Adopting a child is always a delicate process, whether you are doing it domestically or internationally. When the adoption is an “intercountry” adoption, however, the process can be more complex. The journey by which a child is adopted from another county will depend on the country from which the child is being adopted. Among the options available to adult U.S. citizens who are looking to adopt internationally are the Hague process, the Orphan Process (aka the Non-Hague Process), and the Immediate Relative Petition Process.
When the non-Hague Orphan Process is established as the right method of international adoption for you, there are many aspects that will need to be reviewed and understood before the adoption can officially be brought under way. As long-time New York City immigration lawyers, at Pozo Goldstein, LLP we recognize the weight that an adoption can carry, and we are sensitive to the promise that it can hold for the parents who wish to utilize it. Below, you can find extensive information about the Orphan Process of adoption as it could apply to you. We encourage you to contact our office if you have additional questions.
As defined by United States immigration law, an orphan is any foreign-born child who falls into one of the following categories:
Defining the children whose conditions qualify them for adoption through the Orphan Process is only the first step in a slew of procedures that must be met. In addition, the adult U.S. citizens who wish to participate in an international adoption must also meet a certain set of criteria in order to take advantage of this program. If you wish to immigrate an adopted child through the Orphan Process you must be able to prove the following:
Additionally, if the child is being adopted abroad, the U.S. citizen(s) who is proceeding with the process must establish that they saw the child in person either before or during the adoption proceedings. If you are waiting until the child has been brought into the U.S. to complete the adoption process, then you must take the appropriate steps to permissibly have the child taken out of his or her country of birth and brought into the U.S.
A standard part of the Orphan Adoption Process is to conduct an overseas investigation of the situation. At some point during the process of this type of adoption case, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – or possibly the Department of State (DOS) – will conduct a systematic investigation overseas. The intension behind this investigation is to confirm that the child up for adoption is in fact an orphan according to the definition established by U.S. immigration law.
Additional aspects that will be looked for during the overseas investigation process include verifying that a valid adoption or grant of custody has been obtained by the adopter(s); determining any special needs that the orphan child might have; confirming that the child is free from any illness or disability that was not previously identified in the orphan petition; and identifying any facts that would show that the child does not qualify for immigration as an adoptee.
Moving forward with the adoption Orphan Process is best done under the direction of a legal professional. When you are guided by an attorney who is skilled in matters of this nature, you can approach the situation with the confidence you need to be successful in your efforts. From filing the correct forms, to taking the necessary steps before travelling abroad, an attorney can help you skillfully navigate your way through the process in the most effective way possible.