~ Frequently Asked Questions ~  
  1. How long have you been in operation?
  2. How many adoptions have you completed since opening?
  3. Are you accredited?
  4. I don’t live in North Carolina. Can I still work with your agency?
  5. What is Frank Foundation?
  6. How do we get started?
  7. Do I have to be married?
  8. How long do I have to be married before I can adopt?
  9. How old can the adoptive mother and father be?
  10. What is a home study?
  11. How do I find a home study agency?
  12. How do I obtain USCIS approval?
  13. Do I make enough money to adopt?
  14. How much will it cost to adopt, including everything?
  15. When are the fees due?
  16. How long does the adoption process take?
  17. Are there any financing options or loan and grant programs I can investigate to help with the costs?
  18. Can more than one child be adopted at the same time?
  19. How many regions do you work in?
  20. How do you choose which region we will go to?
  21. What happens if I decline a referral after the first trip?
  22. Who helps me when I’m in country?
  23. Who makes travel arrangements for our trip?
  24. Are any regions currently allowing one trip?
  25. How quickly will I travel?
  26. How much time is between trips in Russian adoption?
  27. How do I find a pediatric consultant?
  28. How young of an infant can be adopted?
  29. What are minor correctable conditions?
  30. What are special needs children?
  31. What is the child to caregiver ratio?
  32. What effects of orphanage life will be seen in my child?
  33. Is it safe to travel to Russia and Kazakhstan
  34. Why are the children in the orphanages?
  35. How many orphans are there?
  36. Why do I have to wait so long to travel if there are so many children in the orphanages?

How long have you been in operation?

We were licensed as an adoption agency in November, 1994.

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How many adoptions have you completed since opening?

We have assisted over 1700 families in adopting children from Russia and Kazakhstan.

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Are you accredited ?

We are accredited by the Russian Ministry of Education and are pursuing national accreditation through the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services (COA).

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I don’t live in North Carolina. Can I still work with your agency ?

Yes. Frank Adoption Center works with families nationwide.

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What is Frank Foundation?

Frank Foundation is our parent organization and has its main office in Washington, D.C. Frank Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide cultural, humanitarian, and educational assistance to children throughout the world. We utilize their in-country resources to facilitate the completion of the adoption process.

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How do we get started?

There are several ‘first steps’. You should submit your I600A form to USCIS (formerly INS and BCIS) for approval for international adoption and then choose a home study agency. Once that it done, submit your application to our agency so you can receive your dossier instructions and materials.

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Do I have to be married?

Currently, married couples, cohabitating couples and single women may adopt from Russia and Kazakhstan.

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How long do I have to be married before I can adopt?

As a general rule the couple should be married or cohabitating for a length of time that would establish their stability as a couple. However, the legal status of their relationship is not crucial.

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How old can the adoptive mother and father be?

The adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old. Because judges pay more attention to the age of the adoptive mother than the father the age of the adoptive father is not usually a significant factor. At times, exceptions can be made, and you would need to discuss your specific situation with one of our social workers.

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What is a home study?

The home study is a report written by a licensed agency or social worker in your state of residence. Its purpose is to confirm that the adoptive parent(s) are financially, emotionally and physically able to add to their family. The study consists of medical reports, criminal record checks, income verification, autobiographies, copies of marriage and divorce certificates and reference letters in support of the adoption. A social worker will visit the prospective family in their home to insure the adoptive parents are suitable for such an undertaking. An approved home study is required by your state of residence, the USCIS, and the foreign country.

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How do I find a home study agency?

Frank Adoption Center can complete home studies for families living in North Carolina. For our out-of-state families, we can provide contact information for home study agencies that previous families in your state have used. However, you can look in your local yellow pages or conduct an Internet search as well. You must use a home study agency that is licensed to do international home studies due to regional restrictions in-country. The agency should have experience in completing home studies for Russia or Kazakhstan, and it is helpful (though not necessary) if the agency has previously worked with Frank Adoption Center.

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How do I obtain USCIS approval?

You will need to download the I-600A form from www.uscis.gov. Once you have submitted your application, you will need to complete a home study and be fingerprinted. You will receive a letter from US CIS regarding the fingerprinting procedure/appointment and the approval process. Your home study provider will forward your home study to USCIS. After processing and approval, your local USCIS office will send you the I-171H approval form. USCIS Approval is valid for18 month, fingerprints – for 15 months.

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Do I make enough money to adopt?

The financial condition of the family is a very important factor. Frank Adoption Center complies with the USCIS guidelines for income for international adoption. Currently, USCIS requires a family’s earned income to be 125% above the poverty guidelines. Poverty guidelines vary per state, and per family size, ranging from $15,150 to $38, 700 according to 2003 figures.

