Adopting a child from another country is an extremely rewarding experience. However, the process can be complicated and often requires the help of an experienced immigration attorney.
If you are interested in adopting a child from abroad, there are three main processes available to U.S. citizens: The Hague Process, the Orphan Process and the Immediate Relative Process. All three of these processes follow the same basic steps, and after successful completion of all the requirements, you will be able to apply for an immigrant visa.
The first step is to determine which adoption process is appropriate for your situation. Each adoption process has its own set of eligibility and requirements that must be met before you can move forward with the process.
For example, under the Hague process, you must adopt from a country that is party to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and their Families. This convention sets out international rules for adoptions and protects the interests of both the adoptive parents and the adopted children.
Next, you must identify an accredited adoption agency that can handle your case. They will guide you through the adoption process, including conducting a home study and performing any necessary medical, psychological, or educational evaluations for the child.
Once you have selected the agency to work with, you must submit a pre-approval application along with the required documentation. These documents must be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in your home state of residence.
Upon submitting the paperwork, USCIS will review your application and determine whether you are eligible to be an adoptive parent. Then, they will notify you if your application is approved. You will then need to file your I-600 petition, as well as an I-130 Petition for Alien Relatives, with the INS and wait for notification from them before you can begin the visa application process at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas.
After the INS notifies you of approval, the consular officer at the embassy or consulate will schedule a final interview with you. At this time, you must present your I-600 and the adoption or custody decree you have received from your foreign country.
The consular officer will then issue an Article 5 Letter to the foreign country’s Central Authority notifying you of their approval and confirming that you have the legal right to adopt a child from that country. You will then need to apply for an immigrant visa at the United States embassy or consulate in your adopted child’s foreign country.
If you are planning to adopt a child from another country, it is very important to hire an experienced immigration attorney with experience in international adoptions. At Immigration Solutions LLC, we can help you navigate this complex process and ensure that your adoption is properly considered as it relates to U.S. immigration law and regulations. We have helped many people navigate this challenging process and bring their adopted children to the U.S.