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International Adoption




You have come to the Right Place!

CAUTION: International adoptions are governed by complex and very specific international treaties and U.S. immigration laws.  While U.S. citizens may succeed in completing an adoption in a foreign country, if the proper rules and procedures are not followed the child may not be able to enter the U.S. with the adoptive parents.  The information below assumes adoptive parents are working with properly accredited licensed child welfare agencies for the adoption of an "orphan" as defined by the BCIS and acted in accordance with the Hague adoption process. 


If the child you seek to adopt habitually resides in a country that is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, you probably will not be able to use the Orphan process. Instead you must follow the Hague Adoption Process to adopt the child and bring the child to the United States. For information on the Hague Process, go to Hague Process page. For a list of Hague Convention Countries visit the Department of State Adoption page.

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FINAL ORDER of Adoption entered in Foreign Country

Most foreign adoptions are finalized in the foreign country.  Upon returning to the United States, many adoptive parents go through the process of adopting the same child in an adoption proceeding here in their home state.   This second adoption in the United States is called a "Re-Adoption".  Since the adoptive parents are already legally bound to the child this procedure is treated as more of a "recognition of foreign judgment" and the re-adoption is treated differently than other related adoptions.  For more information on "Re-Adoptions" click HERE.

NO FINAL ORDER of Adoption entered in Foreign Country

Some countries (like South Korea and Pakistan) will not issue a full and final adoption order but instead will grant a guardianship order to the adoptive parents allowing them to immigrate with the child into the United States for the purpose of finalizing the adoption here. In these cases the order will often appoint the guardians or a licensed adoption agency to consent to the adoption.


IR-4 or HR-4 Visa: A child who enters the country with an IR-4/HR-4 visa status means that they did not receive automatic citizenship status upon their adoption and their adoptive parents MUST initiate the adoption process in their home state. In Illinois, assuming this is a non-relative case, that means the child will need to reside with the adoptive parents for 6 months before the adoption can be finalized.


Once the child's adoption is finalized here in the United States they will automatically become U.S. citizens but they need to notify the U.S. immigration services and should immediately apply for a U.S. passport and certificate of citizenship so they have proof of citizenship and can change the child's status.

How much do you CHARGE?

For information on my legal fees for filing an international adoption, you can click HERE or feel free to call me for a free phone consultation where I can discuss the specifics of your case and I am happy to email you a more detailed estimate.

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