Adopting children is an exciting and confusing process. If you’re pursuing international adoption, there are three different sets of law you have to understand and work with, and they are U.S. federal law, state law, and the laws of the child’s country of birth. Overseas adoptions are complex, so it’s wise to have the support of an immigration attorney. Poarch Thompson Law will help your family follow the law and stay together, from the selection of your country to citizenship for your adopted child.
The laws of the country your child was born in will dictate the adoption process. Therefore, when possible, it is wise to choose a country with the least amount of legal hurdles. Countries may restrict certain individuals from adopting their children. You’ll also want to know if the country is part of the Hague Convention.
You will need to use one of three processes to adopt your child:
The Hague Treaty is an international convention. Several countries agreed to it to govern the international adoption process. If the country you are adopting your child from is part of the Hague adoption process, you must use it.
In order for you to be eligible for a Hague adoption:
To adopt children through the Hague process, you must:
Your state’s home study agency will complete a home study with you. Each agency will have different requirements and ask different questions. Overall, the state uses the home study to determine if you are eligible to adopt a child.
There are two visa types for Hague adoptions:
Orphan adoptions are for children who are not from Hague countries and who meet the following criteria:
The orphan adoption process is more straightforward for adoptive parents:
As an adoptive family using the orphan process, you must have a home study conducted by your home state.
This third method of adopting children is sometimes referred to as the family-based petition process.
In order to use this process, you must have completed a full and final adoption in the child’s home country. The adoption must have been completed when the child was under 16, and they must have been in your physical and legal custody for two years before immigrating. That two-year wait period is waived for children who were abused in their previous home.
The requirement that the child is under 16 when adopted is also waived for children who are blood-related to your other adopted child or children. These children must be under the age of 18.
Choosing the wrong process, adopting a child before you’re approved to, or making other mistakes can negatively impact your adoption efforts. Working with the experienced immigration attorneys at Poarch Thompson Law will give you the peace of mind that you need to welcome your new child to the United States and their adoptive family. Reach out to us today for guidance.