There are three different ways that you can immigrate the child that you have adopted internationally into the United States. It is also important to understand that in addition to abiding by the United States federal law, you must also follow the laws of the country where your child was born, and the laws of the state or territory that you live in currently. Whether your adoption is a Hague adoption, the adoption of an orphan or the immigration of other adopted children, it is important to be aware of the laws that are in place.

75 countries were involved in The Hague Adoption Convention, which is an international treaty enacted in 2008 to protect the adopted children, adoptive parents and birth parents that are involved in an international adoption. When you are planning on starting the international adoption process, it is important to visit the United States Intercountry Adoption website to determine whether or not the country is a part of The Hague Convention and if there are any restrictions that remain in place that may impact who you can adopt.

Under The Hague Convention, there are more processes that prospective parents must go through in order to meet the requirements to adopt a child internationally. Some of those include 10 hours of parent education, the child’s country of origin is responsible for determining whether or not the child is adoptable and your adoption service provider must be licensed in the state of residence as well as be accredited by the Department of State.

In non-Hague Convention countries, the restrictions are a little more lenient. For example, the adoption service provider doesn’t have to be approved by the Department of State and the child’s medical records are not required to be provided to prospective parents by their country of origin.

Depending on whether or not the child is being adopted from a Hague Convention participant determines the forms that must be filled out. Either way, the child must obtain a United States visa before they are brought over. In order to grant citizenship for the child you have adopted internationally, the adopted child must live in the full custody of the parent who is an American citizen, the adoption must be finalized and the child was admitted to the United States legally under permanent resident conditions.

If you are in need of legal counsel, please contact The Penichet Firm and we will be happy to assist you in your family and criminal law matters.