Your Referral Documents

When you get your child's (or children's) referral, you will find out a plethora of information about them. While each child's history is different, and some are happier than others, here are somethings that you will most likely see. Here is a list of documents you should get with your referral.

Document #1 -- This is the actual letter from ICBF or the Ca
sa Privada which states that on a specific day the Adoption Committee met and you were assigned a child. It will include the complete name of the child and his/her birthdate.

Document #2 -- This document is called the FICHA BIOPSICOSOCIAL (in Spanish) and the translation is the BIOLOGICAL, SOCIAL & PS
YCHOLOGICAL REPORT. This report will include the following sections:
  1. Identifying Information: Name, Birth Date, Birth Place (city, department), Age, Location of the Child, Date of Adoption Resolution (or Written Consent in the Case of Casas Privadas)
  2. Family Background: This typically includes an explanation of why the child came into the system. Names the birth parents and other extended family members. It may include family medical information. It may also list siblings. In the case of children that came into care immediately after birth, there may also be information on the birth itself.
  3. Psychological Evaluation: This typically includes the psychologist report which may also address the child's overall development. Typically, there will be a discussion of the child's sleep habits. It may also address sexual or other abuse, if applicable.
  4. Social Worker Evaluation: This focuses on the child's development in specific areas and usually goes into a lengthy explanation of the child's daily routine (which is typically out-of-date by the time you pick up your child). There will be a list of favorite toys, foods, activities, etc. Of course, the older the child, the more information there will be.
  5. Health Evaluation: You will receive information about the child's health and nutritional status. The report will reference the child's immunization record.
  6. Recommendation for Placement: Typically, the social worker will write recommendations for the type of family that the child needs, as well as, in some cases, recommendations that might help the adoptive familyduring the transition process.
Document #3 -- The Resolution of Adoptability. This is the legal document that declares your child available for adoption. Some are better than others. In some, you will learn A LOT about the birth family. In others, practically nothing. Some judges use TONS of Legal JIBBERISH, others are clear and easy to read.

Document #4 -- Immunization Records.

Document #5 -- Original Birth Certificate. This will list the names of the birth parents and their National Identification Number. Keep this document as it could be essential if your child ever decides to look for his/her birth parents.

Document #6 -- Specialized Medical Certificates or Evaluations. You will get copies of original documents whenever your child has needed specialized medical attention

Document #7 -- THE PHOTO!!!!! This is often taken at Foto Japon (chain of Photo Shops in Colombia). They will often include strange backgrounds. One friend said of her daughter's referral picture, "It looks like my daughter is being vommited from Minnie Mouse." I wish I had her permission to post the photo, but trust me it was very true. My own son's photo was very interesting. He was wearing clothes that were 4-5 sizes too big. His hair was slicked on to his head in such a way that it made the Fonz look conservative in his use of grease. But, he turned out to be just about the cutest thing I had ever seen -- once we got the gell out of his hair.

Also, remember that that the pictures are typically 2-3 months old at the time you get your referral documents. So, in the case of very little ones, they will change a lot by the time you see them.

If you have received your referral, what did you think of the information you received? How were your referral pictures? Please leave a comment below.


Ed Lebert said…
We only got items #1 - #3, and a photo (but we already had a photo since they were waiting children). We did not get immunization records, birth certificates, or specialized medical records during the referral phase. The immunization records were especially painful (for the kids), because they had to get all their shots before leaving Colombia with us. Months later while back in the U.S., we discovered all their immunization records and specialized medical records in a folder that Pamela (our oldest) was given by her Madre Sustituta before the presentation. If only we had known... that would have prevented a lot of crying :)
Colombian Mommy said…
Ed, thanks for your comment. I have followed your adoption online and was particularly touched with your wife's interview with your daughter.

That said, your circumstance seems unusual. I have translated dozens of referrals and all of them had immunization records and original birth certificates. I am wondering, did you ever request them from your agency while waiting for the referral? Did you do your adoption through ICBF or a Casa? I have seen cases where medical records did not state that the child had been tested for HIV or Hep B, and the family requested the info and promptly received it.

Perhaps this is an important point to make. IF YOU DO NOT GET THESE DOCUMENTS -- ASK YOUR AGENCY TO GET THEM FOR YOU!
nuyorquina said…
I am glad you pointed this out. We too did not receive any immunization records, just that they're up to date. she is only 9 months old and we leave in less than 2 weeks for Colombia to get our new princess. I will definitely ask for them.
Nicole said…
We did not receive immunization records or a birth certificate with our recent referral either. We were however, given the immunization records and birth certificate during the paperwork part of the presentation when we recieved our son. I don't remember if we got them with our daughters referral info back in 2007.
Colombian Mommy said…
I am seeing a pattern here. It seems that the NO IMMUNIZATION RECORD happens more when you adopt from a Casa Privada. All three of you did that from what I see on your blogs.

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