American Adoptions is a private domestic adoption agency. This means we only complete adoptions within the United States. However, if you’re an Iowa resident interested in pursuing international adoption, we’re passionate about making sure you have the right resources to help you with that as well. It can be tough to find information specific to your state, so to that end, we’ve compiled this information to help families pursuing international adoptions in Iowa.
If you are pursuing an intercountry adoption in Iowa, the process will look something like this:
Choose a country to adopt from. The adoption process will vary greatly depending on which country you adopt from, and different agencies specialize in completing international adoptions from different countries. Because of this, it’s important that your first step is narrowing down the list of countries to adopt from. Think about your preferences in adoption situation. Does it matter how old or what gender the child is? Also consider whether or not you meet a specific country’s eligibility requirements, and keep in mind that costs also vary by location.
Choose an international adoption agency in Iowa. After your family has chosen a country to adopt from, you’ll be tasked with choosing a professional to help you do it. According to the International Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012, any agency you consider should be Hague-accredited, or compliant with the Hague Adoption Convention. This is an international treaty that protects children adopted across borders. Your adoption professional will guide you through the adoption home study process as well as the rest of the steps necessary for an international adoption in Iowa.
Apply for your adoption eligibility. Before you are allowed to adopt overseas, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services must grant you eligibility. If you wish to adopt from a country that is a member of the Hague Convention, you’ll fill out Form I-800A. If not, you’ll file Form I-600A.
Find an adoption opportunity. After both the U.S. and the country you hope to adopt from have granted you eligibility, it’ll be time to wait for a match. Depending on which country you’ve chosen, you may receive an adoption referral before traveling, or you may travel to the country prior to being matched with a child.
Apply for your child’s adoption eligibility. After you’ve been matched with a child, you’ll need to apply for his or her eligibility to immigrate to the U.S. To do this, you will either file Form I-800 or Form I-600. After that form has been approved, you’ll file the DS-260 form to apply for your child’s visa.
Receive your child’s immigrant visa. If both parents were present to complete the adoption, you’ll receive either the IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) visa. If not, or if the adoption wasn’t completed in the child’s home country, you’ll receive the IH-4 or IR-4 visa. If you receive the IH-4 or IR-4, it is mandatory that you finalize your child’s adoption in the U.S.
As we said earlier, you’ll have to finalize your child’s adoption upon returning home if you received an IH-4 or IR-4 visa for him or her. However, we recommend that you always re-adopt, or finalize the adoption, upon returning home to ensure that he or she has the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen.
As an Iowa resident, you have a few options in terms of professionals to help you adopt internationally. Please contact any of the following to learn more:
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