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parents and adopted child: Adopting a Foreign Born Child

New Immigration Guidance For Adopting a Foreign Born Child

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as issued new guidance on adopting a foreign born child. The USCIS Policy Manual has been updated effective June 14, 2024 to provide clearer guidelines for prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child through the Hague Adoption Convention.

Updates On How to Adopt a Child under the Hague Adoption Convention

  • Explain eligibility for foreign-born children to be adopted via the Hague process.
  • Emphasize the required order of steps for both immigration and adoption. This clarifies that legal custody or adoption for emigration purposes shouldn’t occur before completing certain Hague process steps.
  • Provide clearer requirements for adoption service providers, including using a primary provider and addressing situations where accreditation is lost.

This update reinforces USCIS’s commitment to the Hague Adoption Convention’s principles and safeguards, prioritizing the well-being of children throughout the adoption process.

Adoption Based Immigration

There are 3 ways for a child to immigrate to the United States based on adoption:

  1. Hague Process: Applies to children adopted from countries that follow the Hague Adoption Convention. Children enter the US with an IH-3 visa (adoption finalized in Hague country) or IH-4 visa (adoption finalized in US).
  2. Non-Hague Process: Applies to children adopted from countries not following the Hague Adoption Convention. Children enter the US with an IR-3 visa (adoption finalized in non-Hague country with pre-adoption meeting) or IR-4 visa (adoption finalized in US).
  3. Immediate Relative Process: Applies to adopted children who don’t qualify for Hague or non-Hague processes. US citizen parents can petition for them using Form I-130. Requires 2 years of legal and physical custody before filing, and adoption must be finalized before the child turns 16 (or 18 for a sibling). Eligible children receive an IR-2 visa.

Do You Have Immigration Questions About Adopting a Foreign Born Child?

Adoptive parents must comply with all USCIS guidelines and be approved by USCIS to bring a foreign-born adopted child into the United States, including the adoption of a child relative. International adoption and family-based immigration can be confusing and overwhelming. An experienced family immigration lawyer can help smooth out the process and prevent unnecessary delays and denials.

Learn More About Adopting A Foreign Born Child

Do You Have Questions About Immigration?

If you have questions about immigration or your status, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Illinois. Please contact our office or call us at 630-345-4164.

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