Hi, Everyone. How's it going? I know I have a few other parents in various parts of the adoption process checking in from time to time, so I wanted to let you know about the minor glitch we encountered with verifying our documents the other day. Hopefully, it may save you an unnecessary step and a little time.
We have a valid certified copy of our marriage certificate left over from our last adoption, that I sent in to the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office for verification. I was concerned the date could be questioned in Vietnam (it was certified in 2000) and asked our adoption agency about it before sending it, but it didn't occur to me that it would be a problem here in the States. Well, it was. I got a call from the Sec. of State's office saying they can't verify a doc. that old and I would have to order a new one. I did, and now have to wait for it to get here. This is really no big deal, and only adds a couple weeks more to our wait, but if I would have known, I would have ordered the new certificate weeks ago. We're still waiting on the 171H, so we haven't "lost" any time, but still...
Lesson learned: Make sure all your docs are recent/current when you begin gathering them, even if they are perfectly good, certified copies. If you question something, check with your state and not just your agency. Each state does things differently and your agency may not know (our agency is in WA). If you have to reorder or replace something, do it early in your process (like while you're waiting to complete your homestudy), so you won't be losing precious weeks of wait time.
Another thing: I usually love the convenience of doing things online and I know there are several websites where you can order documents. I would suggest trying to obtain them locally first, if possible. One of the online services was going to charge me $39.95 for a new marriage record. I called the courthouse where the certificate was originally filed and it cost me $1.50. Big difference!!
Wishing you all a smooth, peaceful adoption process! Have a great day.