No matter where you actually carry out the adoption of a baby, you can look forward to a lot of paperwork. If you are looking to adopt a child from outside of the United States, however, the paperwork requirements can seem to ramp up quite a bit. Every country will have its own standards of judging how fit you might be as a parent, but most of them just want to ensure that the baby goes to a loving and healthy home. Since that home is in the U.S., our government also has some paperwork hurdles for you to jump over. Read on to find out what the U.S. requires in regard to a Visa for bringing your new family member home from a foreign adoption.
Hague or non-Hague Convention?
The type of immigration Visa required depends on the category of your baby's birth country. Additionally, the Visas are different for those who go ahead and complete the adoption in the birth country and those who decide to wait and complete the adoption once back on home soil.
Hague Convention Adoptions
- If you have already completed the adoption paperwork and finalized the adoption overseas from a Hague Convention country, you will need to apply for an IH-3 Visa.
- If you have not finalized the adoption paperwork overseas in a Hague Convention country and plan to complete the adoption once back on U.S. soil, you will need to apply for an IH-4 Visa.
Non-Hague Convention Adoptions
- If you have already completed the adoption paperwork and finalized the adoption overseas from a non-Hague Convention country, you will need to apply for an IR-3.
- If you have not finalized the adoption paperwork overseas in a non-Hague Convention country and plan to compete the adoption once back on U.S. soil, you will need to apply for an IR-4.
If your adoption was completed outside of the U.S., your child is considered a United States citizen upon entrance at any border. You will receive an official citizenship document in a few weeks and you can use that to apply for a U.S. birth certificate.
For those holding the IH-4 and IR-4 Visas, you must have the adoption finalized in court in the U.S., and then apply for a Certificate of Citizenship. You may then apply for a birth certificate.
Foreign Adoptions and State Status
It should be noted that not all states recognize foreign adoptions. If not, you must make the adoption legal by going through the court process in the U.S.
If you are considering bringing a new family member into your fold from overseas, speak with a family law attorney like those at Dunnigan & Messier P.C. for more information about Visas and more.