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Help with the Paper Chase... and beyond.

In many cases, some of the best information about adopting from a foreign country can be found on the websites of the Embassy and/or Consulates in for that country in the United States. A helpful website for locating embassies is found at the U.S. State Department.

For the latest information from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Services - INS), visit their website, or link directly to their Orphan Adoption Forms. [Form I600, "Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative (Orphan Petition)," and Form I-600A, "Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (Advance Processing Application)"].

The China Center for Adoption Affairs official site contains the most up-to-date information on adoptions from China.

A must for every paperchaser, Laura Morrison's Assistant Stork website is wealth of information, including telephone numbers, addresses, websites for obtaining vital statistics, Secretaries of State, as well as the Chinese Embassy and Consulates.

To order vital records, VitalChek Network is a great resource. But remember to check with the Secretary of State and/or County Clerk's office (the 'receiving agency') to be certain you are ordering the correct version of the vital record. For example, New York City birth certificates must be the long, vault version with letter of exemplification. In California, contact the County Clerk's office in the county where the birth/marriage (Superior Court for divorce decrees) occurred. It is much faster than ordering through the State Department of Health Services in Sacramento.

If you must obtain your birth certificate from the Office of the DHS in Sacramento (i.e. adult adoptee), the public counter is now closed. I strongly recommend you use an online resource center such as or


2014 Jill S. Touloukian • all rights reserved