Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Aren't My Fingerprints Forever?

Today we endured more adoption bureaucracy!! Recently an adoptive family suffered the misfortune to be stuck in Kiev with their new children because their "fingerprints expired" and US immigration would not let then bring their kids home until they were fingerprinted and background checked again. Learning from their dilemna, I checked my I-171H file and found that our fingerprints expire in November. So, I made an appointment with the USCIS for this morning. After racing through rush hour traffic for over an hour, we arrived at the appointment and asked for "permission" to go to another USCIS office to be fingerprinted again. They gave us the letters we needed, and we proceeded to the other office in Aurora, waited in 3 more lines, filled out more forms, and were fingerprinted again.

I asked the fingerprint technician, "How do my fingerprints expire? Aren't fingerprints forever?" She explained that the USCIS discards peoples' files after 15 months if there hasn't been any criminal activity in the file. Hmmmmm. Don't most international adoptions take more than 15 months? Throughout this complicated adoption process I've wondered how it could be streamlined. It's not like solving global warming, but fixing this would be a good start!

3 comments:

Alan said...

I asked the same question to the lady at our state capitol (South Dakota) why we have to redo the fingerprints. Our state fingerprints for background checks are discarded immediately after they send the reports. We have done state fingerprinting at our county jail 3 times now (twice with ink), besides the federal one at DHS.

DoveFamily said...

Good for you for being proactive about this! I know, it's totally crazy how a lot of these things work. :)

adopting2fromUkraine said...

You are keeping a watch on when the I-171h expires also, right? It expires at 18 months.

Okay, since they discard them at 15 months because of no criminal activity, doesn't that say something?!:0

June

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.