With the decrease in the number of children available for adoption in the United States, more and more U.S. citizens are turning to international adoption as another option. International adoption gives orphans the possibility of being adopted by US citizens, which leads to more opportunities and a brighter future. However, U.S. authorities cannot intervene on behalf of prospectiveparents with the courts in the country where the adoption takes place; it's a private legal matter between an individual or couple and a foreign court, which operates under that country's laws and regulations.
A child adopted by a U.S. citizen and who will reside in the U.S. must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. There are two categories of adopted children that canimmigrate to the United States.
Unscrupulous adoption practices are common in many areas of the world. Moreover, adoption of a foreign-born child does not guarantee the child's eligibility to immigrate to the United States. The adoptive parent must comply with the US immigration law and legal regulatory procedures. There is no way an orphan can legally immigrate to the U.S. without USCISprocessing.
USCIS regulations require that all foreign adoptions undergo an investigation to guarantee compliance with the laws of both the US and foreign sending country. When necessary, an overseas investigation is initiated. This investigation is conducted by a Department of State consular officer or an USCIS officer for those posts where USCIS has an office. The officer will make every effort toexpedite the investigation; however, the process can sometimes be lengthy. This investigation can cause delays in adjudicating the case. Prospective adoptive parents are advised to retain a reputable agency with foreign adoption experience or competent legal representation in their efforts to bring foreign-born children to the United States. The purpose of the investigation is to confirm that thechild is an orphan as defined in the US immigration law, and the child does not have an illness or disability that is not described in the orphan petition.
The U.S. citizen should contact an adoption agency overseas through the U.S. agency, which will select a child for him/her according to his/her preferences. Once an orphan is selected, the foreign adoption agency will also apply forguardianship of the orphan on behalf of the U.S. citizen petitioner and act as the child's attorney. When the final guardianship order has been obtained, the prospective parent may file an I-600 petition at the USCIS office.
When the petition is approved, the USCIS office cables the approval to the appropriate U.S. embassy/consulate. On receipt of the telegraphic approval, or the approved petition,the embassy/consulate notifies the concerned foreign adoption agency, which will start the visa application process for the child, with his/her foreign passport. A visa cannot be issued to the orphan without a passport.
Child Citizenship Act of 2000
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows certain foreign-born, biological and adopted children of U.S. citizens to acquire U.S. citizenshipautomatically. These children did not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth, but they are granted citizenship when they enter the U.S. as lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
International adoption (also referred to as intercountry adoption or transnational adoption) is a type of adoption in which an individual or couple becomes the legal and permanent parents of a child that is a national of a differentcountry. In general, prospective adoptive parents must meet the legal adoption requirements of their country of residence and those of the country whose nationality the child holds.
International Adoption is not the same thing as Transcultural or Interracial Adoption.
The laws of different countries vary in their willingness to allow international adoptions. Some countries, such as China and...