For Michigan families hoping to pursue adoption overseas, the process can actually vary widely. There are many countries to adopt from, and the one you choose will dictate how your individual international adoption process will go. However, in the spirit of helping you to understand how international adoptions generally work, we’ve compiled a basic step-by-step process that should help you prepare to adopt abroad in Michigan.
As stated above, this will determine how your entire adoption process goes. International adoption agencies in Michigan and across the U.S. specialize in helping families to complete international adoptions in different areas, so you’ll need to determine which locations interest you before you can go about learning how to adopt a child from another country. Keep in mind that different countries have different adoption requirements as well as different costs.
When you’ve narrowed down your list of countries to adopt from, it’s time to choose a professional to help you do so. Make sure that you only consider professionals who are Hague-accredited, which means they’re compliant with the International Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.
To determine whether or not you’re eligible to adopt, you’ll need to apply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If the country you adopt from is a member of the Hague Convention, you’ll file Form I-800A. If not, you’ll file Form I-600A.
After both the United States and the country you choose to adopt from grant your eligibility to adopt, it will be time to wait for an adoption opportunity. Depending on where you choose to adopt from, this stage could look very different for different families. Some people travel to the country they’re adopting from to match with a child there, while others will wait for a referral before traveling.
After you’ve traveled to meet your child, whether you matched before or after you visited their country, you’ll have to apply for their eligibility to immigrate to the United States. If you adopted from a Hague country, you’ll fill out Form I-800. If you adopted from a country that’s not a member of the Hague Convention, you’ll fill out Form I-600. Once you receive approval for immigration, you’ll file form DS-260 to receive your child’s visa. If both parents are present in the child’s native country to complete the adoption, you’ll receive either an IH-3 visa (for Hague countries) or an IR-3 (for non-Hague countries). If only one parent was present or the adoption wasn’t finalized in the child’s home country, you’ll receive either an IH-4 (Hague) or an IR-4 (non-Hague) visa.
Even if your child’s international adoption was finalized in his or her home country, you should always finalize the process or complete a re-adoption in the United States when you return home.
In some cases, you will have to finalize your child’s adoption in the United States once you travel back from his or her home country. If the visa you received was either an IH-4 or an IR-4, this will be a necessity, because your child’s adoption was not legally finalized abroad. However, even if a U.S. finalization isn’t required in your case, you should always re-adopt your child upon returning home to the United States. To make sure your child receives all the rights and privileges that come with being a U.S. citizen, you want to finalize his or her adoption in the States regardless of the processes that occurred in his or her home country.
American Adoptions works only to complete adoptions in the United States. However, if you’re interested in adopting internationally in Michigan, you can reach out to any of the following professionals:
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