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Foreign Adoptions

Foreign Adoptions

The U.S. has special procedures for the adoption of orphans. A child is considered an orphan if they have neither parent due to their death, disappearance, or abandonment. A child may also be considered an orphan where their sole parent is incapable of providing care for the child and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. U.S. Immigration law requires that an orphan petition be filed before the child’s 16th birthday or before their 18th birthday if they have a natural sibling adopted by the same parents.

State Department and Foreign Adoption

Although the U.S. State Department can be a valuable resource; there are limits to the help they can or will provide. The State Department will provide information about U.S. Visa requirements and international adoption policies and procedures. They can make inquiries to U.S. consular offices regarding the status of cases or to clarify documentation requirements and ensure that U.S. citizens are not discriminated against. The State Department will not involve itself directly in a foreign adoption process, represent adoptive parents, order an adoption, or order a visa to be issued.

Citizenship for Foreign-Born Children

Many adopted children born abroad acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States on account of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. At least one of the adopting parents must be a U.S. citizen, have custody of the child, and reside in the U.S. The child must be younger than 18. No certificate of naturalization is issued in this process, though the parents may request one through a separate application.

International adoption can offer a less expensive and often quicker option for adoptive parents, as opposed to a traditional adoption, but it can also raise a number of additional issues and concerns. For example, many of the countries offering children for adoption by prospective U.S. parents are not subject to the same standards or regulations. Prospective parents also may not get all of the relevant information about their adoptive child prior to the adoption, or may experience language or cultural barriers. Below you will find information on international adoption, including tips on the application process and related costs. You will also find links to overseas adoption resources from the federal government and other organizations.

Foreign Adoption Requirements

When planning an international adoption it is important to consider what legal obligations need to be fulfilled. International laws apply in an international adoption. Countries have different rules regarding the adoption of children depending on whether or not they have signed the Hague Convention. Countries that are party to the Hague Convention must follow certain procedures, while non-party countries may have their own.
Applicants will need to fulfill the requirements of the country where the child will be adopted, the immigration laws of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the adoption laws of your state of residence. Although procedures and required documents may be very similar, government interests in protecting children mean that requirements are often quite strict and failure to comply may seriously damage the ability to complete an adoption.

Adoption Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with an adoption, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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Michael Anderson

About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.