If you are a U.S. citizen and thinking about adopting a child from another country, there are some things you need to know. In 2008, the United States adopted the Hague Adoption Convention. This international treaty safeguards children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. At present, 89 countries are members of the Convention. However, individuals can adopt children from countries that are not members of the Convention (non-convention countries). An immigration lawyer may be able to help you with an adoption from a non-convention country. Here is some information about adoption from non-convention countries:
Choosing a Licensed Adoption Service Provider
To start the adoption process, you should hire an immigration attorney. The immigration lawyer will be able to help you fill out the required forms for the adoption. The licensed professional will also answer any questions you have concerning an adoption from a non-convention country. Furthermore, the immigration attorney may be able to represent you before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Requirements for Adoptive Parents
Individuals must be citizens of the United States to adopt a child from a non-convention country. If they are not married, they should be at least 25 years old. As a married couple, both individuals must adopt the child. Prospective adoptive parents have to sign Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. They must also prove that the child is an orphan. An orphan does not have any parents.
Moreover, individuals need to prove that they are able to take care of the child. They must also confirm that they interacted with the child in a foreign country before the adoption. If they are going to adopt the child in the United States, they should receive permission to bring the child out of the non-convention country.
Requirements for Adopted Children
To be eligible for adoption, a child must be an orphan. The child should be younger than 16 years old. If parents already adopted a sibling, the child can be at least 18 years old.
USCIS requires a licensed professional to conduct a home study. This document proves that the home meets the standards of the Department of Homeland Security regulations.
Bringing Adopted Children to the United States
You will need to apply for the child's visa through the United States embassy or consulate. If the adoption occurred in a non-convention country, the child will receive an IR-3 immigrant visa. If you plan to adopt the child in the United States, the child will get an IR-4 visa.
An immigration attorney may be able to help you with an inter-country adoption. If you want to adopt a child from a non-convention country, the immigration lawyer will possess the necessary knowledge to help you navigate the complex immigration laws.
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