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International Adoption in Washington, D.C.

American Adoptions is a national, full-service, private domestic adoption agency. This means that we work only to complete adoptions within the United States and therefore are not affiliated with international adoptions in D.C. However, one of our main priorities is ensuring that everyone have access to reliable and accurate adoption information, no matter which type of adoption they may be interested in. With that in mind, then, we’ve compiled the following necessary information for any families who may be considering completing an intercountry adoption in Washington, D.C.

The Washington, D.C., International Adoption Process

It’s important to remember that each adoption situation is unique, which means that the adoption process is going to look slightly different for everyone who completes it. Especially when discussing the particulars of D.C. intercountry adoptions, so many variables can affect the overall adoption process, particularly which country you choose to adopt from. However, the general international adoption process in the District of Columbia will go something like this:

Step 1: Choose which country you want to adopt from.

Because different countries have different laws and procedures, determining which country (or countries) you’re interested in adopting from is a crucial first step. Different agencies work to complete international adoptions in different countries, so you’ll need to select a country even before choosing your adoption professional. It’s important to think about your adoption preferences in the earlier stages. Do you care about age or gender? It’s also important to know that different countries have different costs as well as different eligibility requirements, so this is necessary to factor in when considering countries to adopt from.

Step 2: Choose an international adoption agency in D.C.

After you’ve landed on a country to adopt from, you’ll need to find your adoption professional. You should only consider agencies who are Hague-accredited, or compliant with the Hague Adoption Convention, in accordance with the International Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. The Hague Convention serves to protect children who are adopted across international borders, so it’s important that your adoption agency be well-versed with that. They can help you to navigate the rest of the international adoption process in the District of Columbia.

Step 3: Apply for your own adoption eligibility.

It’ll be important that you are granted eligibility to adopt overseas by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services prior to attempting to find a child to adopt. If you adopt from a country that’s compliant with the Hague Convention, you’ll file Form I-800A.  If not, you’ll file Form I-600A.

Step 4: Find an adoption opportunity.

After both the U.S. and the country you want to adopt from have granted your adoption eligibility, you’ll be ready to find an adoption match. Depending on the country you adopt from, you may travel to the country before being matched with a child, or you may wait for a match before traveling.

Step 5: Apply for your child’s adoption eligibility.

Once you’ve gone to meet your child and bring him or her home, you’ll be required to apply for his or her immigration eligibility to the U.S. Depending on which form you filed earlier, you’ll file either Form I-800 or Form I-600. After that has been approved, you’ll use the DS-260  to apply for your child’s immigration visa.

Step 6: Receive your child’s immigrant visa.

If both of the child’s adoptive parents were in the foreign country to complete the adoption, you’ll be given either the IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) visa. If both parents were not present, or if the adoption wasn’t finalized in the foreign country, you’ll receive either the IH-4 or the IR-4 visa. If you receive either of these visas, your child’s adoption was not finalized in his or her home country, and you will be require to do so upon returning home.

What is re-adoption, and when should an adoptive family pursue it?

If you received the IH-4 or the IR-4 visa, you’ll be required to re-adopt, or finalize your child’s adoption, upon return home to the United States. However, we recommend that you always do this when pursuing international adoption in Washington, D.C., regardless of which type of visa your child receives. Re-adopting ensures that your child gets the same rights and privileges as any other U.S. citizen.

Washington, D.C. International Adoption Agencies

If you wish to adopt internationally from Washington D.C., you’ll want to begin contacting the following agencies:

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.