I have received a lot of questions about what's next and how long so I thought I would try to explain as best I can. Honestly, it is all so confusing I wish I had someone to sit down and explain it all to me step by step.
The next step in the process of international adoption is approval of the I-600A form (Application for the Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition). We sent the form to our local USCIS office (Citizenship and Immigration Services) back in December because it must arrive at the office prior to the HS. Once the HS arrives at our local USCIS office we will receive notice of an appointment for finger printing. Then the government will use the HS and the results of our finger printing to decide if we can adopt a child born in another country.
How long will this take? I wish I could give a exact answer to that question. The USCIS website does have a chart to show processing times. Currently they are not meeting their processing timelines. The website is updated monthly and at last update they were processing applications received on July 27, 2008. Not exactly what I was hoping to find out. At that rate we can hope to hear something in Septmeber. This is sad.