Latvian adoption requires 3 trips to the country. Good news is that at the end of the 1st trip your child is, most likely, coming back home to the United States with you.
So, let’s go over trips in more details.
First trip: A little over 3 weeks in length.
Unlike other adoption programs, where the first trip is usually rather short, your first trip to Latvia is going to be the longest. During this trip you will meet with your prospective adoptive child and have a 3 weeks long bonding period, which will be observed by a social worker appointed by the Latvian Orphan Court.
We will arrange for the court approved accommodations, an apartment that is safe for the child and conveniently located, where you will stay for the duration of the bonding period. You’ll be able to go to the local zoo, and visit other attractions in the area, and interact with your prospective adoptive child in an environment as close to a home environment as could be arranged. We know you are not in a foreign country and supervised by a social worker when you are at home, but that is as close as both sides can get.
After the bonding period is over, a social worker will make a recommendation to the Orphan Court, stating if, in their opinion, this adoption is in the best interest of the child, and if the pre-adoption care period should be continued in the United States.
After that you’ll get a visa at the US Embassy and fly home, most likely, together with your kid.
I know we didn’t discuss the actual travel much, but it’s very simple. You board the plane, fly over to Latvia, land, go through customs, meet with our guy, who’s going to take you to your accommodations, and stay there. The actual travel is about as simple and uneventful as can be, it’s the pre-placement supervision by the Latvian social worker that is important during this trip.
Once the court makes it’s decision, you’ll fly back and that’s your first trip.
Second trip: Going for the court hearing (about 2 days).
This trip is pretty short. You’ll need to arrive a day prior to the scheduled hearing, so you have time to rest and can be on time for the actual hearing, which will be scheduled for some time in the morning.
So, you’ll fly to Latvia, get settled, go to the court hearing, and you can fly out the same day.
That simple and probably the shortest trip for adoption processes anywhere.
Third trip: About 5 business days to get all of your paperwork and Visas.
This trip is usually scheduled about 40 days after your court hearing. There is a 20 days waiting period before the court decision is in effect, and another 20 or so days to get all of the related paperwork ready.
Now, if your child was with you in the United States, she’ll need to fly to Latvia with you. You’ll arrive to Latvia, get settled, and have the remainder of the day to rest. You’ll need that too, because you’ll be busy.
You’ll go get the necessary paperwork and have an appointment at the US Embassy scheduled. An officer at the US Embassy will review your paperwork and request a medical examination for the child, which will be scheduled shortly after, but usually for the next day. It has to be done in a US Embassy approved clinic, so no, it can’t be just done somewhere in the US prior to, it has to be done there. After the examination is done, you’ll take a document from there back to the US Embassy, where an entry visa for your child will be issued.
Once you have all of the related paperwork and the visa for your child, you’ll fly back home to the United States. This part of the trip should be rather familiar by now and uneventful. Call us when you land, or shortly thereafter.
If you have any questions about the travel portion of the process, be assured that your caseworker will address everything again and answer all of your questions before it’s time for you to get on that plane.
If you have a question you’d like answered now, you can ask it here.
Now, let’s get to the financial section of the process.
Latvian Adoption Program Sections