According to USCIS, there are thousands of U.S. citizens who adopt children from overseas, known as Intercountry Adoptions, which is a complicated process governed by U.S. federal law, the laws of the child’s country of birth and the laws where you live. USCIS is responsible for determining the eligibility and suitability of the prospective adoptive parents looking to adopt and for determining the eligibility of the child to immigrate to the U.S. There are two separate processes (Hague Process and Orphan Process) that apply to children adopted by U.S. citizens. Which you use depends on what country you choose to adopt from. See links at www.uscis.gov/adoption. Another process applies to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who petitions for his/her adoptive child through an Immediate Relative Petition. For more information on this process, please visit www.uscis.gov/adoption/immigration-through-adoption.
Before you begin your adoption process, you should familiarize yourself with each of the above adoption processes. An adoption agency will be able to help you arrange an adoption placement, however, they cannot represent you before USCIS or advise you on the legal aspects of the adoptive child’s immigration. The process does not stop with the adoption as there are citizenship requirements to fulfill and documentation of citizenship to obtain.
Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The Secretary of Homeland Security announced, on June 15, 2012, that certain people who came to the U.S. as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action defers removal action against an individual for a certain period of time, but it does not provide lawful status. For more information, call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283 or visit http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca.
You may request DACA if you: 1) were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; 2) came to the U.S. before turning 16 years old; 3) have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 up to the present time; 4) were physically in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and are in the U.S. when making the request; 5) had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; 6) are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED certificate or have obtained an honorable discharge from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.; 7) have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; 8)do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Immigration Attorney, Matthew L. White at 480.461.5304, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area.