• International Adoption

    international adoption legal helpSome parents may choose to adopt internationally because sometimes it is less expensive than adopting within the United States and also because, lately, there has been a reduction of children in the United States that are available to adopt.

    International adoption is a private legal action between the prospective adoptive parents and the foreign court of the child’s country, which operates under that particular country’s laws. Because of this, the United States’ authorities are not permitted to intervene with this process.

    However, the United States Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Service in the Department of Homeland Security sets forth adoption requirements in order to bring an adopted child into the United States. It is strongly encouraged to keep several copies of each document in the procedure. This process is necessary to protect the interests of all parties including the child, adoptive parents and birth parents.

    The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act is the US immigration law regarding the issuance of visas to nationals of other countries, including children adopted abroad or coming to the United States for adoption. INA section 101 (b)(1)(E) is the section for children adopted abroad. It provides immigrant classification for a child while under the age of 16 years if the child has been in the legal custody of and has resided with the adopting parent or parents for at least 2 years.

    This two-year provision is for prospective adoptive parents that are temporarily residing out of the United States and are adopting a child in accordance with the foreign state of the child. Although some prospective adoptive parents make this move for the transition of the child, most individuals are unable to move abroad for this two-year period. The statute applicable to these individuals is INA Section 101(b)(1)(F). This section grants immigrant classification to orphans who have been adopted or will be adopted by U.S. citizens. Here the two-year living abroad requirement is eliminated but both the child and adoptive parent must satisfy all INA requirements. After these requirements are met the child will be issued a visa to travel to the United States.

    International adoption is governed by three separate entities, which include United States federal adoption laws, the law in the county where the child is born, and the state laws in which the adoptive parents wish to reside with the adopted child.

    Adoption Costs:

    Adopting a child can be very expensive, costing as much as $40,000. The adoption process carries fees for both home study expenses and legal fees. The home study process is a requirement for all adoptive parents. This process insures that the adoptive parents and child are a good match for each other. The adoptive parents pay this cost. Home study fees usually range from $1,000 to $3,000 when completed by an agency or a social worker. Sometimes these charges are just included in the overall agency fee.

    Legal fees are also present since all domestic adoptions and some international adoptions must be finalized in a court in the United States. However, some international adoptions are finalized in the country the child is born in. These particular court fees range from $500 to $2,000 and additional fees are present for legal representation.

    The Hague Adoption Convention:

    The Hague Adoption Convention is an international adoption treaty that ensures the best treatment for the adoptive child, adoptive parents, and birth parents; all parties that are involved in the international adoption process. This treaty was enacted in April of 2008. For a child to be considered a Hague Convention adoptee, there is criteria that must be met. The child must be under the age of 16 when Form I-800 is filed, reside in a country that is part of the Hague convention, be eligible for adoption by the country of residence, and also have the necessary consent from the country of residence.

    The Non-Hague Adoption:

    A Non-Hague adoption is referred to as an orphan adoption. An orphan is a child who was not born in the United States and either both parents are deceased or disappeared abandoned or disserted the child by separation.
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