The Non-Convention Adoption Process is for U.S. citizens who want to adopt a child from a country that is not involved in the Hague Convention.

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The first thing you should do in the Non-Convention Adoption Process is to get an attorney or lawyer with experience in these matters. This process can be complicated and having help is recommended. You’ll also need to get someone who is licensed to perform home studies.  Find a qualified adoption service provider to help you in this process.  

Secondly, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must deem you eligible to adopt.  You must submit Form I-600A: Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition as well as the home study form to the USCIS.  You must also include your proof of citizenship, proof of your marriage with your spouse if applicable, proof of any divorce if applicable, and a filing fee of $670. Your spouse should also be fingerprinted as part of this process.  

The third step in the Non-Convention Adoption Process is to be referred to a child who is considered an orphan under U.S. immigration law. Bear in mind that the child’s home country’s laws and regulations will govern parts of this process, making it more important to find a lawyer to help you.   

At this point, you may adopt the child. The procedure differs from country to country. You might have to appear in the court of the foreign country to be granted the right to adopt the child, though  more information about each country’s adoption policy can be found at the U.S. Intercountry Adoption website.  Be prepared to spend an extended amount of time in a foreign country to complete the adoption documents.

Next, apply for the child’s immigration to the U.S.  You must file I-600: Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office.  You must also include the child’s Birth Certificate, a final decree of adoption or proof of legal custody, proof of orphan status, and proof that the pre-adoption requirements have been met.  You’ll have to prove that you have met the child before the adoption process. Although there is a $670 filing fee for a second child, there will be no fee if you are adopting just one child.  

Finally, you must get an immigrant visa for your child. The U.S. allows the adoption and immigration of children under 16, though there are two exceptions to this rule.  Biological siblings of a child adopted by the same family can also be adopted if they are under 18 years old and if the I-600 petition was filed before their 16th birthday.  The visa will be valid for 180 days, giving the child 180 days to immigrate.  Keep in mind there are two types of visas that the child could be issued.  IR-3 visas are for orphans who have a full and final adoption by both adopting parents.  The parents must have seen them before or during the adoption process.  Their state must also not require re-adoption. The other is the IR-4 visa, which is for orphans who have adopting parents with legal custody and who will oversee the child's emigration and adoption and have fulfilled all the prerequisites, but have not seen the child yet.

Get Started Ask a lawyer Ask a lawyer your adoption questions. We'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Get Started Ask a lawyer Ask a lawyer your adoption questions. We'll get back to you within 24 hours.