Polish Adoption FAQ


Step 1 - Apply With Our Agency

Apply With Our Agency

After deciding that adoption is what you’d like to pursue, the two biggest questions that follow are what country and what agency?  You should probably look at country first, since different countries have different requirements, like age, that may not work for you.  Then agency is a big one also.  Different agencies work very differently from one another. 

You would be surprised as to how different your experience can be based on the agency you select.  We’re specialized and focused on 2 countries in close proximity to each other.  We have nearly 20 years of experience.  That gives us confidence that we can navigate our parents through the process for each of our 2 countries.   

– Back to Poland Main Page.

Step 2 - Do Paperwork

Prepare Adoption Paperwork

Preparing your paperwork is the first way you’ll experience that agencies do things differently.   With us, you will work with the person that tells you about the process before you become a client. 

That person will be your contact the whole time, from start to finish.  You will not get passed on to others as you advance thru the process.   Prepareing the paperwork, in addition to being a legal task, is also important in terms of cultural interpretation.  Preparing the paperwork in mind with how a country works and what it wants to see is a big step.  

That is why being an expert on few countries rather offering many is a business strategy that we have chosen.  We think it allows us to serve our clients better. 

“Step 3” – Working on Dossier – is done sumultaneously to working on the home study, with our close guidence. 

– Back to Poland Main Page.

Step 3 - Get Approvals

Submit Home Study to CIS 

First major milestone is to get the approval of USCIS.  Consistent with the laws guiding your international adoption, an approval from government is needed in order for you to be considered by the foreign government.  Therefore, once prepared, your home study is turned into USCIS.  USCIS will do their own fingerprints (in addition to the ones we ran on you) and upon their review process will issue their approval.   This document plays a key role of your dossier. 

In addition to meeting state and federal requirements, the home study that you are submitting to CIS must also meet the foreign country’s requirements.

Remember, parallel to completing the home study, we will help you put together your “Polish Adopton Dossier”.  

– Back to Poland Main Page.

Step 4 - Dossier to Poland

Submit Your Dossier Polish Central Authority 

Upon obtaining your CIS approval and finishing the rest of your dossier (with our help), you will submit it all to the foreing country’s government authority that oversees the adoption procedures.  Similar to CIS role here, the Polish Central Authority is the government body that oversees the adoption proceedings in Poland.  Your file is translated and authenticated in Poland by our representatives. 

Your “dossier” contains your home study and the CIS approval and the rest of the paperwork that you had been working on.  

– Back to Poland Main Page.

Step 5 - Wait to Accept Your Child

Wait to Be Matched with a Child.

Waiting is usually not fun, but it is a necessary part of the process.  Your wait time may vary depending on age of child, and the type of special needs you’re willing to consider.  Often times we see, FAS and low birth weight in the Polish referrals.  

Once your family is picked and presented with an opportunity to adopt a child, we will contact you and let you know.  You will be given the medical and social info that is presented by the Polish Central Authority.  You will have 14 days to decide if you’d like to proceed with adopting that particular child. 

– Back to Poland Main Page.

Step 6 and 7 - Wait For Your Trip

Meeting Your Child.

Poland is now a 1 trip country.  Once you say “yes” to your child, we will set out to obtain the ramining necessary paperwork so that you can go meet your child. 

This includes obtaining Article 16 and Article 5 – consisent with the Hague Convention.  This takes a few months.  The timing can vary due to the different regional and local governments, both in the US and Poland that are involved in the issuing of necessary documents. 

We’ve seen cases where the Polish Central Authority has recommended that the parents skype with the child.  And sometimes they don’t.  Since, they have the right to make that decision, we can’t promise one way or the other whether Skype will be implemented or not.  

– Back to Poland Main Page.

Step 8 - Travel to Poland

Picking up your child.

Once, we’ve obtained the paperwork described in the previous steps, 6 and 7, you will go to Poland to begin your bonding period.  Bonding period is 3 weeks and it ends with a Final Court Hearing.  After the court hearing, the judge may (or may not) decide to shorten your appeal period from 3 weeks to 2 weeks.  After this time goes by, the last thing to do is to obtain the child’s visa thru the US embassy.  The trip is typically about 6 -7 weeks in length, though it could vary. 

One parent can come home after about 3 weeks – after the court hearing.  

Upon entering the United States, the child will automatically become a US citizen. 

– Back to Poland Main Page.


Waiting Children in Poland?

Poland Does not Have Separate Process

Poland does not have a different procedure for “waiting children”.

In order to adopt from Poland, you have to complete a home study.  Get CIS approval. Complete dossier.  Submit dossier ot Poland. Wait on Central Authority to propose a match. 

There are no waiting children with whom you can be “matched” per an adotpion agency’s desire. 

Agencies do not have the authority to match adoptive parents with children.  That authority rests with the governments involved in the adoption process. Recently one agency who worked with Poland, and offered a “waiting child process” was debarred by the US government.  

