Adopting a child from another country can be a challenging experience. Anywhere from a few months to approximately a year after being approved for becoming adopting parents the couple applying to adopt an infant from another country will be matched with a child. In some countries the families will be directly involved in this step of the adoption process by visiting orphanages and viewing photo listings of waiting children.
Infant Requirements For Inter-country Adoption
Once a there has been a match the adoptive parents will receive a packet of information called a referral. In this information packet there will usually be a photo of the infant for adoption as well as the child’s health information and status. Ample time will be given for the couple to review the referral and make a decision as to whether they would like to pursue the adoption of this particular child or wait for another match.
Before making the decision, it is important to review the documents with health officials you trust, social workers and anybody else who may have professional knowledge relating to the information received. It is much better to stop the adoption process before actually meeting the child as this can reduce stress and emotional complications for the infant.
The two most important pieces of information that need to be scrutinized in the packet received are the orphan status and the health status of the infant waiting for adoption. Because of the complexity and variance of foreign adoption laws it is possible that the infant awaiting adoption doesn’t qualify as on orphan under U.S. law, thus, a visa will not be issued. Discuss any issues or concerns that may crop up with the adoption agency or an attorney.
Once a couple accepts a referral for the intercountry adoption, then the legal adoption or guardianship process begins. Again, in some countries this may mean traveling to the country of origin to finalize the adoption in their court of law. Yet in other countries the process can be handled and the adoption finalized in a U. S. court. Even though a trip may not be required, it is often advised to visit the country the adopted child is from for the purpose of becoming more acquainted to the culture and being able to better understand the circumstances surrounding the child’s life.
After the child has finally been brought home all that remains is to finalize the adoption process. This will mean fulfilling any remaining visa requirements depending upon the visa an adopted child entered the U.S. on. If the child entered the U.S. on an IR-4 visa the child’s adoption must be finalized in a U.S. court prior to securing citizenship. If the visa was an IR-3 visa then the child automatically became a U.S. citizen upon arriving in the country. The adoption agency or attorney directing the adoption will know what type of visa was issued.
Finally, be advised that some states do not recognize the decrees of foreign adoptions. When this occurs it is important to readopt in the state of residence once the child arrives in the U.S. After the adoption is proven to be legally accepted by all government agencies then it’s as simple as acquiring proof of citizenship documentation and a social security number.
The process of adopting an infant via intercountry adoption appears on the outside to be one of many hurdles to overcome. Yet, in the end the rewards of being an adoptive parent, rather, a parent will far outweigh the supposed tedium involved.