Adopting a child from a foreign country is governed from which country the child is adopted. There are two standards that define this type of adoption process. Countries that participated in the 2008 Hague Convention Process are governed by one set of rules, and those countries that did not, are governed by the Non-Hague Process.
In either instance, children adopted from foreign countries must be issued a United States visa before they can move or travel to the U.S. Those visas are issued at the embassy or consulate of the country where the child lives.
A child must be determined to be eligible to immigrate under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act before they can live in the United States. Adoption laws vary from country to country and so while it might be possible to adopt a child in a foreign country, they may not always be eligible to immigrate per U.S. laws.
Check Your Eligibility
Children adopted in a foreign country who are under 16 years old and who have been in the legal custody of their adoptive parents for at least two years may be eligible to receive an IR-2 immigrant visa. Most parents cannot satisfy this requirement and that is when the Hague and Non-Hague processes become relevant.
To complete the adoption and visa process for Hague Process participating countries, prospective parents must first choose an a United States accredited or approved adoption service provider. For each adoption, a primary provider must be identified, and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may serve as a primary provider.
Once the provider has been identified, the parents must apply to USCIS and file Form I-800A Determination on Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. This will allow USCIS to begin a background check, take fingerprints and establish the suitability of a prospective parent.
Parents must then apply to the child’s country of origin’s adoption authority to begin the adoption process and be matched with a child. If a child is available that meets the criteria the parents have been approved for, the parents will receive a referral on the child and it will be up to them to decide whether or not to accept the referral.
If the referral is accepted, then the parents must apply to the USCIS to get provisional approval to adopt the child. If the child is approved, the parents must submit a Form DS-260 which is an immigrant visa application.
Check Your Eligibility
If approved, this clears the way for the intercountry adoption to take place and after an interview, a visa will be granted to the child.