Many compassionate American couples are motivated to adopt a child born overseas. But keep in mind that international adoption can be a very complex process. In fact, if you’re considering the adoption of a child from another country, you should seek the services of an experienced immigration attorney.
A good immigration lawyer is familiar with the immigration process and can help you understand and navigate your way through the system. Depending on your child’s particular circumstances, you’ll follow one of three “paths” to bring your child into the U.S.
Adoption via Hague Process
The first path is called the “Hague Process” and applies to children from nations that have signed onto the Hague Adoption Convention. You’ll have to file USCIS Forms I-800A and I-800, and your child will enter the United States with an IH-3 immigrant visa (if you adopted your child in his or her nation of origin) or an IH-4 immigrant visa (if the adoption is finalized in the United States).
Adoption via Non-Hague Process
The second path is the “Non-Hague Process” for children from any nation that has not signed onto the Hague Adoption Convention. You’ll have to file USCIS Forms I-600A and/or I-800, and your child will enter the United States with an IR-3 immigrant visa (if you adopted your child in his or her nation of origin) or an IR-4 immigrant visa (if the adoption is finalized in the United States).
Adoption via Petition for Alien Relative
A third path is available if your child doesn’t meet requirements for the Hague or non-Hague processes. You can file USCIS Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your child’s behalf. To pursue this path, you must have physical custody of the child for two years, and the adoption must be legally finalized prior to filing the I-130.
The adoption process must be completed before your child’s 16th birthday (or 18th birthday if he or she is the sibling of another child you have adopted or will adopt). If eligible, the child will then receive an IR-2 immigrant visa.
Seek Legal Help
Certain legal restrictions will apply, regardless of your child’s nation of origin. If you are adopting (or thinking about adopting) a child born overseas, the help and counsel of an experienced immigration attorney is almost imperative.
You’ll want to spend quality time with your child as quickly as possible; misunderstandings and improperly completed paperwork can only delay the process. To help you expedite the immigration process, have your questions answered, and assure that your forms and paperwork are properly completed, contact a good immigration lawyer as soon as possible.
Sam Shihab & Associates Can Help
If you are an immigrant with any questions or concerns regarding your status, visa, green card application, or any other legal matter, speak at once to an experienced Columbus immigration attorney. A good immigration lawyer can help you and your family with any immigration issue you face and defend you if you’re accused of violating immigration law.
Our immigration attorneys will review your forms and applications for thoroughness and accuracy. Immigration laws will continually change, but an experienced immigration attorney will always be able to give you the most up-to-date legal advice you need.
Contact us today!