International Adoption in Nebraska
An international adoption, also sometimes referred to as an intercountry adoption, is an adoption that occurs across national borders. If you’re thinking about pursuing the international adoption process in Nebraska, the following information will give you a better understanding of the steps for adopting a child from another country so you can decide if it’s the right way to expand your family.
How to Complete an International Adoption in NE
The country that you adopt from and the professional that completes your adoption will affect your Nebraska international adoption process. Depending on the country you adopt from and its relationship with the Hague Adoptive Convention, your adoption costs, requirements and laws will vary.
Although these factors will all influence your international adoption process in Nebraska, the steps generally go something like this:
Step 1: Decide Where You Want to Adopt From
In order to adopt a child from another country in Nebraska, you’ll need to decide which country you prefer. While some families have a preference, others may not.
There are a number of factors that can affect which country you’ll ultimately adopt from, such as:
The international adoption laws, political climate and travel restrictions of a country, which can change frequently.
The requirements that prospective adoptive parents must meet for each country.
The varying international adoption costs of a country and an adoption professional.
The racial and cultural identity of an internationally adopted child, which will always be an important part of their personal identity.
Step 2: Choose the Nebraska International Adoption Professional You Want to Work With
The countries that an agency is licensed to work with will vary, so if you want to adopt a child from a specific country, you might want to search for international adoption agencies in Nebraska that are licensed to perform adoptions within that country. Regardless of whether or not the country you adopt from is part of the Hague Convention, your Nebraska international adoption agency should always be Hague-accredited.
Step 3: Complete the Nebraska International Adoption Home Study Process
Potential adoptive parents are encouraged to begin the international adoption home study process as soon as possible, because it often takes several months to complete.
Similar to a domestic adoption home study, the NE international adoption home study process requires:
Abuse and criminal background checks for household members
Home visits and family interviews pre- and post-placement with your home study provider
Current health and financial records
Adoption reference letters
Your Nebraska home study provider will need to be licensed in accordance with The Hague Convention in order for them to complete home studies for international adoption, even if you don’t intend to adopt from a Hague Convention country.
Step 4: Confirm Your Adoptive Parent Intercountry Adoption Eligibility
After your home study is complete, you’ll need to verify that you’re eligible for an intercountry adoption by filing the following documents with The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Adoption Department:
For Hague Convention countries:
If you’ve already been matched with a child through your NE international adoption agency, file your adoption dossier along with your completed Nebraska international adoption home study and Form 1-800. If you’re still waiting to be matched, you’ll file Form 1-800A instead.
Once you’ve gained confirmation as being eligible to adopt from a Hague Convention country, it will remain valid for up to 15 months.
For non-Hague Convention countries:
If you’ve already been matched with a child through your NE international adoption agency, file your adoption dossier along with your completed Nebraska international adoption home study and Form 1-600. If you’re still waiting to be matched, you’ll file Form 1-600A instead.
Once you’ve gained confirmation as being eligible to adopt from a non-Hague Convention country, it will remain valid for up to 18 months.
Step 5: Confirm Your Child’s Intercountry Adoption Eligibility
Once you’ve confirmed your own eligibility to adopt a child from another country, you’ll repeat the process with the sending and receiving country, but the goal is now to confirm that you child is eligible for intercountry adoption.
So, if you previously filed Form 1-800A or 1-600A, you’ll file Form 1-800 (Hague) or 1-600 (non-Hague) on behalf of your child.
When the USCIS adoption department confirms that your child is eligible to be adopted internationally, you’ll be able to file for their travel visa, which will allow you both to return to Nebraska. For this visa, you’ll need to file Form DS-260 with the sending country’s adoption department.
Step 6: Secure Your Travel Visas and Return to Nebraska
You can anticipate staying in your child’s home country for one to four weeks while the adoption and visa application process are in progress. The two countries will need to send the documentation back and forth, which can take some time. The travel visa that you’ll be granted will depend on your individual circumstances:
If both adoptive parents (when applicable) are present for the adoption finalization within your child’s country, you’ll be granted an IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) travel visa.
If one out of two adoptive parents is present and/or the adoption still needs to be finalized in Nebraska, you’ll be granted an IH-4 (Hague) or IR-4 (non-Hague) travel visa.
After your child has received their travel visa, you’ll be able to go home together to begin the final step of the international adoption process in NE.
Step 7: Complete Either a Re-Adoption or a Finalization in Nebraska
If you received an IH-4 or IR-4 travel visa, then an adoption finalization is legally needed upon your return to Nebraska.
If you were given an IH-3 or IR-3 travel visa, then your adoption is legally complete according to your child’s home country’s standards. However, a re-adoption within the U.S. is highly recommended. A re-adoption in Nebraska will prevent potential legal complications in the future regarding your child’s citizenship and will protect their status as a citizen of the United States.
Once the finalization or re-adoption process is complete, the Nebraska international adoption process is done.
International Adoption Agencies in Nebraska
The international adoption agencies in Nebraska listed below can offer you more information about the international adoption process and can help you begin your Nebraska intercountry adoption:
Adoption Consultants, Inc. (home studies only)
Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc. (home studies only)
If you are still considering domestic adoption, you can alwayas call 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more about the process with our agency.
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.