American citizens are seeking to adopt children in ever increasing numbers. With the reduction in children available for adoption in the United States, more and more U.S. citizens have adopted children from other countries. This year, thousands of children came to the United States from foreign countries, either adopted abroad by U.S.citizens or as potential adoptees.
We strongly encourage prospective parents to consult with an immigration lawyer before starting the process of adoption. Adoption is a life-changing event for a child and for the prospective parents. International adoption is a complex inter-jurisdictional matter that involves foreign, U.S. Federal and state laws. For example, State of Connecticut alone has three statutes regulating adoptions in the state. (C.G.S. §§ 17a-152, 17a-175, 45a-730). Nothing in this complex immigration matter should be left to a chance.
If you plan on adopting the child of a non-citizen relative living in a foreign country because of his/her medical or financial hardship, please click here.
Adoptive and prospective adoptive parent(s) must comply with U.S. immigration procedures. Simply locating a child in a foreign country and going to the U.S. Embassy to obtain a visa for the child will not meet these requirements. An orphan cannot be brought to the United States without a visa, which is granted at the foreign Consulate/Embassy upon a USCIS approved petition (Form I-600A or I-800A).
The immigration process should actually start before a child as been located for adoption. A pre-approval application needs to be filed with the USCIS. In most instances, a “home study” must be submitted with the pre-approval application to USCIS. The home study must be performed by accredited agency in your state of residence. The “home study” is an evaluation of the prospective adopting parents. The home study involves background checks, psychological evaluations, medical evaluations and home visits to ensure adoptee will have a positive and healthy environment.
It is important to note that as of April 1, 2008, the United States is a member country of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children, and therefore the adoption procedures for inter-country adoptions between members nations has changed. If you are planning on adopting a child from a foreign country it is important to know whether or not the country is a Hague Convention member.
Our firm specializes in the area of U.S. Immigration law. We can assist you with your adoption needs in almost every country around the world with the adoption and other legal matters involved. We prefer to be involved in the process from the start. That way, we can help you locate the best adoption agency to process the home study in the US and work with the agency to produce the best results. Nevertheless, we can work with a case regardless of what stage in the process it may be.
Adopting a child from a foreign country can be a very rewarding experience, however it is a complex immigration matter, and having the right immigration professionals involved makes all the difference.
Please consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney to analyze your goals and situation and advise you on the path of your becoming an adoptive parent.