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Adopting a Relative Child Internationally
Written by Nancy S
on May 27, 2016


Are you considering adopting internationally? Here are the steps to help you understand the process.  International adoption does not have to overwhelming just take it one step at a time and you will soon be welcoming your child home. 


The Steps to Adopting Internationally:


Home Study Investigation - this must be conducted by a licensed/authorized and Hague Accredited adoption agency in the state where you reside.  


  • If your international adoption placement agency (Primary Provider) is in the State where you live, you may use this agency to conduct thehome study.  However, many families use an international adoption placement agency that is in another State.  In this case you will need to find an adoption agency within their State to complete the study. 


Selection of a Primary Provider / International Adoption Placement Agency - to adopt a foreign-born orphan you will need to work with an International Adoption Placement Agency (aka Primary Provider) that has the authority to work in the country from which you wish to adopt and that has achieved Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. 


Citizenship & Immigration Services Pre-approval - all prospective adoptive parents must apply to Citizenship & Immigration Services(via forms I-600A or I-800A) to be pre-qualified to adopt a foreign born orphan.  Your home study investigation report is part of this application. You must be approved to adopt a foreign orphan by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service prior to applying to adopt from the foreign country. 


Submission of Dossier to Foreign Country - every prospective adoptive family must submit a dossier - collection of documents that constitutes your application for adoption - to the foreign country.  Your dossier may include documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificate, medical reports, criminal clearances, home study report, pictures, etc. 


The Wait - then the hardest part - the wait for a referral of a child(ren).  The wait varies with the country, the age of child, the number of children, and the health and developmental status of the child.  Currently the longest wait is for a healthy young child and the shortest wait is for an older child or a child with special needs. 


The Referral - your International Adoption Placement Agency (Primary Provider) will present a child(ren) to your family for consideration.  You may receive a picture(s) of the child, a medical report, and a developmental assessment of the child.  It is strongly recommended that you have a pediatrician with expertise in international adoption medicine to review the child's referral before you make a decision regarding the child's adoption.  Your International Adoption Placement Agency must give you two weeks in which to make your decision regarding the referred child.


The Decision - after your careful consideration of the child, you will decide whether or not to adopt the child.  If you decide to commit to the child, you will proceed to adoption.  If you decide that you are not the right family for this child, your international adoption placement agency, will present you with another child in need of a family when another child is available.  All agencies involved in your inter-country adoption want you to be comfortable with the child you choose to adopt and prepared to parent the child.


The Adoption - you will travel to your child's country of origin to complete his/her adoption.  Your International Adoption Placement Agency will facilitate your trip and adoption.  


Immigration of the Child to the United States - After you adopt your child in the foreign country you will immigrate the child into the United States through the approval of a Citizenship and Immigration Services (via form I-600 or I-800) and the issuance of a Visa by the U.S. Embassy located in the child’s country of origin.


The Transition Home and Required Supervision - you and your new child(ren) will settle into a new life.  Most countries require that your adoption be supervised by an authorized/licensed and Hague Accredited adoption agency for a period after your arrival home to ensure that the child is safe and your family is adjusting well.  The specific requirements for supervision are dictated by your child’s country of origin and your International Adoption Placement Agency. 


Life Long Support for the Child & Family - as your family grows and your child develops you may have questions or need support.  Family Connections, Inc. supports families throughout the life of the child.  The agency has an annual picnic where adoptive families can connect and support each other and where kids from around the globe have fun and share their adoption experience.


If you are ready to build your family through adoption, we at Family Connections, Inc. would be glad to help you explore your adoption options.  We offer a free, no-obligation adoption consultation, you can click on the link below to request a consultation. Family Connections, Inc. is an authorized New York State adoption agency that has achieved Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation.   You can contact Renee or Anita at 607-756-6574 or 1-800-535-5556 or info@adoptfamilyconnections.org.


 Click Here to Download Your Free  Guide to International Adoption!

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