26 March 2007

nutty accreditation

Thanks for asking, Dawn. I forget what I've said and what I haven't. Here's the story on accreditation in a nutshell (note the dual meaning in today's title):

The rules for Russian adoption change all the time! Right now, if you are not with an accredited agency, you may not register to adopt. (This is me. My paperwork is here and translated but not registered with the Ministry of Education.)

If you are already registered, it's probable that you can continue with the process (receiving a referral from the Ministry of Education, meeting the child, signing a petition to adopt, going to court to finalize, waiting ten days, receiving custody). Currently there are only three agencies that are accredited. Their accreditation will expire in mid-April.

Russia has decided to re-vamp it's accreditation requirements. Now agencies must be registered as NGO's (non-governmental...organizations). There may be more paperwork to be filed...but the ministries involved haven't all really decided what it is. The ministries were supposed to have 90 days to reach a decision about accreditation after NGO submission, but on the 89th day, which was last week, the Ministry of Justice asked for an additional document. Now no one really knows if the 90 days start over or what happens... Many agencies have already filed the additional document. (It's a statement that adopted children will have inheritance rights.) Mine hasn't, but says they will this week.

It was possible to register independently with the Ministry of Education and pursue adoption without an agency. There are mixed reports on whether or not this is still possible.

Add to all this national politicking the fact that each region has its own policies and procedures and you can see what a maze of red tape we're dealing with right now. ("Right now"--optimism rears its head!)

So--yes. While my agency is unaccredited everything is on hold. I'm still nosing around to find out about independent adoption. It's also possible that a region will let agencies register their clients as independents if their accreditation is imminent.

Please comment on anything that I've left out or not explained.


votemom said...

well done.

if only YOU could go work on accredidation.


martha said...

i guess this just shows how vulnerable people who are adopting internationally are, unfotunately. you are explaining the russian "red tape" and its unpredictability, but i'm sure that is repeated in any one of the other countries where people try to adopt, only in different forms.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. My only experience with accreditation relates to schools and isn't really applicable here.

I'm glad this wasn't just something your agency had done wrong or forgotten. Ukraine is evidently revamping its rules as well and it's difficult to predict what the laws are on any given day.

Maggie said...

Good post. Just the facts and nothing else. I always worry when I read the hopeful "accreditation is coming" posts. I wrote so many of those back in the day and I was disappointed time after time after time. I think it was harder because I kept getting my hopes up and having them dashed.

It'll happen. Agencies will be accredited. But it will happen on Russia's time and on whatever terms they want to set and said terms can change at any time.

It's sucky. But I truly think it's better to focus on the facts -- as you've done so well here.

Anonymous said...


I am from Spain and also adopting in SPB. We registered for independent adoption on Febr. 5th. I encourage you to try adopting independently. Last news I heard about accreditation is that agencies have been asked for more documents and it looks that once again things could be delayed.
Independent adoption is posible in SPB, they are accepting presentations the 1st Monday of each month.
Explore all your options but don't be afraid to go independent. I read your blog often and it makes me very sad that you're stucked, my advice is that if you're paper ready you should move on.

Good luck!

Holly said...

Depressing isn't it? My stomach just flip flops when I read about all of it. I'm still interested in a Russian adoption and I try to keep up to date on what's going on, but that's not easy when things change so much. Seems everyone has been waiting on reaccred. for years now, doesn't it? Thanks for the explanation.

Kay B said...

Our agency also reports the following:

The final step of the accreditation process is to receive approval from four other Ministries: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Justice; and the Ministry of Health and Social Relations.
According to law, these Ministries have up to two months to respond to an inquiry by the Ministry of Education. Until now, we expected that this two-month consideration period could occur simultaneously with the document review by the Ministry of Education. However, it is now clear that this step is launched only after the Ministry of Education approves the documents.

So, maybe two more months?? Only time will tell.

Jenni said...

You stated the whole accreditation thing very well, and all I can say is, what a mess! For all those families and children that are waiting, I hope the reaccreditation happens sooner, rather than later.

Lea said...

Wow, I had not heard the latest update on the status of NGO registration. And I didn't know that there are so few agencies registered now. That is so sad! I am really sorry to hear that. I hope the Russian government gets their act together soon. Our agency was accredited when we first started and our paperwork was registered in Russia just in time, thankfully. We were able to move forward and finish our adoption but it was a bit confusing as it seemed that we were finalizing it as an independent adoption, since our agency was no longer accredited. Fortunately, our agency's reps in the region also handled independent adoptions, which I think probably helped us a lot. I hope everything gets moving again very soon, for you and all of the other PAP's and especially for the children.