International adoption, or intercountry adoption, in Georgia is when a child is adopted from a different country than the U.S. A Georgia foreign adoption requires a different process than a domestic adoption. In Georgia, the international adoption process should not only be completed in the country where the adoption takes place, but it should also be finalized in Georgia to ensure citizenship for the child who was adopted. The following outlines the information necessary to be aware of to complete an overseas adoption in Georgia.
The first step, after making the decision to complete the Georgia international adoption process, is to determine which international adoption agency you will be working with. There are many agencies that complete international adoptions in Georgia. The international adoption agency that you choose will be able to convey what countries to adopt from are available to you. They will also have photos of the children available to be adopted. You can learn more about each Georgia international adoption agency through its website:
Here is an additional list of international adoption agencies in Georgia. Adoption agencies that offer international adoptions in Georgia will typically provide you with an international adoption photolisting and general descriptions of the children waiting to be adopted and help you find the adoption opportunity that’s right for you.
To be eligible to adopt internationally and bring the child home with you to Georgia, you must first complete an international adoption home study. A home study is a review of your family and home that assists U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as the foreign country's adoption authority, in determining whether you and your home would be suitable for a child.
You will also need to meet additional requirements set by your agency and the country from which you are adopting. Your requirements and processes may vary based on whether your child’s home country is a part of The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). The Hague Convention is an international agreement that establishes certain safeguards to protect the best interests of the child in intercountry adoptions.
It is important to know the difference between Hague adoption and non-Hague adoption, as this will impact much of your adoption process.
Once you have completed your international adoption home study, you will send it, along with an adoption application, to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS is responsible for:
Determining the eligibility and suitability of the hopeful parents looking to adopt internationally.
Determining the eligibility of the child to immigrate to the United States.
When you are approved to adopt by USCIS, your international adoption agency can match you with a waiting child. After you receive this adoption referral, you will travel to your child’s country and apply for his or her immigration eligibility with USCIS. Once you receive his or her visa and complete the necessary steps of the adoption process in your child’s home country, you can travel back to Georgia with your newest family member.
However, your adoption process doesn’t end there; if your child’s adoption was not finalized in his or her home country, you must legally finalize your international adoption in Georgia court. Even if the adoption was legally finalized in your child’s home country, it’s highly recommended that you complete an international re-adoption in Georgia to ensure the adoption and his or her U.S. citizenship is recognized throughout the United States. Your Georgia international adoption attorney can help you complete these legal processes.
Are you interested in learning about some international adoption facts? Check out the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs international adoption statistics. You can filter adoption statistics by country, state, year, and visa type. If you are interested in learning more about U.S. adoption trends, this article outlines general adoption statistics.
Potential adoptive families are responsible for paying for the costs associated with international adoption in Georgia. An international adoption agency can connect the adoptive parents with their adopted child and guide them through the entire international adoption process, and the adoptive couple is responsible for paying for these services and for all of the costs associated with the adoption. Some of these costs include legal fees and travel fees.
Adopting internationally is an amazing way to change the life of a child who may have no other options, and there are plenty of children who need an overseas adoption. There are also many benefits to learning about the culture that the internationally adopted child came from, including expanding your horizons and teaching the adopted child that their culture is important.
When you are ready to begin your international adoption process, choose an international adoption agency in Georgia and call them to get started.
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