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How much will it cost to adopt, including everything?

[While all fees are set, the total cost of adopting varies by each family’s individual circumstances, including the age and number of children adopted, cost of the home study, airfare, lodging choices, meals, gifts, etc. The agency’s fee schedule is included in the free information packet sent to prospective adoptive families.

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When are the fees due?

Agency and application fees are due at time of application. In the Russia program remaining fees are due between trips one and two along with in- country fees. Because there is only one trip involved in the Kazakhstan program remaining fees are due before your trip.

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How long does the adoption process take?

The majority of placements occur within six months to one year of submitting the home study application. However the waiting time consists of two parts. First of all there is a period of time from when you apply to the agency until your dossier is approved according to the Russian requirements. After you received all necessary approval waiting time varies from one to six months. Timeframes can also vary somewhat according to the country and the age and gender of child preferred.

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Are there any financing options or loan and grant programs I can investigate to help with the costs?

Please see the document titled Financing Your Adoption which is enclosed in the information packet.

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Can more than one child be adopted at the same time?

Two children, related or unrelated, can be adopted at the same time from both Russia and Kazakhstan. There are no restrictions on the age between the children for these countries.

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How many regions do you work in?

We work in 19 regions in Russia, and 11 regions in Kazakhstan. Other regions are being developed on an ongoing basis.

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How do you choose which region we will go to?

Families are not assigned to a particular region unless they request regional specificity.

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What happens if I decline a referral after the first trip?

You will return to the same place on the family waiting list. You do not go to the “bottom of the list”, and there are no consequences as a result of declining a referral. We want every family to feel comfortable and well informed before accepting a referral and traveling.

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Who helps me when I’m in country?

There is a team working in each region employed directly by the Frank Foundation, consisting of a coordinator, an interpreter and a driver. This team will see you through each step of the in-country adoption process.

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Who makes travel arrangements for our trip

Your Frank team will make all travel and accommodation arrangements for you from Moscow (Russia) or Almaty (Kazakhstan) to your child’s region. You are only responsible for reserving your flights to and from Moscow or Almaty, and any Moscow hotel stays.

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Are any regions currently allowing one trip?

In Russia all regions are currently requiring two trips to complete an adoption. Kazakh adoptions involve one trip usually lasting approximately 4-8 weeks.

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How quickly will I travel?

After your dossier is approved you will travel within approximately 2-4 weeks. Kazakh families will likely have a longer wait for travel due to the lengthy processing of the dossier paperwork by the Kazakhstan government.

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How much time is between trips in Russian adoption?

There is usually a 2 to 4 week wait between trips.

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How do I find a pediatric consultant?

Included in your ‘Adoption Kit” is a list of consultants Frank families have used with positive results in the past. However, there are many international pediatric consultants available, and many may be located in a search of the Internet.

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How young of an infant can be adopted?

Because of the Russian government registry process children are not usually available until 6 months of age.

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What are minor correctable conditions?

Minor correctable conditions generally involve such diagnoses as rickets, anemia and delayed psychomotor skills.

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What are special needs children?

Special needs children usually have surgically correctable conditions such as cleft palate, heart conditions, and extra digits (fingers and/or toes) or other limb differences.

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What is the child to caregiver ratio?

There are 10-12 children in a group and there are 3 caretakers during the day and 2 caretakers at night.

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What effects of orphanage life will be seen in my child

Most children show the effects of institutionalization in their physical size and growth rate, as well as a delay in their developmental stage. Children will have a lighter birth weight than is common in the US, and their small size tends to continue so long as they are living in an orphanage. You can also expect approximately a two month delay in reaching developmental milestones. In most cases, these delays are fully correctable once the children are adopted into a loving home.

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Is it safe to travel to Russia and Kazakhstan?

Travel to Russia or Kazakhstan does not present any unique dangers to families. The assistance and attention of your in-country team, coupled with basic common sense, assures your safety during your family’s travels.

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Why are the children in the orphanages?

Children are placed in orphanages for many reasons. The most common reasons include: termination of parental rights, abandonment, death of parents or relinquishment of parental rights. Most of the children relinquished have parents who are financially unable to care for them.

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How many orphans are there?

There are an estimated 500,000 orphans in the former Soviet Union.

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Why do I have to wait so long to travel if there are so many children in the orphanages?

Although there are thousands of children in Russia and Kazakhstan without loving families, many of the children in the orphanages are not available for international adoption due to legalities. These children may still be adopted by Russian or Kazakhstan citizens.

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Contact Us!
Frank Adoption Center
2840 Plaza Place,Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27612, USA
Tel: 919-510-9135
or 800-597-9135

Fax: 919-510-9137
info@frankadopt.org