Immigration and Adoption

Immigration and Adoption

The many processes by which parents can adopt a child, and the laws that govern those processes, is complicated under ordinary circumstances. Usually, one must wait for an indefinite period of time, sign many forms and be vetted by the state and other parties before the adoption can be complete. These complicated procedures become even more involved when a native born American wishes to adopt a child from another country and bring him/her to the US. Here is some information for those who seek to adopt a child from another country.

The Processes

United States immigration law provides two different processes through which someone may immigrate on the basis of an intercountry adoption by a US citizen.

  • Hague Process: This applies to children who reside in a country that is a party to The Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention. This conference was held in 1993. Its objectives were to govern international adoption and to help prevent child laundering, and child trafficking, etc. The steps that are required in order to adopt a child under this process are that you must (a) choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider, (b) apply to be eligible to apply to adopt, (c) be referred to a child by USCIS, (d) apply for the child to be found eligible to immigrate to the United States, (e) adopt the child in order to gain legal custody, (f) obtain a visa for the child to enter the United States. At all steps during this process USCIS is deeply involved.children
  • The Orphan Process: The second way an adult may adopt a child and bring him/her to the United is via the “orphan process” which is a non-Hague way to adopt. Under this process, the child must be an orphan as defined by U.S. immigration law. U.S. immigration law defines an orphan as foreign-born child who was made an orphan death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents. You must then choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider. After it has been confirmed that the child is an orphan by U.S. immigration law, parents must verify that they have obtained a valid adoption or grant of custody. Parents must also address whether the child has any illnesses or disabilities that are not described in the petition for adoption. Again, USCIS is involved in this process as well. With both processes care must be taken every step of the way and one should use an attorney who is familiar with the laws governing the adoption of a foreign born child.

If you have questions about adopting a foreign born child or about any other subject related to immigration rights in Los Angeles you can consult with my office for free. I am an immigration attorney in Ventura County who will fight to protect your rights under the constitution and who will make sure that you do not face the immigration system alone.

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