I am sorry readers if I’ve given you information overload in my last posts. But as you can see, there are a few important considerations when choosing the country you want to adopt from. To summarise the last two posts, you will end up going with a Hague accredited country and (most likely) processing it with an ECAI (or adoption agency) or going it alone. This sort of independent adoption is called via libre or protocolo público.
ICAA (the Catalan Institute for Adoption) is generally more open to independent adoptions if they are being done with a Hague country. In some cases, even if you choose a Hague country that is working with an ECAI here, you can bypass the ECAI and still do it all yourself, but this varies from country to country and you’ll need to clear that with ICAA first. But this wasn’t my case. My West African country (I’ll call it Afrique from now on) was non-Hague, and therefore had no ECAI by default. I had no choice but to go it alone.
I did my homework on the adoption requirements of Afrique and found out I was eligible (they will allow adoptions to singles if it is ‘in the best interest of the child’). I then got together the paperwork necessary for my Sol.licitud d’ adopicó international (application for international adoption). You can download the form here, and with it you will need to supply your last tax return (declaración de la renta) and nomina (salary slip, if you have one), a copy of your NIE, your certificate of empadronmiento, a medical certificate (I just got my regular GP to do one) and a criminal check from the Spanish government (Click here for info about where to go in Barcelona to get your criminal check done).
As a foreigner, you will also need a letter from your embassy stating that your adoption will be recognised by your own government when finalised (this is essential for passport purposes). As my country is notoriously strict on international adoptions, I was worried about this and so, via the internet, tracked down some other expats (in other countries) who were also adopting internationally. One of them was kind enough to send me the letter that she had been given, and I basically got my embassy in Madrid to use that as a model. More on this requirement here.
I delivered all this to ICAA’s registrar and left smug in the knowledge that my adoption process was finally on the way. Little did I know that far from on the right track, I was still a long way from the starting gate.