What is Intercountry Adoption
Intercountry adoption is the process by which you:
- Adopt a child from a different country than your own through permanent legal means; and
- Bring that child to your home country to live with you permanently.
Through intercountry adoption, the legal transfer of parental rights from birth parent(s) to another parent(s) takes place. Over the last decade, U.S. families have adopted on average approximately 20,000 children from foreign nations each year.
Adoption: The judicial or administrative act that establishes a permanent legal parent-child relationship between a minor and an adult who is not already the minor's legal parent and terminates the legal parent-child relationship between the adoptive child and any former parent(s).
Generally speaking, to qualify as an adoption for immigration purposes, the adopted child has the same rights and privileges as a child by birth (such as inheritance rights, etc.). "Simple", "conditional", or "limited" adoptions, such as those conducted under Islamic Family Law in some countries, are more accurately described as guardianship and are not considered adoptions for U.S. immigration purposes.
The Hague Convention
On April 1, 2008, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) went into force for the United States. It establishes important standards and safeguards to protect intercountry adoptions. These protections apply to you if you choose to adopt from a country that is also party to the Convention. Your adoption will be known as a Convention adoption. It will be important early on to determine if you wish to pursue a Convention adoption.