When it comes to international adoption in Louisiana, the process and requirements can vary widely because of the hundreds of countries to adopt from. The country you ultimately select will control much of your experience with adoption overseas. The general logistics of an international adoption in Louisiana, however, remain mostly the same. To help you prepare to adopt abroad, we’ve compiled the steps you can expect to follow in the Louisiana international adoption process.
International adoption agencies in Louisiana work to complete international adoptions in different countries, so the first step in the LA international adoption process is to choose the countries that interest you most. It’s important to consider that different countries have different costs and requirements for United States citizens to adopt. Once you have chosen a location, you can begin contacting professionals to learn how to adopt a child from another country.
It’s important to make sure any professionals you consider are Hague-accredited, or compliant with the International Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.
Before you can adopt a child from another country in Louisiana, you must apply for adoption eligibility with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. If you adopt from a Hague country, you’ll file Form I-800A. If you adopt from a non-Hague country, you’ll file I-600A.
Once both the country you adopt from and the United States have deemed you eligible to adopt, you’ll begin the waiting period for your child. Some countries will have you travel before you are matched with a child, while others prefer that you wait for your match before traveling. Your waiting period will depend very much on the country you choose to adopt from.
Once you have gone to meet your child in their home country, you’ll apply for their eligibility to immigrate back to the U.S. For Hague countries, you’ll file Form I-800. For non-Hague countries, you’ll file Form I-600. Once you receive the go-ahead for your child to immigrate, you’ll file form DS-260 to get your child’s visa. If both parents were present for the adoption in the foreign country, you’ll receive either an IH-3 visa (Hague) or an IR-3 visa (non-Hague). If only one parent was present in the foreign country or the adoption wasn’t finalized in the child’s native country, you’ll receive either an IH-4 (Hague) or an IR-4 (non-Hague) visa.
It is important that you always finalize your child’s international adoption in Louisiana, even if it was technically finalized in the foreign country. See below to learn about why re-adoption is so important.
Re-adoption is the process of finalizing your child’s adoption once you return to Louisiana, even if you already finalized it in his or her home country. You should always complete this step to ensure that your child is an official U.S. citizen with all of the rights and privileges of a U.S. citizen. In this instance, it is certainly better to be safe than sorry.
American Adoptions is a private domestic adoption agency, and therefore only completes adoptions within the United States. However, there are local options for families interested in adopting internationally in Louisiana:
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