCIS Athens  b) USCIS receives hs + loc

5. Send form I600-A and supporting documents to USCIS Athens

6.  Send hs + supporting documents to La Creche Orphanage in Tangier, Morocco

7.  a) USCIS receives i600-A. b) USCIS approves I600-A and we receive I171-H

8.  Receive referral from orphanage

9.  Travel to Morocco to meet Ayoub*

10.  Obtain guardianship of baby in Moroccan court

11. Receive documents: a) cert of abandonment  b) birth certificate  c) Kefala document  d) permission to travel

12.  Apply for and receive Ayoub’s Moroccan passport

13. Have all documents a) translated into English and b) notarized by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry.

14.  Travel to Rabat to have the Qatari Embassy notarize documents in # 11.

15. Farhan travels to Qatar to apply for Qatari visa for the baby. (Yep, you actually have to be in the country to apply for the visa!)

16.  Farhan returns to Casablanca for the interview at the US Consulate.

17. Fax child’s information to VA dept. of Social Services (VADSS) to meet state’s pre-adoption requirements

18. Receive certificate from VADSS

19. Have baby’s medical exam by a consulate-approved doctor in Casablanca

20. File form I600 with US Embassy in Casablanca with documents in #11 above along with: a) Moroccan Passport for the baby  b) Original Birth Certificate of the child and sworn English translation  c) Medical exam from one of our panel physicians in Casablanca  d)  Exemption for Children from the immunization requirement  e) 2 Photos (5cmx5cm or 2 inches by 2 inches) on a white background  f) Form DS-230 part 1 and 2  h) $670 or the equivalent in Moroccan Dirhams (if you have an approved, valid I-600A, you don’t need to pay this again).

21.  Secure IR4 visa to enter US

22. Travel to US, process visa and travel documents at immigration in airport

23.  Receive baby’s US Green Card in mail

24.  Have 1st post-placement visit with Rebecca

25.  Travel back to Qatar and enjoy our newest addition!

26. On our next visit to the US, complete 2nd and 3rd post-placement visits

27. Formalize US adoption

28.  Obtain baby’s US birth certificate

29. Obtain baby’s US passport

30. Obtain baby’s Certificate of US Citizenship

*Our process took 4.5 months because I chose to stay in Morocco 3 months before Ayoub was released for adoption by the courts. We were so excited to have a child and couldn’t wait 3 months to be with him full time!  (There were no issue of establishing residency as with orphanages in other Moroccan cities).  And then there was a government strike which delayed the process by 10 days bringing our total time there to 3 month (we chose to be there) and 6 weeks (4 for adoption process (we only had to be in country for 2 of those weeks) + 10 day gov’t strike delay).

How did we manage this? I run an online company so my work is portable.  My husband stayed in Qatar to work and visited us every month.  He was in Tangier toward the end of our stay when we both needed to appear before the Moroccan judge and at the US Embassy to get Ayoub’s visa to travel to the US.

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27 responses to “Steps

  1. SubhanaAllah!! May Allah bless you each step of the way and may He make the remaining steps smooth for both of you.

  2. Labas!
    Could you please advice on the steps of adopting from Morrocco to the UK? My partner is Morrocan and is from Tangier, and we are considering trying for adoption from the creche. We visit his family there regularily and have plenty of places to stay! How long should this take from start to end
    Thankyou
    Kind regards Iola

    • Hi Iola:

      You need to do 2 things to get started:
      1. UK: Find out the requirements for adopting in the UK (I presume you’re planning on living there). Most likely you’ll need a home study in addition to many, many other documents. Follow this group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/adoptionforamericansabroad/ Read the posts before asking your questions! The answers are already out there.
      2. Morocco: Contact La Creche directly, go and visit if you can. They will tell you exactly what they need from you. They will not have information on UK rules and regulations. You’ll need to find that information out separately.

      Regarding a time frame, that depends on how quickly you can get your home study completed and documents gathered. Not being familiar with the UK system, I really can’t offer a time period here.

      Good luck!
      Raana

  3. Hi Raana
    Thanks for your reply, very helpful they are very strict here in the UK long tough proccess so I beleive! I read about one couple having more problem adopting when they came back to UK than the whole procccess in Morocco! Do you have any idea how it would work if we adopted in Morrocco and lived there with my partner’s family for a while! Would we then still have to go through the whole proccess in the UK? Also do you have to take a child with special needs or illnesses or are you able to specify that you would like a healthy child? I know this sounds a bit selfish but I don’t really have a lot of family support!!”
    Thanks again Iola

    • Hi Iola:

      Again, I don’t know anything about UK rules for adoption. I am American and will adopt Ayoub in America. At La Creche, you are able to specify if you are open to a child with special needs and you may also indicate that you would like a child who is healthy.

