Friday, January 22, 2010

Addendum VS Update

Okay, so your address changed, or your job, or you switched to SN, or your referred child is a boy and you initially requested a girl, what do you do when changes occur and you're trying to maintain your I600A/I-171H status?
You do a Homestudy Addendum.
A homestudy addendum is different from a homestudy update.
  1. Costs a lot of money (the same as you usually pay for a homestudy because each time your file a new I600A that's what you have to get, a HS UPDATE.)
  2. Requires you collect all that stuff again, physicals, etc. for the Social Worker
  3. Requires that you refile your I600A, even if the I-171H attached to it is still valid, which includes paying all the fees to USCIS that may apply to such a filing, and switching to I800A if you're out of I600A renewals
  4. And is titled UPDATE

You don't want to do a HS Update when all you need is to report changes. You do that with a:



  1. Is an add-on to your most recent homestudy
  2. Costs a lot less (for us it was a $150 addendum VS a $600 Update)
  3. Does not require you to collect anything (no forms, fingerprints, letters, etc.)
  4. Does not require you to refile anything with USCIS. You simply hand it in and they process it (send it to your consulate office, which, for China adoptions, is Guangzhou, China) for free.
  5. And is titled ADDENDUM

Make sure you know which one you need because your HS agency will give you what you ask for (because it's more $ for them), but they fully understand the difference and should be able to do both an UPDATE and the ADDENDUM. Make sure that your HS agency titles the addendum as ADDDENDUM or you will have trouble with USCIS.

Try to hand in your addendum at least a month before you leave the US on your adoption trip.

Make sure to impress upon USCIS that they need to forward this update on to your consulate office.

Also, if you request a child 2-4 years old (for example) and you accept a referral of a child who is just 4 at the time of referral, you will need an addendum to state that you can handle a child from 2-5 years old, or USCIS will not let you travel. Nit-picky to the end!

Good luck, and post any questions to the comments.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Joint Council Haiti Call to Action

Sometimes it is more than one can bear. Living in abject poverty. Living in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Living with no mother, no father. And now this.
Yesterday, while the good people of Haiti were literally digging themselves out of the rubble, Joint Council and the members of our Haiti Caucus humbly met with a sense of despair, urgency, concern and resolve. Our phones rang off the hook with offers of help, with questions about the children and orphanages. Emails came in with more questions and more offers of help and financial assistance.
How To Help
While Joint Council always accepts and appreciates contributions, we are asking all those who wish to make a contribution to please make that donation to those organizations who provide direct services to the children of Haiti.
Below is a list of those Joint Council Member Organizations who have active and substantial programs in Haiti and who have the ability to make your donation provide direct assistance in Haiti.
As you have seen on the news, most of Haiti has been impacted by the earthquake including orphanages, schools and medical clinics that serve orphaned children. The organizations listed below are able and willing to provide temporary assistance and to rebuild for long-term service to orphans and vulnerable families. We again urge everyone to make a contribution of any size. If you do choose to make a contribution to Joint Council, please know that your donation will be used to fund our efforts to coordinate emergency relief efforts.
Our hearts go out to the children and families of Haiti and to those American families who are adopting. We understand your concern and fear during this time of uncertainty. And here is were Joint Council can help.While Joint Council does not provide direct services such as housing, clean water and nutrition during emergencies, we can help in other ways. We are preparing a database of adoptive families and the children whom they are adopting with a goal of providing you with the status and location of the children. More information will be published on this effort in the coming days.
Joint Council is also working with the U.S. government to determine the impact of the devastation on the adoption process. Given that the coming days will be rightly focused on rescue efforts, it will take days if not weeks to fully assess the impact on adoptions and develop a plan to move forward with specific cases. Information on the adoption process will be published within the next few weeks.
Adoption During Emergencies
All credible organizations recognize and agree that new adoption cases, including new referrals, are not appropriate in a time of crisis or national emergency. Initiating new adoptions at this time could open the door to corruption and abuse of children. Every effort must be made to identify and find family members for children who are separated or displaced as a result of the earthquake.
Joint Council understands the natural tendency to offer a loving family for children who may be newly orphaned, however we urge all adoption service providers and potential adoptive families to refrain from inquiring or attempting to start a new adoption.
All of us at Joint Council and our Member Organizations are working diligently and ask for your support of the children and families of Haiti.
Joint Council Member Organizations:
Adoption-Link is providing emergency relief through their Haitian partnerships with The Foundation Enfant Jesus and also the Village of Vision.
Adoption-Link works with the Foundation Enfant Jesus in Haiti with a focus on finding families for children with HIV through their Chance by Choice program. Their program with The Foundation Infant Jesus finds families for children including family preservation through strong community development programs.
Heather Breems, MSW International Supervisor/Haiti Program Coordinator Adoption-Link
1113 South Blvd.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 524-1433

Bethany Christian Services
BCS is partnering with Haitian local and national organizations in order to assist with earthquake relief.
In Haiti, BCS currently provides child sponsorship programs, and is piloting a program to teach women a trade, allowing them to provide for their families, hopefully with the result that the family remains intact.
Carolina Adoption Services
Carolina Adoption Services is focusing their emergency relief on housing, food and water for the children who have lost their orphanage.
Carolina Adoption Services currently works in Tabarre, approximately 10 miles outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Carolina Adoption Services reports that the staff and children of the orphanage are unharmed, but that damage was sustained to the buildings themselves.
Susan Fox – or 336-275-9660
Celebrate Children International
Celebrate Children is providing humanitarian relief and mission trips including medical teams and rebuilding projects.
Celebrate Children International provides adoption services, humanitarian aid and medical services to families, children and orphans in Haiti.
Sue Hedberg Angela Vance Tammy Grega 407 977 2810407 625 9192
Holt International Children’s Services
Holt International Children’s Services is working to ensure the safety and health of the children who live in Holt villages and are opening their doors to children in the surrounding area who have no homes to go to. Holt is using everything the have to make sure children are safe.
Holt International has been providing services to orphaned children and at-risk families since 2004. Holt currently operates the Holt Fontana Village orphanage which cares for children who have been orphaned or abandoned.
Bruce Dahl, - 541-687-2202
Kentucky Adoption Services
Kentucky Adoption Services is providing medical assistance, food and clean water. Their team of 10 physicians will transport 2 plane loads of food and water. Donations for food and water are urgently needed. Their emergency relief efforts are in partnership with BRESMA Orphanage and Child Care Center.

Thanks so much~
Rebecca Harris
Joint Council Director of Programs and Services
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