As promised, here's my post on Apostilles. I had never heard of them before we started researching international adoption. It took me a long time just to figure out how to pronounce the word (and I'm still not sure I've got it right!). To the best of my knowledge, it's pronounced "uh-POS-tle" (don't forget the "t", otherwise you are referring to Jesus' disciples!).
So what are these things anyway?
It's a state seal (in our case, from Virginia) that verifies that the notary who notarized our document is a valid notary in the state of Virginia. We have to have MANY documents notarized, and then we need an apostille for EACH one.
To get the apostille you mail your documents to the Secretary of the Commonwealth office in Richmond and they mail them back to you with the apostilles attached (for a fee, of course). We mailed our first set of nine documents on Thursday, Dec. 30, and received them back with apostilles on Monday, Jan 3. I am VERY impressed with that turn-around time!
Here's a picture of one of our apostilles:
For those of you that are wondering, USPS does NOT deliver mail to where these documents are going, so we had to use another (more expensive) service.
Thank goodness we only have to do this a minimum of two more times. YIKES!
But...our first set of dossier documents is now ON ITS WAY!!!!