International Adoption Lawyers

International Adoption Lawyers

            International adoption, also known as intercountry adoption, is the process of adopting a child from one country by adoptive parents from another country.  This area of immigration law is regulated by the U.S. Department of State and is facilitated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services “USCIS.”

            This means that all intercountry adoption applications must be submitted to USCIS for initial approval. However, final approval is determined by the adoptive child’s consulate, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of State. The consulate’s role in each specific country is to determine whether your application adheres to the adoptive child’s country’s specific rules and regulations governing international adoption.

            For example, India has an age requirement in which prospective parents must be at least 30 years old and no more than 55 years of age. India also requires that married couples seeking to adopt have been in a stable relationship for at least 5 years.  China has specific financial and health requirements. This requires that at least one of the prospective parents earn at least $10,000 for each family member in the household and that both prospective parents are physically and mentally fit. Russia is one of the most popular countries to adopt from and it also has the least stringent requirements for prospective parents.

            USCIS provides three different ways to complete the intercountry adoption process. This process is governed by the laws of the where the adoptive child resides as well as the laws of the adoptive parents. When the child’s home country is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention Treaty, the prospective parents must apply for adoption through USCIS’s Hague Process.  The prospective parents must complete the I-800A and I-800 forms as well as consulate forms.

            The purpose of the Hague Convention was to strengthen the protections for children, birth parents, and prospective adoptive parents by establishing internationally agreed upon rules and procedures for adoptions between participating countries. The United States joined the treaty on April 1, 2008.  A prospective parent from the United States will follow the Hague process if the child’s adoptive country is a Hague Convention country.

            If the adoptive country is not signed to the Hague convention, the adoptive parents must follow USCIS’s Non-Hague Adoption process, also known as the application to adopt an orphan. The prospective parents then must follow the guidelines under USCIS’s I-600A and I-600 form.

            USCIS’s third adoption process applies to only green card holders who choose to bring an adoptive child from their own native country. This does not follow under the Hague or Non-Hague adoption process because it is not an intercountry adoption. Prospective parents who fit under this category should follow USCIS’s I-130 Family Based Petition process. Note: this process requires the prospective parent(s) to reside in the adoptive child’s country for at least two years. 

             In summary and for your convenience, USCIS's three international adoption procedures are the following: 

        1. Hague Convention Adoption;
        2. Adopting an Orphan from a Non-Hague Convention Country; and 
        3. Family Based Petitions for U.S. Green Card Holders.

             At Gupta & Trujillo, our immigration lawyers are passionate international adoption advocates. We believe that nothing is more rewarding than assisting a parent or parents with the journey of growing their family for the purpose of providing a child in need with a loving, nurturing, and healthy environment. 

Law Offices of Ramon Trujillo assists clients with Immigration and Criminal Defense in Orange, Irvine, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Tustin, Placentia, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Brea, Stanton, Fountain Valley, Midway City, Costa Mesa, Westminster and throughout all of Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, the Inland Empire, and San Diego County.

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