You’ve finished your homestudy and received approval from the USCIS to adopt (this was through the I600a or I800a form). Take a deep breath, because you’re about half-way through this crazy international adoption journey. Ready for the next step? Let’s put a face on this process and look at the child you’re bringing home.
Regardless of which country you chose for adoption, the child must be eligible to be adopted under the United State’s law. Laws vary in different countries and some families have found that their child is not qualified to immigrate to the U.S. (One way to avoid this issue is to use a Hague accredited adoption agency.)
Now you’re ready to work through a form titled either I800 or I600 depending on whether you are adopting from a Hague convention country or a non-Hague convention country. You won’t be able to receive your child’s visa until you complete this paperwork. (Think of it as a final hurdle!)
Why do I need THIS form?
By the time you work through this form, you’ve already submitted your homestudy report that recommends your family to adopt a specific type of child. The I800 or I600 form confirms the child you intend to adopt is eligible to be adopted.
What do I need to file this form?
You’ll need your USCIS adoption number, a copy of your child’s birth cerficate, and a copy of the signed consent form by either the birthparents or guardian (welfare organization, orphanage, etc) if you are adopting from a Hague Convention Country. Your adoption agency will provide this information to you.
If you are adopting from a non-Hague Convention Country, you’ll need detailed information about the child’s birthparents, current guardians, current location and any other information neccessary to locate the child.
What’s the difference in the forms and which one do I need?
I-800 is the Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative and is used for Hague Adoption cases. In order to adopt a child from a Convention Country, he or she must be found eligible for classification as a Convention adoptee.
I-600 is the Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. In simple terms, this form is for non-Hague Adoption cases, meaning the country your child is in is not a Hague Accredited Convention Country.
Confused yet? If you’ve made it this far in the adoption process, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re almost there. If you’re just starting your journey, never fear, we’re here to help you make sure you get the right forms with the right information, and we’re always happy to answer questions.
If you’d like a full picture of the international adoption process, check out USCIS website.
Next time, we’re talking about Visas (which means your child is almost home)!