Navigating the International Adoption Process

Couple with adopted daughterAdopting an Alien child is a long process, especially if you are living in the United States of America and the child is living in another country. If you intend on applying without a lawyer it may take even longer. International Adoption is one situation that requires the assistance of an immigration attorney in order to get you through the process successfully. Getting approved as a foster parent is the first part of the process, but getting your child a U.S. visa the second part, especially, if you plan on bringing your adoptive child to live in the United States.

Understanding If a Child is Eligible for Adoption

  • For a child to be found eligible to travel and live in the United States they must be approved by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Adoption laws differ in every country. It is possible to adopt a foreign child who has not been approved by the INA, however that child will not be granted permission to enter the United States.
  • A child who has been adopted when he or she was under sixteen years of age and in another country, within the legal custody of his foster parents for a minimum of two years, may become the recipient of a USCIS I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and may acquire an Immigrant Visa from the IR-2 category.
  • In many instances, potential adoptive parents, may not be able to reside in the country of the child they are adopting in order to meet the two-year stipulation. Adopted children can then secure their immigrant visas, in two processes. The first process is applicable to children from countries affiliated with the Hague Adoption Convention and the other process is for those countries not affiliated with the HAC. Your immigration attorney can share all the necessary information regarding countries connected with the HAC.

What To Expect

When initiating the immigrant visa process, possible adoptive parents may submit relevant forms and copies of important documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. After the USCIS examines the written documents, a case is allocated to the Consulate or U.S. Embassy in the home country where the child is currently living. Parents must be aware that all children being adopted from another country must attend a visa interview at their country’s Consulate or U.S. Embassy before traveling to the United States. The Department of State is dedicated to promptly handling every immigrant visa for an adopted child. Remember that every adoption situation relies on certain criteria of the child’s residing country. Be sure to view the convention and non-convention countries. Your immigration attorney will guide and help you to understand how the adoption process works.

Get The Help You Need

The immigration process can be complex, especially when it comes to adoption. It is very important to get the professional assistance you will need, and the sooner the better. If you have any questions or concerns with the amount of time it may take you to complete this process, your best Illinois immigration attorney can advise you and guide you throughout the process. If you are struggling with the adoption process, the Gambacorta Legal Team is ready to assist you.