According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, thousands of U.S. citizens adopt children from other countries every year. Likewise, Americans residing abroad also adopt children from the States. The concept of intercountry adoption may seem intimidating, but it is possible and also worthwhile.
You may be considering intercountry adoption for any of the following reasons. The long and difficult adoption process in the U.S. may appear unfair or arbitrary. There might be fear of birth parents later interfering with the life of the adopted child. Whatever the case, it is important to know more about inter country adoption before beginning the journey.
Read on to find out five key things you need to know about intercountry adoption.
#1: Intercountry Adoption Is Regulated by Different Processes
Traditional adoption processes are governed by the U.S. government and related state agencies. On the other hand, intercountry adoption or “international adoption” is overseen by many different parties:
- The U.S. federal government (as the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services) and the existing adoption laws
- Agencies of the state or territory you live in
- The country from which you are adopting, and their adoption laws
- The Hague Adoption Convention
To successfully adopt a child from another country, you need to satisfy requirements and processes with accordance to the laws and treaties mentioned above.
It may seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, you can be guided by family law practitioners and international adoption agencies.
#2: Adoption Does Not Mean Automatic Citizenship
Children from abroad adopted by U.S. citizens are not automatically granted American citizenship. Both the adopted child and the adopting citizens need to meet requirements given under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The adopted child is issued a visa and considered an immigrant.
#3: Procedures Depend on the Type of International Adoption
An adoption can be considered a Hague adoption, which requires compliance with the new Hague rules. It may otherwise be classified as a Non-Hague Adoption (Orphan Adoption).
You can choose to adopt via a private, non-profit licensed international agency. The agency will handle most services and processes. Usually, at least one parent is required to go to the home country of the child to finalize matters. A family attorney can help prospective parents find the right agency.
An alternative to agencies is independent or parent-initiated adoption. This is often more difficult due to the paperwork and costs involved.
#4: Costs Can Be Cheaper or More Expensive
Depending on the requirements involved, the costs of international adoption can turn out to be cheaper than the local home adoption process.
Costs of intercountry adoption can include fees to the foreign agencies, logistical services like transportation and translation, document processing and certifications, visas, and charges for home study. There may also be court costs and other placing fees. This can range anywhere from $7000 to $30000 per adoption.
#5: There Are Many Legal and State Requirements for International Adoption
Prospective parents may be asked to appear in court in the U.S. and even in the child’s home country. In most adoption proceedings, parents must provide a variety of certified documents supporting their financial, emotional and mental ability.
The many legal and state requirements are best met systematically and completely. A family attorney can help you understand inter country adoption and can guide you towards the appropriate resources. Contact a trusted legal professional team today!
Written by Bandre, Hunt and Snider in Jefferson City, MO. Bandre, Hunt and Snider are the best attorneys Jefferson City MO have to offer.