Throughout the adoption process, you will need to contact government agencies and officials at the local, state, and national levels. Fortunately, many government offices are now on the web and you can download the different forms you need from their sites.
By act of the U.S. Congress, effective March 1, 2003 the federal Immigration Service (INS) ceased to exist. INS' old adoption-related functions are now part of the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
On the USCIS Homepage, you can download copies of all the forms you will need (at least for now, the form numbers remain the same as under the old INS), find out the location of your district office, and a wealth of other useful information.
The State Department maintains a website that contains specific information on China Adoptions.
From the main U.S. State Dept. website, you can also access information for people traveling to foreign countries - including China.
Need to get your passport for the first time or need to renew an existing passport? Here's the link to the U.S. Passport Office. Online at their site you will find instructions for all kinds of different passport situations, downloadable application forms, FAQs, and links to related information.
Want to learn more about how the passport system works? The folks at How Stuff Works have a basic "Passport 101" tutorial that will give you the answers.
NEW - Effective Sept. 26, 2005, the U.S. State Department will no longer issue passport amendments. If you need to make a change in your passport, you will have to apply for a replacement. Your old passport will be cancelled and new passport issued. For details, click the link.
The United States Consulate office in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China is familiar to all adoptive China families that are American citizens. Each family comes to Guangzhou for a Consulate appointment to have our new child's visa application processed at the Adopted Children Immigrant Visa Unit (ACIVA). You can find current information on ACIVA on the Consulate's website.
The China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) in Beijing manages the adoption process in China. CCAA matches prospective adoptive parents with available children in China.
Dossier documents originating in Texas need to be certified by the Texas Secretary of State before they can be submitted to the Chinese Consulate. This link will take you to the Texas Secretary of State's website information page on document certification. Look for paragraph number 3 on Notaries Public Unit. You can download the application form from their link.