First, you must choose an accredited adoption service provider. Only accredited agencies can provide adoption services between the U.S. and other Hague countries. In addition to helping you find a child for adoption, these agencies can also help you secure the parental rights and perform a home study for the Department of Homeland Security. They will also provide you with background on the the child and help determine if this adoption is in the child’s best interest.
Next, you mus be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. government. Fill out the Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country and file it with the USCIS; the home study form the first step should also be submitted.
The third step is to be referred to a child. The adoption service provider will send your I-800A and home study form to the foreign country’s central adoption authority. The foreign country will help match you with a child and make sure that the legal custodian of that child consents to adoption. This information will be included in a report which will be sent to you. This report will also contain the child’s birth certificate and a copy of the consent given by the legal custodians of the child. Information concerning the child’s medical and social history will also be included.
Fourthly, you must apply for the child to be eligible for immigration to the U.S. Notify the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for provisional approval to adopt that particular child. A child being adopted from one of the countries participating in the Hague Adoption Process must be certified as a Convention adoptee in order to immigrate; the I-800 or Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative is the form you need to complete this requirement. Your application will receive provisional approval if all the requirements are met and the ASP will send a visa application to a Consular Officer at the U.S. embassy of the home country of the child.
The next step in the Hague Adoption Process is to gain legal custody of the child after completing the prior steps. The process for gaining legal custody of a child varies from country to country. The United States Inter-country Adoption site contains information for each respective country.
Finally, you need to obtain an immigrant visa for the child. This involves applying for a new birth certificate for your child, getting a passport from the child’s country of citizenship, and procuring a U.S. passport for the child as well.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.