U.S. Law Center

Are you eligible to adopt a child from another country?

Some couples may come to consider adoption. They may even be interested in adopting children from outside of the United States. This is perfectly feasible, though there are more hoops for these parents to jump through. U.S. citizens who are considering adopting children from outside of the country should therefore understand the requirements they must meet in order to be eligible.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the first step is to send in an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, also known as USCIS. The application process in this case will consist of a fee, a number of required supporting documents, a home study, and a USCIS form. Anyone who considers starting this process should be aware of the fees in particular, as the USCIS filing fee alone is $720. People in the adopting household that are over 18 years old also need to have fingerprints taken, which is an additional $85 per person.

Next, a potential adopter must determine whether or not their intended adoption falls under The Hague Adoption Convention. Adoptions that fall under this convention require a different form than countries that are not party to it. Form I-600A is used for those that are not and Form I-800A is used for those that are. These forms request supporting documentation which will prove that the prospective parents are capable of caring properly for a child. Proof may include citizenship and marital status. Supplemental information may be required of other household members.

The adoption process for children outside of the U.S. may be a little more involved than it is for parents who adopt inside of the country’s borders. However, if these eligibility requirements are met, the process itself can be started and it will be relative smooth sailing from there.

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