Adopting a baby from another country can require a few extra steps beyond what's required for U.S adoptions. Every country has their own standards for the adoptive parents to meet, and some of the rules and requirements can be strange and confusing. Most countries, however, want adoptive parents who can provide a stable and healthy home for the child, something most families are well-prepared to provide. However, once the adoptive country has given you the go-ahead to bring your precious new family member back to the United States, there are a few more legal hurdles to overcome. Read on to learn more about the Visa requirements for foreign adoptions.
You child must have a Visa to enter the United States, and the type of Visa issued depends on the country that the child is coming from and where the adoption proceedings were completed. You will be issued an IR-3 if your child is coming from a non-Hague Convention country, or an IH-3 for Hague Convention countries, if the adoptions proceedings were completed prior to leaving those countries. These types of Visas will enable your child to become a United States citizen upon entrance to the country (at the border crossing or once you clear customs at the airport). An official document will follow a few weeks later, allowing you to apply for a birth certificate.
For those parents who complete the final steps of the adoption process here in the U.S., an IH-4 is issued for those children coming from Hague Convention countries and an IR-4 for non-Hague Convention countries. These types of Visas require that you complete the adoption proceedings using the U.S. court system and you will also be required to apply for the Certificate of Citizenship separately.
Order of Adoption
It's recommended that all parents go through the United State courts to adopt or re-adopt children adopted in foreign countries. Many states do not legally recognize adoptions from foreign countries, which could be problematic if your child's citizenship comes under question. In some cases, states that don't recognize foreign adoptions could deport your child if they are convicted of a felony or it can complicate inheritance issues.
If you are considering adopting a child from a foreign country, contact a family law attorney, such as Patton Hoversten & Berg PA, as soon as possible to help you get through the sometimes complicated process. Having professional legal assistance at this time means that you can focus on welcoming your new addition, and not getting lost in a sea of red tape.
We all know that lawyers are professionals who help people interpret and work with the law, but do you know how a law firm works from the inside out? I am a professional paralegal, and I have worked in both large and small law firms during my career. I can tell you that a successful law firm needs more than just lawyers to keep it running smoothly, and sometimes things can get really crazy! Take a tour through a law firm in my blog, and find out what really goes on behind the scenes of an active and successful law firm.