      Raana

    • Iola, if adopting from the UK you need to state at the start of your paperwork (homestudy) that you intend to adopt from abroad. This means that instead of it being free (like for adopting a UK child) you are responsible for the full cost of the process. I’m not sure of that cost but believe it is several thousands of £s (I have seen up to £10K, but not sure if that’s true). I wouldn’t go to La Creche until you have gone well down the homestudy route as there is no point until you know *if* you will be granted the right to adopt. It can be a lengthy process, up to two years. Although of course, you could always donate items, or time if you’re in Tanger anyway. There are some interesting articles in Le Journal De Tanger but this UK site will start you in the right direction http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Adoptionfosteringandchildrenincare/AdoptionAndFostering/DG_4018296 Sorry Raana to write so much, but I’m very interested in the process myself.

  4. Thanks again Raana!
    We are visiting Tangier this year propably in August, ahould we visit the Creche after homestudy done or could we visit before then?
    Thanks Iola

  5. Hi
    Your blog is very informative and uplifting!

    I am a US citizen living in France (also french national) and I have just started the process for adopting a baby girl. I am doing a US adoption, so the child gets a US passport right away.

    I don’t have an address in the US (for processing the documentation etc) but I have relatives (cousin) in California. Do you know if that poses any inconvenience for her if I use her address?

    thx,
    Tina

    • Hi Tina: thank you for your message. I’m happy to know you enjoy reading my blog!

      In most states you need to have a residency established there in order to adopt. How do you do that? You need to have your name on a utility bill and/or have a driver’s license in that state. Why? You have to satisfy first the USCIS requirements to allow you to receive an immigrant visa for your child, and then your state’s requirements to re-adopt the child. For us, it was like starting the process over again to satisfy Virginia’s requirements.

      However, In Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Rhode Island, a nonresident may adopt a child with the assistance of an agency (source: http://adoptionhandbook.org/99/who-can-adopt-who-can-be-adopted/)
      You should contact a local adoption agency in the state(s) you are considering, they should know the laws. If they don’t you could check with an adoption attorney.

      Best wishes!

  6. Hello Raana,

    I want to sincerely thank you for putting such a beautiful and informative website so that others like myself can follow in your footsteps. I may have some questions along the way and will be looking up to you.

    For instance, when sending the documents to the orphanage do they already have to be translated? Can you recommend a person? And can they be emailed to them via PDF?

    I hear a lot of people are adopting from Meknes, would you say the procedure is the same? While there did you happen to see if there were any girls available? We would love to adopt a 1-3 year old girl or boy, but we have a daughter and it would be nice to add another one.

    Thank you again for taking the time to document all that you did.

    Thank you, Ivonne
    Your baby is so beautiful, I love the smile of a new mommy!

    • Hi Ivonne:

      I’m so happy you found the blog useful…it is serving its purpose. Feel free to ask any questions and I will do my best to answer them. I’ve taken a shot at the ones you posted:

      Q: For instance, when sending the documents to the orphanage do they already have to be translated? Can you recommend a person? And can they be emailed to them via PDF?
      A: We sent our home study and supporting documents in English via email (pdf) to Madam Haddad at La Creche. She will take care of all of the translations for you (for a minimal fee). Visit the La Creche page at the top of the blog for more info. It has details of what the supporting documents are and how to contact Madam Haddad.

      Q: I hear a lot of people are adopting from Meknes, would you say the procedure is the same?
      A: I am not very familiar with the process at Meknes but I heard it is similar. We decided to adopt from La Creche because it was small and the children were well cared for (we visited before we decided to adopt from there). The care our child received while we weren’t with him was really important to us. I recommend you decide what’s important to you and do your research.

      Q: While there did you happen to see if there were any girls available? We would love to adopt a 1-3 year old girl or boy, but we have a daughter and it would be nice to add another one.
      A: Yes, but there is about a 2 year waiting list for girls. While I was in Tangier I would visit the orphanage about once a week and during the 5 months we were there, we only saw about 7-10 girls.

      If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me!

  7. Thank you for your very detailed answers Raana, it’s very apparent you want to help those little ones left behind. Thank you very much, you’ve encouraged us to move forward and start our homestudy this week! Question, can you recommend a translator for us while in country? I would like to have a translator with me when I am visiting the orphanage so I can ask questions. Also, does the orphanage in La Creche assist us with everything else needed while in country or is this something we have to do on our own?

