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The Hague Convention and your international adoption

If you're looking into adopting a child from abroad, then you've likely heard about the Hague Adoption Convention. This international treaty first became effective beginning on April 1, 2008 in the United States.

It sets guidelines that Americans, and nationals of some 70 other countries who subscribe to it, must follow as they look to adopt a child from a country residing outside of their own. The guidelines aim to protect all parties involved in the international adoption process including the child, his or her biological parents and the adoptive parents.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) is the federal agency that ensures American citizens' compliance with these guidelines. It also regulates whether an international adoption agency operates in compliance with the Hague Convention. If it does, then it qualifies to be labeled as an accredited Adoption Service Provider (ASP).

In addition to working with an ASP, the DOS also recommends that prospective adoptive parents solicit the services of an experienced immigration attorney. They note that this is important to do because the ASP is not qualified to offer them legal advice nor help them communicate with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The next step that the DOS recommends moving forward with is having your home inspected by someone certified to do home studies for Hague adoptions.

Adoptive parents are also encouraged by the DOS to make contact with USCIS before the placement of your child is finalized. They note that this will allow them ample time to review your petition and make a decision as to whether to approve the adoption.

It's only after that permission is granted that they recommend moving forward in finalizing the child's adoption and obtaining the necessary visa for the child to immigrate here.

Adopting a child from abroad can be quite an involved and tedious process, especially if the broker isn't properly vetted, the home study doesn't go as planned or if the USCIS petition isn't properly filled out. If you're considering an international adoption, then a Norcross child immigration attorney can guide you through the process.

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