If you’ve decided to pursue adoption as a way to build or start a family, pursuing a child internationally can be a great option. In many countries, the process is extremely stream-lined, with fairly predictable timelines, so you have a pretty good sense of when you’ll have a child. In addition, once you’re home with your child, there’s almost no possibility that you’ll ever run into the birthparents, or that your child will want to seek them out.
But there are some unique components to the international adoption process. Here’s what you can expect to get the process moving forward.
Immigration Documents that Need to Be Completed
Before anything happens, you’ll want to complete and file both the Form I-600a (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) and the Form I-800a (Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country). These forms are filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once you have submitted these forms, you will be investigated by the USCIS and will be fingerprinted. You’ll also want to obtain or update your passport, if necessary.
Once these requests are approved, you’ll receive an I-171/I797H letter, which gives your adopted child permission to legally enter the United States. The embassy in the country from which you will be adopting will also be notified of your impending adoption. You should also receive your referral (information about the specific child proposed for your adoption).
If you accept the referral, you’ll then have two more documents to complete before you can pick up your child—the Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, and an Affidavit of Support, showing how you will provide for the financial needs of the child.
Contact Our Office
To set up an appointment, call us in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150 or by e-mail. For clients with personal injury or workers’ compensation claims, we offer a free initial consultation, and will represent you on a contingency basis, only charging attorney fees if we recover compensation for you.
Our offices are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments may be arranged upon request. We will also come to your home or the hospital, if necessary.