Basics of International Adoption Laws in the United States
Are you planning to adopt a child? Have you been considering an international adoption but are unsure where to start? Here are a few basics of the US international adoptions that can help get you started with the process.
Immigration laws and visa: A child being brought into the United States from another country has to be issued an immigration visa to be able to come and live in the country. Immigration laws in the United States differ from one country to another, so you should check if the United States allows immigration from a particular country before adopting a child from that country. For example, if the child is a relative, there may be different requirements than non-relative adoptions, such as a home study.
Hague Convention and non-Convention countries: The United States and a number of other countries are signatories of the Hague Convention. The Convention has a number of guidelines and rules concerning international adoptions. You need to check whether the country you are planning to adopt from is a Convention or non-Convention country, as the rule for immigration and adoption differ for each. For example, if you are seeking to pass down immigration benefits, such as make the child a resident or citizen as well, immigration requires that an adoption take place in the Hague Convention country as well as the United States. Additionally, if you would like to pass on an immigration benefit to your adopted child through a family petition there are age requirements and residency requirements that will be considered. It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to avoid excluding the child from receiving the benefit due to their age or lack of residency.
Cultural and language barriers: You need to be aware that if you decide to adopt a child from another country, there might be cultural barriers that could make getting information and communicating with the required officials and the child a bit difficult. Also, if English is not a common or primary language in the country you plan to adopt a child from, chances are that the child and the officials may not understand English that well or at all. You need to be prepared for such an eventuality and proceed accordingly.
International adoptions can be complicated. If you are ready to go through the adoption process, feel free to call our office at (305) 615-1005 and schedule a consultation. We would love to help you navigate through the international adoption process.
At JP Law Group, we help families create their new beginnings.