Requirements for Adopting Overseas

Adoption is an absolutely wonderful process that provides a nurturing, loving environment for a child who may otherwise have lived without such core necessities of life.

Many individuals and couples yearn to adopt from outside the United States, and bring the child back to their home in the San Fernando Valley. In order to accomplish this, you they must first meet the requirements to adopt under U.S. adoption law.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency responsible for making this determination. If you hope to adopt a child overseas, you will not be able to bring him or her into the United States until you have been given the green light by USCIS.

Meeting the National Requirements

If you are planning on adopting a foreign-born child and bringing him or her back to the United States, you must first meet the following requirements:

  • You have to be a U.S. citizen.
  • If you are not married, you must be at least 25-years of age.
  • If you are married, you and your spouse must jointly adopt the child, and your spouse must be a U.S. citizen, or they must be in legal status in the U.S.
  • You must pass a criminal background check, you must be fingerprinted, and you must submit to a home study.

In addition to meeting the national requirements to adopt a child from outside the U.S., you must also meet California's state requirements for prospective adoptive parents.

Three Processes for International Adoption

There are three different process for prospective parents to immigrate an adopted child, these include: Hague adoptions, orphan adoptions (non-Hague), and immigrating other adopted children.

To learn more about these processes, we urge you to contact Cutter & Lax. We can discuss these following adoption forms, and how they might apply to your specific case:

  • Form I-800 A and I-800
  • Form I-600A and I-600
  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

A special note: If you are adopting from a Hague Convention country, there may be certain restrictions that may prevent your child from immigrating to the United States. It is important to become fully informed about the adoption laws in the country where you wish to adopt before beginning the adoption process.

If you are planning an international adoption, contact Cutter & Lax to get connected with an experienced Encino adoption attorney. We can be reached at (818) 839-2533.