Help with the Paper Chase... and
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
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 birthcertificatesusa.com or birthcertificate.com.