Under International adoption, an individual or couple voluntary come forward to be the legal and permanent parents of a child or children who belong to a different country. The prospective parents who intend to adopt the child must mandatorily meet the legal adoption requirements of the country in which they reside and also of the country to which the child belongs. Each country has its own designated laws with respect to International adoptions.
For example, in the majority of the countries, the prospective parents need to get approval for adoption from a state agency only while in some countries, approval can be availed even from a private adoption agency as well. Depending on the country, the time taken for this process differs.
How does it work in the United States?
In the United States, the first step is to select a licensed adoption agency. Attorney assistance is of primary importance. Each attorney or agency is designated different set of countries to focus on. As per the U.S. law there are two processes that govern the system: the Hague convention process and the non-Hague convention process. According to the Hague convention which is a foreign treaty, the agency must be recognized by the U.S. government.
Since the inter-country adoption process is pretty complex, it is always a good idea to work with an agency or adoption service provider. Choosing a qualified service provider is extremely important and more importantly, you need to do all the ground work before you select your agency. It is good to talk to other parents who have adopted internationally on what process they followed and how easy or tough it was for them.
A questionnaire is prepared which requires the parents to produce detailed information on financial information, background check, fingerprints, home review, report from the adoptive parents’ doctor that they are fit and healthy and other required details. This process varies from country to country. Once the information is gathered and duly filled in by the parents, it is submitted to the concerned authorities in the child’s country of residence.
After the documents are reviewed by the authorities and approval of adoption is granted to the parents, the details are corresponded to an eligible child and the same sent to the parents. Details may include information about the child with regards to age, gender, health and the like. The parents are also informed on when they may possibly travel to meet the child and sign any additional papers if required.
Parents sometimes may have to fly more than once to complete all the formalities. Depending on the rules set by the country, the child is allowed to migrate with an escort to the parents’ country of residence and the parents are not required to travel.
Citizenship for the child: There are different rules and adoptions surrounding adoption and even within the United States, each state has its own rules. In the United States, citizenship is by default granted to a child who is from a foreign country if one of the adopting parents is a U.S. Citizen.