International Adoption in New Hampshire
In a domestic adoption, a child is adopted within the borders of a single country. However, in an international adoption, a child is adopted across two countries. This is also sometimes referred as an intercountry adoption.
The following information can help you better understand the international adoption process in New Hampshire. Note that the country you ultimately choose to adopt from, its relationship with The Hague Adoption Convention, as well as the professional that completes your adoption will all influence your individual adoption process. Individual countries will have their own adoption costs, requirements and laws that can vary your individual experience.
But generally, the intercountry adoption process in New Hampshire goes something like this:
Step 1: Choose to Pursue an International Adoption in NH
You should always educate yourself thoroughly about all of your family building options before deciding on which path is right for you. If you decide that adoption is what you want to pursue, take some time to learn about every type of adoption as well as the varying requirements and processes of each type, including the emotional challenges and benefits that you may experience. If you decide that you want to pursue the international adoption process in New Hampshire, you can anticipate that the legal steps proceed like this:
Step 2: Choose Which Country You Want to Adopt From
Next you’ll need to decide which country you want to adopt from. When deciding to adopt a child from another country, many adoptive families already have an idea of where they might like to adopt from. Others may not be sure or might not have a preference.
There are several variables that can influence where you may be able to adopt a child from, including:
The requirements for potential adoptive parents that each country establishes.
The international adoption laws, travel restrictions and shifting politics of each country, which fluctuate often.
The international adoption costs of individual countries and adoption professionals.
The racial and cultural identity of an internationally adopted child, which will remain an important part of who they are.
Step 3: Choose Your New Hampshire International Adoption Professional
The countries that individual adoption professionals are licensed to work with will vary, which may be something that you want to take into consideration when choosing an adoption professional to work with, especially if you’re committed to adopting a child from a specific country and you don’t want to deviate. It can be helpful to search for international adoption agencies in New Hampshire that are licensed to complete adoptions within the country that you might want to adopt a child in.
You should also choose a New Hampshire international adoption agency that is Hague-accredited, even if you aren’t adopting from a country that is associated with the Hague Convention.
Step 4: Begin Your New Hampshire International Adoption Home Study Process
Prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to start the NH international adoption home study process as soon as possible, because it’s one of the lengthier steps of the intercountry adoption process. An international adoption home study can take several months to complete.
Similar to a domestic adoption home study, a New Hampshire international adoption home study will require:
Adoption reference letters
Abuse and criminal background checks, as well as FBI fingerprinting
Up-to-date health and financial records
Family interviews and in-home visits before and after placement with your home study professional
The New Hampshire home study professional that you work with will also need to be licensed in accordance with The Hague Convention for them to be able to complete your home study for an international adoption in New Hampshire, even if you’re not planning to adopt from a Hague Convention country.
Step 5: Confirm Your Adoptive Parent Intercountry Adoption Eligibility
Once you’ve complete your home study, you’ll next need to confirm that you’re eligible to complete an intercountry adoption in New Hampshire as an adoptive parent. To do this, you’ll file the following documentation with The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Adoption Department:
For Hague Convention countries:
If you’ve been matched with a child already through your NH international adoption agency, file your completed New Hampshire international adoption home study, your adoption dossier and Form I-800. If you haven’t been matched yet, file Form I-800A, instead.
Confirmed eligibility to adopt from a Hague Convention country remains valid for up to 15 months.
For non-Hague Convention countries:
If you’ve been matched with a child already through your NH international adoption agency, file your completed New Hampshire international adoption home study, your adoption dossier and Form I-600. If you haven’t been matched yet, file Form I-600A, instead.
Confirmed eligibility to adopt from a non-Hague Convention country remains valid for up to 18 months.
If you’re confirmed as eligible to adopt internationally in New Hampshire by the USCIS adoption department, they’ll send your adoption dossier and the accompanying forms to the adoption department in your child’s home country, where they’ll repeat the same process according to that country’s adoption eligibility standards.
Step 6: Confirm Your Child’s Intercountry Adoption Eligibility
After your own eligibility to adopt a child from another country has been confirmed by both countries, you’ll next need to repeat the process, now with the goal of confirming your child’s eligibility to be adopted.
If you previously filed Form I-800A or I-600A, you’ll now file Form I-800 (Hague countries) or I-600 (non-Hague countries).
If your child is confirmed as eligible for international adoption by the USCIS adoption authorities, you’ll be able to file for their travel visa. Once you’ve obtained that visa, you’ll be able to return together to New Hampshire. To get this visa, you’ll file Form DS-260 with your child’s country’s adoption department.
Step 7: Obtain Travel Visas and Return to New Hampshire
The process of completing the adoption and visa application can take a while as the two countries send the required documents back and forth. This will mean that you should anticipate staying in your child’s home country for about one to four weeks.
Depending on how you’re completing your adoption, you’ll be granted one of two different visas:
If both adoptive parents (when applicable) are present for the adoption finalization in your child’s country, you’ll receive an IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) travel visa.
If only one of two adoptive parents is present and/or the adoption still needs to be finalized in New Hampshire, you’ll receive an IH-4 (Hague) or IR-4 (non-Hague) travel visa.
Once you’ve received your child’s travel visa, you can both return to the U.S. and move on to the final step of the international adoption process in NH.
Step 8: Complete a Re-Adoption or a Finalization in New Hampshire
If you received an IH-4 or IR-4 travel visa, then you’ll need to finalize your adoption when you return to New Hampshire.
If you received an IH-3 or IR-3 travel visa, then your adoption is finalized by your child’s home country’s standards, but a re-adoption on U.S. soil is highly recommended for legal safety. By completing a re-adoption in New Hampshire, you protect your child from potential legal complications regarding parenthood or citizenship later on.
After the adoption finalization or re-adoption process is complete, then the New Hampshire international adoption process is also complete.
International Adoption Agencies in New Hampshire
You can receive more information about New Hampshire intercountry adoption by contacting the international adoption agencies in New Hampshire listed below. They’ll be able to help begin your NH international adoption process:
Still considering adopting in the United States? To learn more about domestic adoption with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION.
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.