International Adoption in Minnesota

A “domestic adoption” is the adoption of a child within national borders, but an “international adoption,” sometimes called an intercountry adoption, is the adoption of a child across national lines.

If you’re considering beginning the international adoption process in Minnesota, the following information will help you learn more about adopting a child from another country so you can decide if it’s the right family-building method for you.

Seven Steps for an International Adoption in MN

A typical Minnesota international adoption process will vary based on a number of factors, including where you adopt from and the adoption professional you work with. The adoption laws, requirements, costs and relationship with The Hague Adoption Convention all vary between individual countries, and will play a role in your personal international adoption process in Minnesota.

But most international adoptions in Minnesota will follow these seven steps:

Step One: Choose the Country You’ll Adopt From

If you want to adopt a child from another country in Minnesota, you may already have a preference regarding which country you adopt from. Some families have no preference. Either is perfectly fine.

But it’s important to understand the factors that can influence which countries you may be able to adopt a child from, such as:

  • Each country’s individual adoptive parent requirements you’d need to meet.

  • Each country’s costs of international adoption, which can also vary depending on the professional you work with.

  • The international adoption laws, travel restrictions and politics that may dictate which countries you’ll be able to adopt from at a given point in time.

  • The race and cultural heritage of internationally adopted children, which will remain an important part of their identity and a part of your family's cultural makeup.

Step Two: Choose the Minnesota International Adoption Professional You’ll Work With

International adoption agencies in Minnesota are licensed to complete adoptions with countries on an individual basis, and not all adoption agencies will be licensed to complete adoptions within the same countries. So if you’re determined to adopt from a specific country, you may need to find an international adoption agency in MN that is licensed to perform an intercountry adoption in that country.

Your Minnesota international adoption agency should always be Hague-accredited, even if you don’t plan on adopting from a country that is part of the Hague Convention.

Step Three: Complete a Minnesota International Adoption Home Study

The international adoption home study can take several months to complete, so it’s recommended to start yours as soon as possible.

The MN international home study is similar to the domestic adoption home study process, which includes requirements such as:

  • Criminal background and abuse checks

  • Adoption reference letters from personal reference sources

  • Health and financial records

  • Autobiographical statements outlining your desire to adopt a child from another country

  • Family interviews and in-home visits conducted before and after placement

  • And more

Your adoption agency will typically need to approve of any third-party home study providers that you work with, and your Minnesota home study professional will also need to be licensed in accordance with The Hague Convention standards.

Step Four: File for Adoptive Parent Intercountry Adoption Eligibility

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Adoption Department will need to verify that you’re considered eligible to adopt internationally once you’ve completed the home study process. To do this, you’ll file the following documents to secure your intercountry adoption eligibility:

For Hague Convention countries:

Send your completed international adoption home study and adoption dossier with Form 1-800A. Confirmed adoption eligibility from a Hague Convention country is valid for up to 15 months.

For non-Hague Convention countries:

Send your completed international adoption home study and adoption dossier with Form 1-600 if you’ve already been matched with a child through your MN international adoption agency, or Form 1-600A if you haven’t been matched yet. Confirmed adoption eligibility from a non-Hague Convention country is valid for up to 18 months.

If the USCIS adoption department confirms you as eligible to adopt internationally, they’ll mail your forms and adoption dossier to the sending country’s adoption department, where they’ll repeat the process to ensure that you meet the standards to adopt by their country’s eligibility standards.

Step Five: File for Your Child’s Intercountry Adoption Eligibility

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility to adopt a child from another country, you’ll need to repeat the process with both countries to confirm that your child is eligible to be adopted.

If you previously filed Form 1-800A or 1-600A, you’ll file Form 1-800 (Hague countries) or 1-600 (non-Hague countries) to confirm your child’s adoption eligibility now.

The USCIS adoption authorities will confirm your child’s eligibility to be adopted internationally, and then you’ll file for his or her travel visa so that they can return to Minnesota with you by submitting Form DS-260 to your child’s country’s adoption department.

Step Six: File for Travel Visas and Return to Minnesota

Anticipate staying in your child’s home country for one to four weeks, as the visa and adoption process takes a while for both countries to communicate with one another about the necessary applications. The visa your child will receive depends on the situation:

  • If both adoptive parents (if applicable) are present for the adoption finalization in your child’s home country, you’ll receive an IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) travel visa.

  • If one out of two adoptive parents is there and/or the adoption still needs to be finalized in Minnesota, you’ll receive an IH-4 (Hague) or IR-4 (non-Hague) travel visa.

After receiving your child’s travel visa, you can all return to Minnesota for the final step of the international adoption process.

Step Seven: Complete the Re-Adoption or Finalization Process in Minnesota

An adoption finalization is legally required to complete your adoption upon returning to Minnesota if you were granted an IH-4 or IR-4 visa. If you were granted an IH-3 or IR-3 visa, a re-adoption within the U.S. is highly recommended even though your adoption is already legally finalized by to your child’s home country’s standards. A re-adoption in Minnesota ensures your child’s new status as a U.S. citizen in both countries, and safeguards their status as a permanent member of your family.

Families who fail to finalize their adoption or re-adopt their child in Minnesota may be at risk for legal difficulties regarding citizenship or parenthood at some point in the future. After the finalization or re-adoption is completed, your child’s Minnesota international adoption process is also finished.

International Adoption Agencies in Minnesota

The following international adoption agencies in Minnesota can help you take the first steps in your MN international adoption journey:

To learn more about domestic adoption, call 1-800-ADOPTION now.





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