Many of you are familiar with Focus On Adoption, of which I serve on the Board of Directors. Members of the FOA BOD, including FOA President Hannah Wallace, have been working to address the concerns about embassy timelines. Below is an update on that from Hannah.
The USCIS in Guatemala has notified Focus On Adoption that they are opening a window from
9 to 9:30 A.M. Monday through Thursday where they will only be accepting finalized adoption papers ready for the "pink slip". They are also hoping to get a window that is only designated for USCIS., which would allow more time to receive and review adoption files. Right now the Embassy is under control of the Consular section and CIS has only been allotted one window, which is also used for other matters.
CIS is also in the process of setting up a "stakeholder's" committee which will be composed of representatives from Focus on Adoption and JCICS as well as Attorney's Associations and the officer in charge of CIS in Guatemala and the Consul General. This will be a solution driven committee attempting to resolve systemic problems and will not address individual cases. We're hopeful that a smoother interface between all the participants in the Embassy
process can be effective.
Over the past couple of weeks all inquiries have been diverted to the Mexico City CIS office. They've done an analysis and report that 43% of the inquiries have been premature. They are attempting to provide preapprovals within 30 days and have, for the most part, met that goal. They are asking families to wait at least 30 days from the time DNA results are received by the Embassy before inquiring on the status of your case. Congressional inquiries shouldn't be used except in the case of complications or after 30 working days have passed., as they are processing an increasing number of cases, are still short staffed, and premature inquiries from Congress
have to be answered, taking away more time from adjudications.
Hannah Wallace, President, Focus On Adoption: An Intercountry Adoption