When a child is adopted within national borders, it’s referred to as a “domestic adoption.” When a child is adopted across national lines, it’s considered an “international adoption,” or an “intercountry adoption.”
The following information will walk you through the international adoption process for potential adoptive parents in Oregon.
Depending on the country you decide to adopt from and the adoption professional you choose to work with, your Oregon international adoption process will likely vary. The adoption laws, costs, requirements, whether or not the country is a part of The Hague Adoption Convention and more will all change your own international adoption process in Oregon.
But for most international adoptions in Oregon, you’ll complete the following six steps:
When you’re planning to adopt a child from another country in Oregon, you’ll first need to decide the country you want to adopt from. While many adoptive families already have some preference about their country their child is from, others have no preference. Regardless of whether or not you have some idea of where you’d like to adopt from, there are a number of factors that will affect your ability to adopt from certain countries, such as:
The requirements you’ll need to meet as prospective adoptive parents, which vary between individual countries.
The costs of international adoption, which vary between countries and adoption professionals.
The constantly-changing international adoption laws, travel restrictions and political events that can influence which countries you’ll be able to adopt from.
The race and cultural heritage of an internationally adopted person, which is an important part of their identity for their lifetime. Adoptive families should educate themselves about international and transracial adoption to help prepare themselves.
Individual international adoption agencies in Oregon are only licensed to conduct adoptions within certain countries, so find out which countries an agency is licensed to work with if you’re committed to an intercountry adoption from a specific country.
It’s safer to work with Oregon international adoption agencies that are Hague-accredited, even if you don’t adopt from a country that’s part of the Hague Convention. Turning to online reviews can be useful when searching for an international adoption agency in OR that holds the best interests of children above profit.
The international adoption home study process takes several months, so it’s best to begin as soon as possible. Your Oregon home study professional must be licensed in accordance with The Hague Convention standards, regardless of whether or not you’re adopting from a Hague country. The adoption agency you’re working with will also need to approve of any third-party home study provider you work with prior to beginning your home study process.
An international home study in OR has most of the requirements that a domestic adoption home study has, including:
Criminal background checks, FBI fingerprinting and abuse clearances
Up-to-date health and financial documents
Personal references that can write adoption reference letters
Pre- and post-placement home visits and family interviews with your home study professional
Written autobiographical statements stating why you wish to adopt a child from another country
Next, as a prospective adoptive parent, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Adoption Department will need to verify that you’re eligible to adopt internationally. To do this, you’ll file the following documents to confirm your intercountry adoption eligibility as a hopeful adoptive parent:
For Hague Convention countries:
File Form 1-800 A along with your adoption dossier and your completed Oregon international adoption home study. Your confirmed adoption eligibility for a Hague Convention country remains valid for up to 15 months.
For non-Hague Convention countries:
File Form 1-600 if you’ve already been matched with a child through your Oregon international adoption agency, or Form 1-600A if you haven’t been matched yet, along with your adoption dossier and your completed international adoption home study. Your confirmed adoption eligibility for a non-Hague Convention country remains valid for up to 18 months.
If the USCIS adoption department successfully confirms you as eligible to adopt internationally, they’ll mail your forms and adoption dossier off to your child’s home country. There, the sending country’s adoption department will repeat the eligibility confirmation process to ensure you’re considered eligible to adopt according to their national standards.
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 your child’s eligibility for adoption.
This means that if you’ve filed Form 1-800A or 1-600A previously, you’ll now file Form 1-800 (for Hague countries) or 1-600 (for non-Hague countries) for your child’s adoption eligibility confirmation.
If the USCIS adoption authorities confirm your child as eligible for adoption, you can then file for his or her travel visa, which will allow them to return with you to the United States. For this, you submit Form DS-260 to your child’s country’s adoption authorities.
The processing time for a visa and an adoption is slow. It takes a considerable amount of time for two countries to communicate the required information back and forth. So you should expect to stay in your child’s home country for one to four weeks while the adoption is pending.
After this, your child will receive a travel visa depending on your situation:
When both adoptive parents (if applicable) are present for the adoption finalization within your child’s home country, you’ll be granted an IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) visa.
When only one out of two adoptive parents is present, and/or the adoption is yet to be finalized in Oregon, you’ll be granted an IH-4 (Hague) or IR-4 (non-Hague) visa.
With your child’s travel visa, you’ll be able to return home to Oregon with your child and move on to the final step of the international adoption process.
An adoption finalization is legally necessary upon returning to Oregon if you were given an IH-4 or IR-4 visa. But a re-adoption is highly recommended if you were given an IH-3 or IR-3 visa, even though your adoption is legally complete according to your child’s home country.
Failure to finalize an adoption or re-adopt your child in Oregon can put your family at risk for legal difficulties regarding citizenship or parenthood at any point in the future, so these legal steps are highly encouraged for your family’s protection.
The following international adoption agencies in Oregon can help you learn more about OR international adoption, and can help you determine if adopting a child from another country is the right path for you and your family:
Call 1-800-ADOPTION for free information about domestic adoption now.
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