We’re also seeing that other adoption agencies are volunterily no longer accepting applications for their Poland program. 

Any and all “waiting children” on our website are not in Poland. They are in Bulgaria.  They’re listed by the Bulgarian MOJ, and not any private agency. 

Any one applying to adopt a Bulgarian waiting child, must submit an application with the Bulgarian MOJ.  

– Back to Poland Main Page. 


Affording Adoption Cost


Financing Your Adoption Cost 

Charlotte, where our office is located is one of the biggest banking centers in the United States. 

Our Operations Manger has found options through a local bank that gives adoptive parents financing options that are pretty good.  

These options were implemented in May of 2017.  We already have several adoptive parents take advantage of them. 

To learn more about how you can spread the cost of adoption into a monthly payment, please contact Nick.  704 527 7673. 

To learn more about financing your adoption cost, click here.

Payment Plans

Payment Plans

At the agency level, without involing a financial institutions, we work with our parents to give them additional time in between payments.  

For example, we can split the agency fee into installments.  Let you use a credit card through PayPal and allow you get miles/points towards your flight. 

We’re happy to tell you of other ways we’ve thought of to help our adoptive parents. 

Contact Nick for more info 704 527 7673. 

To learn more about financing your adoption cost, click here.

Not Included in Fees:

The fees Do NOT include:
Home Study Fees (likely payable to a local agency in your state, unless you’re in NC)
Airplane Tickets
Cost of staying overseas and taking care of yourself and your child while in Poland
State and federally regulated certification or processing fees
Mailing expenses
Other third party fees
All of these fees are variable in nature
Saint Mary’s Benefit for You

St. Mary's Advantage

Per His great love and mercy, we can humbly say that we’ve served our parents with Polish adoptions since 2001.

No other existing agency has as much experience and true knowledge – based on real cases, as we do.

We love what we do.  We love Poland.  And we love seeing our parents adopt Polish children.  There is no substitute for experience and passion!


More Questions

Health of the Children

Children in Polish orphangages will commonly be diagnosed with FAS, low birth weight, neglect/abuse.  

Often times the father will have unclear history, or history will not be provided.  

Often times reports will say that the bio mother may have been drinking alcohol. 

Our agency advises that each case will be different and it is upto the adotpive parents to decide whether they can help any one given child with his/her needs and/or delays. 

We rarely see medical reports that say that this is a “healthy” child.  


1 Trip is required.  This trip is typically 6 – 7 weeks in length, though it could be longer (or shorter).  

During this trip, the adoptive parents will do the bonding period and the court hearing. The bonding period can be between 14 and 28 days. Most often the bonding period is 21 days. 

Both parents need to stay in country for that.

Bonding period ends with a court date. In some regions, there might be multiple court hearings.

However, the final court hearing is typically after the end of the bonding period.  After that court hearing, one of the parents may leave.  The other has to stay. 

After the final court hearing, Polish law requires that there is a 21 day appealing period. This is the same for everyone.  US citizens or other foreign nattionals have to go through this because it is Polish law.  ,

In some cases, the judge may choose to shorten this appealing period to 14 days.

After the appealing period is over, the adoption becomes final.  

The last step in the process is to attend the US Embassy and its interview process.  This usually takes 2 – 3 days, but it could take upto a week, depeneidng on the US Embassy’s work schedule. 


About 2 – 3 years from start to finish.  

Year 1, you’ll be doing your paperwork that will qualify you as adoptive parents.  The major work load there includes home study and dossier.   

We will assist you with everything in a personalized matter.  We will simplify everything for you. 

Year 2, you will wait to be matched with a child. Upon accepting your child, you will be completing more paperwork before you will be allowed to go to Poland and finalize your adoption. 

Of course, this is an estimation, and each adoption takes a different amount of time to complete.  It can take less than 2 years.  It can also take a lot longer. 

Do I Qualify

Of course, there is a long way to go before you would be approved as an adoptive parent(s).

This includes St. Mary’s own approval process, the approval of USCIS, foreign country approvals, etc. In order to meet these requirements, adoptive parents will pursue the home study process.  The home study, upon favorable findings is sent to USCIS for their approval.  To read more about USCIS’ process, click here.  This approval is then sent to the foreign country per Hague standards along with the other documents which are oftern referred to as your “adoption dossier”.

Here are some preliminary information about the eligibility criteria for Poland:

  • Married couples and single women can adopt.
  • The mothers may be up to 40 years older than the child
  • The fathers can be up to 45 years older than the child.
  • There is no discretion against non-Catholics.
  • Adoptive parents have been married for at least 3 years at time of submission of the “dossier” to Poland.

By the way, we also work with Expats

Home Studies for Expats

We have the expertese to help you adopt from Bulgaria (or Poland) even if you live abroad.  The process is a bit more complicated and not many agencies offer this service.  However, we can do that for you.  

We can help you if you’re a US citizen residing abroad.  To find out more about this service, click here.


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