A year and a half since Little Man came home, we are still chasing the final bits of the paperwork. Here's the things still on the list (and links for others who are doing the same stuff):
Certificate of Citizenship (COC): Little Man became a legal citizen when we completed our adoption, six-months after he arrived in the US. For US born folks, a birth certificate is proof of citizenship. But since Little Man's birth certificate shows his birthplace in South Korea, his bc isn't proof. So, we have to file for his COC to help him prove his citizenship, necessary to get a passport, work in government, etc. We finally got our COC shipped out a few weeks ago. 24-more pages of stuff to file!
Amended Birth Certificate: In Wisconsin, we can reapply for a state amended birth certificate which will have Little Man's citizenship status included on the certificate.
There are a few additional filings that we will be doing once we have our COC. These aren't required in any way at all, but I think it's important to try and get ahold of everything pertaining to Little Man's adoption/process. He might want this information in the future, and you never know what tidbits might be included in these requests.
G-884: When we traveled home with Little Man from Korea, we were handed a giant sealed envelope that we handed over at immigration at the airport? I was dying to read through it all, but we couldn't break the seal. Now I can finally satisfy my curiosity. With the G-884 you can get those original documents! I'm excited to see if there is anything that we didn't have in our files already. Many APs have found things in there such as photos of birth parents, visa applications/photos and original health records. You should have completed the COC before you file the G-884.
As with all these forms, they can be confusing. Here's some tips I've picked up (which are untested by me, as of yet):
- under the 'information about you' heading, put your information
- in the 'data for identification on personal record' put your child's information
- under type of entry, put 'immigration'
- port of entry is the city where you went through customs
- specifically ask for "all records and photos pertaining to the adoption of XXX"
- the form has to be notarized before you send it to USCIS
- send it to the office that processed the COC (be sure to keep the envelope that the COC came in!
G-639 (Freedom of Information Act): Out of all of the paperwork we are filing, this will be it (as far as I know) and it's the one I'm most excited about. From the few people I've heard of who have completed this, it has been a treasure trove of paperwork. But believe me, I'm getting really tired of filing paperwork and it's exponentially more difficult now with a two-year old to chase around. Seems like the pile of paperwork sits on my desk for a very long time before I actually get it done. But again, this is about amassing every detail I can for Little Man, so it's really all worth it.
I do know that this one must be filed last, after the G-884.
How's your paper chasing going??
USCIS Adoption Forms link: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=c88fd1eb6dc43210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=c88fd1eb6dc43210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD#
Post Adoption Paperwork (Adoptive Families Magazine): http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/pdf/PostAdoptPaperwork.pdf
Legal-Eaze: Awesome site with helpful information (written in plain language) on filing citizenship, and showing completed G-884,