Wrote this a few weeks ago over on the family blog.
Upon returning from Bogota, we received the ninos’ Certificates of Citizenship from USCIS, very important documents. Check! We were informed by more than one source that before we could apply for social security cards (which we need in order to claim the children on our 2008 taxes) we needed to get the kids’ Certificates of Foreign Birth from the Nevada Secretary of State. So we did that, recently in fact. Check! I even had the paperwork overnighted on our FedEx account both ways so that we could have it expedited.
Today, I finally applied for social security cards, which was an adventure. Actually, my number was called in a timely fashion. I smiled at the lady behind the glass window as I plunked the stack of 10 or so stuffed manila envelopes down on the counter. She gave me that look, you know the one. The “oh boy, here we go” look. Don’t worry, I am so used to it by now. I was the employee’s first International Adoption case so things went very slowly, which was totally fine. I told her I didn’t mind being her guinea pig, if she didn’t mind that my two sons were playing with naked Barbie dolls behind me (hey, at least they were trying to put the clothes back on).
The annoyances arose as she asked for help from her supervisor. I won’t bore you with the long of it. Just imagine that person in your office or at church or on the PTA who not only thinks they know everything, but is ‘so sure’ that they try to make you feel badly in the process to validate their own assumptions. Yeah! I just smiled politely (as I ground my teeth inside of my mouth), and asked them to tell me exactly what documents they needed to move the process along.
For those readers moving along in the international adoption process, here are two helpful pieces of info I found out today:
1. Certificates of Foreign Birth are not needed to apply…as long as you have:
a.) cert of citizenship
b.) original birth cert w/your last name
c.) adoption decree
d.) child’s passport with immigration visa
Now this is accurate for kids coming in on an IR-3 visa only, not sure about other immigration statuses.
2. If you are applying for more than one child at a time, the SSA will not issue cards sequentially. This means that if you are on a deadline, for example, trying to file a tax return, make sure that you give yourself enough time. Our children’s applications will be filed every two working days, which means that I only received a receipt for my oldest, today. Juan P.’s app will not be put in the system until next Friday at the earliest.
It looks like we might have to file an extension after all. 🙂