    • Hi Ivonne: I’m happy that you’ve found the blog helpful and thrilled to know that I’ve encouraged you to start your home study. I can’t wait to hear all about your journey to your little one.

      Since I speak Arabic, I didn’t have a translator while in-country or while at the orphanage. Hajja Naima (the director of the orphanage and is there during normal business hours )is a British-educated nurse and speaks perfect English. She will help with any translations needed while at the orphanage. And yes, madam Haddad (Fatima) assists with EVERYTHING needed to obtain guardianship of the child. You don’t need to do anything on your own. Madam Haddad went with us everywhere and often picked us up for meetings. I feel like they go out of their way to assist which is one of the reasons we felt very comfortable selecting La Creche.

      Good luck and let me know if there’s anything further I can assist with.

  8. Salaam! I wanted to know if any UK citizens have had any luck trying to adopt a baby from Morocco? A good friend is looking to adopt from Morocco and she lives in London. Any help would be greatly appreciated. JazakAllah!

    • Wsalam, Zehra: I do know of 1 UK family who successfully adopted from Morocco. You may read through the comments on the “la creche” page of this blog to get more information. I do know that it is easier for UK non-habitual residents to adopt than it is for habitual residents. Best wishes!

  9. My husband and I are adopting from Morocco and were wondering what language should we learn prior to going? We have heard French is more important than Arabic. Thanks for you advice.

    • Dear Kristina:

      Thank you for your comment.

      The ladies at the orphanage are very helpful with translating if you do not know French or Arabic. Even though I know Arabic, I often would ask Haja Naima to join meetings with the social worker so that she could translate for me (into English). I wanted to make sure I understood fully what was being asked of me.

      Congratulations and please keep us posted!

      Best wishes!

  10. Dear Raana,

    please let me know from where i can start i am an indian national working in qatar and want to adopt a chid from morocco is it possible that we can

    please guide us

  11. Salaam alaikum,
    we Just came from morocco and we provided them with our home study. A few questions. What is ISS-US? We have sent much of our information to USCIC in Athens with fee. We are awaiting their response. How long between sending info to USCIS in Athens and then getting the approval typically?

    • Walaikum Assalam and congratulations on submitting your home study!

      What is ISS-US? Please see our lingo page for more information: https://babymaghrib.wordpress.com/lingo/

      Our Home Study approval from USCIS took 3 months because we had forgotten to include something. It varies by office. I suggest you contact them to confirm that they received it and ask how long they think the approval will take.

      Best wishes!

  12. Salaam Raana.
    My wife and I would like to adopt 1 boy from Morocco. We reside in New York, USA. Once we have a completed home study and I-600A approval, what steps do we take? Thanks in advance.

    • Walaikum Assalam:

      Congratulations on your decision to expand your family through adoption! May Allah reward you and make the journey easy for you and your wife.

      Once your homestudy is complete, I recommend you send it to the orphanages from which you wish to adopt. We sent our homestudy to La Creche and submitted our I-600A for approval on Feb, 27 2010. We received our referral for Ayoub on April 12 and went to visit him 2 weeks later. On May 1 we received our I-600A approval. You don’t need to have your i-600A approval in order to submit your homestudy/get in touch with orphanages. Our process was very fast but I think, Alhamdulillah, we were very lucky.

      I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate go get in touch.

      Best wishes!

  13. Salaam Raana,
    My wife and I are both Americans living in Texas and in the process of adopting a beautiful baby from Tangier. We have already recieved our approval for I-600A and have already submitted our Arabic translated documents to madam Haddad. When we go to Tangier, what will be the next steps in Tangier and then in Casablanca for us, since we are living in Texas? Do we still have to submit the DS-230 form if we live in Texas? Finally, do you know a way to possibly expedite the process?
    We really appreciate the advice.

    • Walaikum Assalam Hyder:

      My apologies for the very very delayed reply.

      I’m sure by now you are well past the wait and are home with your little on in Texas. If you have any questions, please let me know.

      To answer your ones above, if you have already been matched to a child, you will meet him/her. But I believe Madam Haddad would only call you to Tangier once your paperwork has been submitted and it is your time to appear in front of the judge. Yes, you would still need to submit the DS-230 regardless of where you live in the US. I don’t know of any way to expedite this process.

      If you have any further questions, please let me know!

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