The dossier represents your official adoption application to adopt from a specific country.
Country programs have different requirements when it comes to verifying dossier document validity. Some programs only require notarization of documents, and other programs require multi-tiered authentication. You will receive detailed instructions in your New Client Packet as to what your program country requires, but here is a brief explanation of the different levels of verification:
- Notarization is the act of witnessing a signature by a notary public in accordance with specific state law. Most often, notarization involves signed documents and requires that the notary public verify the signer’s identity and/or willingness to sign the document. Note: some states have very specific language that is required for Notary Public certification. Please check with your Secretary of State’s Notary Division for any special instructions.
- Certification confirms the authority of a public official – such as a Notary Public, County Clerk, or Judge – to act in a particular capacity in connection with a document that he or she has signed. The county or state where the notary public was commissioned will provide certification of that notarization. The authentication certificate will verify that the named public official and their position are a matter of record in the County or Secretary of State’s office. The certification will only be prepared if the official has in fact executed the document properly, and it can only be attached to a signed original or a certified copy from a public record keeper, such as a vital records officer.
- Authentication is the review and verification by the receiving country’s consular officials that the documents are true and accurate, and have been properly notarized and/or certified. This is done at the country’s Embassy or Consulate in the United States. The country will attach a seal to the original document to show that it is authenticated.
Caring Hands Services, Inc. (Washington, DC)
Caring Hands has extensive experience assisting in the authentication of International Adoption Documents. Consider Caring Hands as your primary document authentication company if you are looking for detail-oriented staff that is proficient and readily accessible to the U.S. State Department and all of the embassies in Washington, D.C.
Tam Travel Services (New York)
98 Mott Street #512
New York, NY 10013
Ladybugs ‘N’ Love Adoption Services (Chicago)
International Adoption Dossier Services (San Francisco, CA)