For those seeking to adopt a child, we at the Ranchod Law Group in Sacramento and Stockton, know that it can be a daunting experience. The road of international adoption can be especially complicated and tricky.
Who is Considered an Orphan by the USCIS?
A foreign-born orphan is defined by the USCIS as a child who no longer has parents due to various situations, including the death, abandonment, separation, desertion or disappearance of both parents. The foreign-born child is also considered an orphan if he or she has a sole or surviving parent who can no longer provide for the child. In order for the child to be considered an orphan in this case, the parent must release the child for adoption and immigration in a written, irrevocable petition. The petition must be filed prior to the child’s 16th birthday or before his/her 18th birthday if the child is the sibling of an adopted or orphaned child and is adopted by the same parents that adopted their sibling.
Who May File a Petition for International Adoption?
A petition to adopt a foreign-born orphan may be filed by a U.S. citizen who is married and their spouse or an unmarried citizen who is at minimum 25 years old. If a married person files an adoption petition, there is no age restriction for the adoptive parent. The spouse does not need to be a U.S. citizen but they do need to be in the country legally.
How Long Does the Process Take?
The timeframe varies depending upon which nation the child is being adopted from, the number of families petitioning to adopt and the number of eligible children. On average the process for adopting a foreign-born child takes about 18 months.
The process of adopting a foreign-born child involves legal paperwork, various meetings with officials and representatives and planning. Potential adoptive parents experience anxiety, frustration and confusion as they go through the process. A good lawyer with international adoption experience can be a valuable asset. Please contact the Ranchod Law Group in Sacramento or Stockton, if you have any questions or needs when it comes to the adoption of foreign-born children. We represent clients throughout the United States. To schedule a consultation contact us at (916) 613-3553 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.