As you begin down the road to Adoption your agency will hand you a pile of paperwork (it may appear they mowed down the Redwood Forest to come up with all the paper). This paperwork is vital to your adoption process and the better organized the paperwork the smoother the process overall. To assist with that organization I find it easiest to create an Adoption Notebook to maintain copies of everything. This will become your one-stop adoption resource. Here is the suggested layout for the Notebook:
Section 1: General Information
- In this section I suggest including all the agency information, program fees, as well as any resources provided to you by the agency
Section 2: Paperwork
- In this section retain copies of all agency paperwork for your records
Section 3: Background Checks
- In this section place all the originals of your background clearances, fingerprinting and record checks
Section 4: Autobiographies
- In this section you can keep copies of your written autobiographies and family profiles
Section 5: Documents
- This is the perfect section to keep copies of all the additional documentation your agency will require such as your marriage certificate, your insurance information, the deed to your home, etc.
Congratulations!! You now have all your information in one easy to find place. Now you can take your Notebook with you to any agency meetings or show it to any case workers who may want to see your information. When all else fails remember: Keep calm and fill out the next form!