How Can You Adopt a Child From a Treaty Country?
The Hague Adoption Convention allows American families to adopt children from other countries. The convention simultaneously protects children from trafficking, exploitation and other abuses. Families looking to adopt a child from a Hague country must meet certain criteria to ensure that the child will be safe in their new homes.
What Is The Hague Adoption Convention?
The Hague Convention is short for the “Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.” It was created in 1993 in the Netherlands as an international law to protect children during international adoption and is one of many laws by the Convention.
When prospective parents wish to adopt a child through intercountry adoption, they are required to meet certain criteria. The Hague Convention aims to match children with the best potential families.
What Are the Benefits of Adopting a Child from a Hague Country?
Certain countries are considered Hague-accredited. When a child is available for adoption from one of those countries, families in their birth country have first priority to offer them a home. However, if it’s impossible for these children to be adopted in their home countries, American families can adopt them as long as they meet certain criteria.
There are notable benefits of adopting a child from a Hague country. Adoption through The Hague Adoption Convention offers families more resources. There is a specific established process in place for adoption and decisions are made quickly so that families know whether they have the opportunity to adopt. The family is also provided with all medical and social information about the child they plan on adopting. They also get access to an international adoption doctor.
Children get to benefit by being adopted by loving families. Through Hague Convention adoption, children are also able to be protected against potential trafficking.
What Is the Criteria for Adopting a Child from a Hague Country?
Prospective parents wishing to adopt a child from a Hague country must meet strict requirements. A New Jersey adoption attorney can assist you with information to help the process along. The following requirements should be met:
• Prospective parents must be United States citizens who live in the U.S.
• Those adopting as a couple must both sign Form I-800A.
• Prospective parents who are unmarried must be at least 24 years old upon signing Form I-800A and 25 when filing Form I-800.
In addition to these basic requirements, you must also meet the criteria required from the country from which you wish to adopt. All countries have their own set of rules including the age of prospective parents, marital status of the parents, sexual orientation of the parents and age difference between the parents and child.
Parents are also required to take a 10-hour pre-adoption course for adopting a child from a Hague Convention country. This helps to educate parents on the child’s history and special needs. For example, some children have a history of trauma.
How Does the Adoption Process Work?
When you decide to go with intercountry adoption through a Hague country, there are three sets of laws to follow: United States federal law, state law and the laws of the child’s country of origin. Parents wishing to adopt should expect the process to take one to four years depending on the situation and country. However, the adoption process may take even longer in some circumstances. A New Jersey adoption attorney can help make the process as smooth as possible.
There are eligibility criteria for children from Hague countries being adopted. The following must be in place for adoption to be possible:
• The child is younger than 16 when Form I-800 is filed or under 18 and a sibling of a child younger than 16 who has been or will be adopted by the same parents.
• The child will be adopted by a married couple where both spouses are at least 25 years old and at least one spouse is a U.S. citizen who has resided in the U.S. and the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has found that couple suitable to adopt.
• The Central Authority of the child’s home country has determined that the child is eligible for intercountry adoption and has proposed placement that was accepted but the child hasn’t yet been placed in custody.
• The child’s birth parent or parents or other legal guardian has given consent to the adoption and agreed to terminate their parental or guardianship rights.
• The child’s birth parents are considered incapable of caring for the child if they signed the consent form to give up the child for adoption.
If you live in New Jersey or Pennsylvania and are interested in adopting internationally through The Hague Convention, contact one of the New Jersey adoption attorneys at Cofsky & Zeidman by calling us (856) 429-5005 at your earliest convenience.