Parents usually travel approximately one month after the Ministry issues a “Letter to get Personally Acquainted” to begin the adoption process in Latvia. Parents spend 19 to 26 days in-country for care and supervision time, or a bonding period with the child. During your in-country stay, you will live in an apartment. You will be visited at least one to three times during this care and supervision period by the court appointed social worker. At the end of this bonding trip, you will appear a second time in court. In this court visit, the court will decide the adoption is in the best interest of the child to move forward, as well as approve the child to return back to your home on a hosting visit. This visit is considered an extension of the care and supervision period. While it is not required, many families decide to bring their child back to the United States.
Once parents return to the US, you will file the I-800 with USCIS to receive provisional approval to adopt a specific child. This process usually takes up to 9 to 11 weeks. If your child came home with you, you will need to have a hosting visit and report prepared by your social worker approximately three to four weeks after you are home. Once you have an approved I-800, one parent can return to Latvia to complete the adoption process. The child MUST return, as well, if they are 12 years of age or older. If they are under 12 years of age, they may remain in the US with the other parent. The second trip is for the finalization of the adoption and lasts approximately 5 to 7 days.
The third trip is for your US Embassy required visa interview. One parent and the child MUST travel on this trip. The trip can be scheduled approximately 5 to 6 weeks after your second trip and lasts approximately 7 days.
When it is time to travel we will assist you with recommendations for travel. Accommodations (typically an apartment) and transportation (train, intercountry flights, etc.) in Latvian will be coordinated by the facilitator. You are responsible for intercountry transportation costs (plane, train). Adoptive parents are responsible for shared accommodations (apartment) with the facilitator, and paying for meals and transportation costs for the representative while in Latvian. This is estimated in the per day/diem fee of $100-150, dependent on region.
Please remember that timelines are controlled by the Latvian government offices and are subject to change.
Throughout the wait, families are encouraged to check in with CCAI regularly. We maintain a library of books and resources at our office and are able to recommend relevant reading materials to families as they wait.
* The timeframe may lengthen while you are in process. However, the outline above reflects the timeline that families have experienced. This may not be your timeline.
CCAI and your Latvian representative will work with you to determine the best option for your family related to travel. CCAI’s Latvian Program Coordinator will work with the in-country team to arrange your local travel and accommodations. You will be met at the airport and accompanied at all times by your Latvian representative. CCAI will provide you with the needed travel training.