An international adoption, also sometimes referred to as an intercountry adoption, is any adoption that occurs across national borders. If you’re thinking about starting the international adoption process in Oklahoma, the following guide will teach you more about adopting a child from another country so that you can determine whether or not it’s the right way to grow your family.
Every family’s Oklahoma international adoption process will vary due to a number of factors, including the country you adopt from and the adoption professional you work with, as well as each country’s costs, adoption laws, requirements and whether or not that country is part of The Hague Adoption Convention. All of these factors and more will affect your international adoption process in Oklahoma.
However, the majority of international adoptions in Oklahoma will include these seven steps:
When you adopt a child from another country in Oklahoma, you’ll of course need to establish which country you’ll be adopting from. While some adoptive families have a preference, others may not. Either is fine, but you should know that there are some factors that could influence which countries you might be able to adopt a child from, including:
A country’s international adoption costs, which can also fluctuate amongst different adoption professionals.
A country’s requirements for prospective adoptive parents.
A country’s individual international adoption laws, politics and travel restrictions, which could affect the countries you’d be able to adopt from, and which frequently change.
The racial and cultural identity of an internationally adopted child, which will continue to play an important role in their life and in your family’s newly-formed culture after the adoption.
Remember that international adoption agencies in Oklahoma are licensed to conduct adoptions within certain countries, and this varies between agencies. So if you have your heart set on adopting a child from a specific country, you might want to search for an international adoption agency in OK that is specifically licensed to complete an international adoption in that country.
The Oklahoma international adoption agency of your choice should be Hague-accredited, regardless of whether or not you intend to adopt from a country that is part of the Hague Convention.
The process of the international adoption home study is one that can take several months to complete, so it’s generally recommended to start sooner rather than later.
Adoption reference letters
Health and financial statements
Individual autobiographical statements about why you wish to adopt a child from another country
Family interviews and in-home visits both before and after placement under the guidance of your home study professional
Criminal background and abuse checks for all household members over the age of 18
If you work with a third-party home study provider, your adoption agency will likely need to approve of this provider. Your Oklahoma home study professional must be licensed in accordance with The Hague Convention standards in order to complete a home study for an international adoption.
You’ll need to be verified as eligible to adopt internationally once you’ve successfully completed the home study process. For this, you’ll file the following documents with The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Adoption Department to confirm your intercountry adoption eligibility:
For Hague Convention countries:
If you’ve already been matched with a child through your OK international adoption agency, submit your adoption dossier and completed Oklahoma international adoption home study with Form 1-800, or Form 1-800A if you haven’t been matched yet. For a Hague Convention country, confirmed adoption eligibility is valid for up to 15 months.
For non-Hague Convention countries:
If you’ve already been matched with a child through your OK international adoption agency, submit your adoption dossier and completed international adoption home study with Form 1-600, or Form 1-600A if you haven’t been matched yet. For a non-Hague Convention country, confirmed adoption eligibility is valid for up to 18 months.
If the USCIS adoption department has confirmed you as eligible to adopt internationally in Oklahoma, they’ll send your forms and adoption dossier on to the sending country’s adoption department, at which point they’ll repeat the process to confirm your eligibility to adopt according to their country’s own adoption standards.
After confirming your eligibility to adopt a child from another country, you’ll repeat the same process with both countries, but now with the intention of confirming your child’s eligibility to be adopted.
This means that if you previously submitted Form 1-800A or 1-600A, you will submit Form 1-800 (for Hague countries) or 1-600 (for non-Hague countries).
Once the USCIS adoption authorities have confirmed that your child is eligible to be adopted internationally, you’ll be able to file for his or her travel visa, which will allow you both to return to Oklahoma. You can request your child’s travel visa by filing Form DS-260 with your child’s country’s adoption department.
The adoption process and visa application process can be lengthy while both countries communicate back and forth, so you should anticipate remaining in your child’s home country for about one to four weeks. The visa that your child will be granted depends on the following:
If both adoptive parents (when applicable) are present for the adoption finalization within your child’s home country, then you’ll receive an IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) travel visa.
If one out of two adoptive parents is present and/or the adoption is yet to be finalized in Oklahoma, then you’ll receive an IH-4 (Hague) or IR-4 (non-Hague) travel visa.
After being granted a travel visa for your child, you can both go home to complete the final step of the international adoption process in OK.
If you received an IH-4 or an IR-4 visa, then an adoption finalization is legally required upon returning to Oklahoma.
Your adoption is already legally finalized according to your child’s home country’s standards if you received an IH-3 or IR-3 visa, but a re-adoption on U.S. soil is highly recommended. A re-adoption in Oklahoma protects your child’s new U.S. citizenship and prevents any potential legal complications regarding citizenship or parenthood in the future.
With the finalization or re-adoption step completed, the Oklahoma international adoption process is finished, as well.
These international adoption agencies in Oklahoma are able to help you start your international adoption journey and teach you more about the Oklahoma intercounty adoption process:
To learn more about domestic adoption, call 1-800-ADOPTION now.
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