When it comes to international adoptions in Virginia, the process itself can vary widely depending on which country you choose to adopt from. However, for the most part, you can expect an intercountry adoption in Virginia to look something like this:
Since different international adoption agencies specialize in completing adoptions from different countries, you’ll need to choose which country you’re interested in before you can learn how to adopt a child from another country. When you’re mulling this over, consider things like how old you want your child to be and whether or not you have a gender preference. Eligibility requirements vary in different countries, as do adoption costs, so keep those factors in mind as you consider different countries to adopt from.
After you’ve chosen a country from which to pursue overseas adoption, it’s time to begin researching adoption professionals that can help you adopt from the desired location. Per the International Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012, you should only work with adoption professionals who are Hague-accredited. Your adoption agency will help you complete your home study as well as walk you through all other steps to complete an international adoption in Virginia.
The exact form you fill out to do this will depend on whether or not the country you adopt from is a member of the Hague Convention. If it is, you’ll be required to fill out Form I-800A. If not, you’ll fill out Form I-600A.
Once both the U.S. and the country you adopt from determine that you are eligible to adopt, you’ll wait to receive an adoption opportunity. Some countries will have you travel to match with a child, while others will send you a referral before you travel.
Once you’ve traveled to your child, you’ll need to make sure he or she is eligible to immigrate back to the U.S. Depending on which form you filled out for your own adoption eligibility, you’ll file either Form I-800 or Form I-600. Once this form is approved, you’ll file the DS-260 to apply for your child’s visa.
You’ll either receive:
The IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) visa. This is what you’ll get if both parents were present in the child’s home country to complete his or her adoption.
The IH-4 (Hague) or IR-4 visa (non-Hague) visa. This is what you’ll get if the adoption was not finalized in the child’s home country or if only one parent was present.
Even if the adoption was completed in your child’s home country, it’s always a good idea to re-adopt when you travel home.
There are some instances in which you’ll be legally required to finalize your child’s adoption in the United States; if you received an IH-4 or IR-4 visa for him or her, this will be a necessity. However, no matter the type of visa you get, it’s recommended that you always re-adopt upon returning home. This just means you’re finalizing your child’s adoption in the United States and guaranteeing beyond all doubt that he or she receives the same legal rights as any other citizen.
As a private domestic adoption agency, American Adoptions doesn’t work to complete foreign adoptions in Virginia. However, Virginians do have options. If you’re interested in adopting internationally, check out:
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