International Adoption in Montana
How the International Adoption Process Works in Your State
International adoption, also called intercountry adoption, is the process of adopting a child who was born in a country outside of the United States. If you are considering adoption in Montana, international adoption is a choice for you. Even though American Adoptions doesn’t work in international adoption in Montana, we do believe everyone who dreams of becoming a parent should have the opportunity to fulfill that dream. We support your decision, regardless of which adoption path you choose.
Because you may be wondering how to adopt a child internationally, we’ve created this guide to international adoption in Montana to serve you as you try to decide on the best option for your family. Intercountry adoption in Montana comes with a distinct set of challenges, and it helps to understand the process before getting started.
How International Adoption in Montana Works
The international adoption process in Montana can be more complex than a domestic adoption. When you adopt internationally, you are working with the laws of two federal governments, as well as any state and local statutes in your home and the home of the child. This means there will be a lot of legal work, and you’ll want to find a lawyer you can trust completely. It will also help if you have a basic grasp of the steps involved in intercountry adoption in Montana.
Step 1: Decide on a Country
There’s no single right way to choose a country. There are many different countries to adopt from, and only you can decide which is right for your family’s Montana international adoption. You may want to consider things like:
Eligibility requirements: Every country will have its own requirements for international adoption. You must meet the eligibility requirements of not only Montana and the United States, but the child’s country of origin as well. Research the adoption requirements of any country you are considering to make sure you are eligible.
The Hague Convention: The Hague Convention is an international standard that sets guidelines and regulations for countries to abide by during the international adoption process. While opinion on the Hague Convention is split, it is the standard of the U.S. State Department. Find out if the country you are considering is party to the Hague Convention.
Costs: Some countries will be more expensive to adopt from than others. This can be because of legal fees, travel costs and other adoption-related expenses. You may want to consider these factors before deciding on a country.
There are plenty of other factors you can consider as well for your international adoption in Montana. Once you have done your research, you can choose the right country for your adoption.
Step 2: Choose a Professional
As we mentioned above, having a trusted professional to navigate the complex procedures of international adoption is vital to the success of your Montana intercountry adoption. Make sure your agency is authorized to work in the country where you hope to adopt. Additionally, the agency you choose should be Hague accredited, as dictated by the Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.
You can check with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services to see state-licensed adoption agencies. You could also consider larger international adoption agencies like:
Step 3: Complete Your Home Study and Apply for Adoption Eligibility
Just like any other adoption, an international adoption in Montana will require a home study. Your home study provider, like your adoption agency, must meet Hague Convention requirements. This process, which usually takes around three months to complete, involves a review of relevant documents, in-home visits and interviews to determine your adoption readiness.
Once the home study has been completed, you can apply for adoption eligibility with the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS). This step is unique to the international adoption process in Montana.
If you are adopting from a Hague Convention country, you will fill out Form I-800A. If you are attempting a non-Hague Convention adoption, you will need to fill out Form I-600A. Once the form is complete, you will send it to the USCIS and they will determine whether or not you are eligible to adopt by U.S. standards. Then, your form and dossier will be sent to the country you wish to adopt from, who will determine whether or not you are eligible by their standards.
Step 4: Waiting for a Referral
This can be the most trying step of the international adoption process in Montana. After you have been deemed eligible to adopt by both countries and your information has been sent, you will wait to hear from your adoption agency about a potential adoption opportunity. Depending on which international adoption agency you are working with in Montana, you may be able to a see an international adoption photolisting.
Once the right opportunity presents itself, your agency will contact you. This is a phone call many people remember for the rest of their lives, and it is a significant step in your adoption.
Step 5: Apply for Child’s Eligibility and Travel
Before traveling to your child’s country, you’ll need to apply for their eligibility to be adopted with the USCIS. They will determine whether or not the child is eligible to immigrate to the U.S. through adoption. After eligibility has been granted, your child will receive an immigrant visa, and you can travel to their country.
Your in-country experience is going to be unique and challenging. The situation you are walking into will be complex, and you may have many conflicting emotions. But this can also be a time of immense joy, as you meet your child for the first time.
Step 6: Re-Adoption
Wait, re-adoption? Yes. It may seem odd, but once you have returned home with your child, you will most likely need to petition for an adoption hearing and re-adopt. You may have already completed the adoption legally in the child’s country of origin. However, the adoption has not been legally finalized under U.S. law. Re-adoption in Montana is not always technically necessary, but it is a highly recommended way to ensure the safety and best interests of your child.
Once you have taken this final step, your Montana international adoption will be complete.
Hopefully this guide has helped you determine whether or not international adoption in Montana is the right path for your family. If you are still considering private domestic infant adoption, you can call always 1-800-ADOPTION to learn about this process with American Adoptions.
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