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Complete an International Adoption in Ohio in 7 Easy Steps

Your Guide to OH International Adoption

It’s a big world out there, with more than 7 billion people spread across it. If you’re considering international adoption, your new family member is somewhere out there — waiting for you.

So, ready to start your international adoption today?

The following information will help you learn more about the international adoption process in Ohio for prospective adoptive parents, and the resources that you’ll need to bring that new child into your life:

How to Adopt a Child from Another Country to Ohio

Every parent’s international adoption process will look slightly different, depending on the country they adopt from and whether or not that country is part of The Hague Adoption Convention. The chosen country’s adoption laws and requirements for adoptive parents will also play a role in adopting a child from another country.

However, in most cases, the international adoption process in Ohio consists of seven key steps:

Step 1: Choose the Country You Want to Adopt From

You may or may not have a preference about the country your child is born in. Still, it’s important to remember that current political affairs, travel restrictions, or shifting national adoption laws will likely affect which countries you’ll be able to adopt from at a given point in time. Recently, for instance, several countries have closed all international adoptions to America, which left many hopeful parents heartbroken and at a loss of what to do next.

If you’re considering a foreign adoption in Ohio, researching your options should be your first step.  Trends in international adoption frequently change, and you need up-to-date information before moving forward.

Other factors that can influence which country you’ll adopt through may include:

  • The ages and genders of children available for adoption, which vary from one country to the next.
  • The adoptive parent eligibility requirements of a country, which vary from one country to the next.
  • The varying international adoption costs of different countries and international adoption agencies.
  • The racial and cultural heritage of an internationally adopted child, which will continue to play an important role in their life.

All of these factors can affect adoption wait times by country — and should be considered before you start your family-building journey.

Step 2: Choose Which Ohio International Adoption Agency You Want to Work With

Because every Ohio international adoption agency only completes adoptions within countries they’re individually authorized to work with, you may want to keep this in mind when choosing a country to adopt from or choosing an agency to work with.

It’s also generally recommended to work with international adoption agencies in Ohio that are Hague-accredited, even if you don’t intend to adopt from a country that’s part of the Hague Convention. Online ratings and reviews of Ohio international adoption agencies can also be helpful to you when choosing an adoption professional that puts the needs of children first and foremost.

Step 3: Complete Your International Adoption Home Study

Regardless of whether or not you’re adopting from Hague Convention countries, the Ohio home study professional you work with will need to be licensed according to Hague Convention home study requirements. If you work with a home study professional that’s not affiliated with your agency, your social worker will likely need to approve the home study professional.

A home study for international adoption in Ohio takes about three months, so starting the process now may be helpful to you. Generally, the international adoption home study is very similar to the domestic adoption home study. It requires:

  • Current health statements
  • Current financial statements
  • Background checks
  • At least three adoption reference letters
  • Pre-placement visits in your home, including family interviews and safety inspections
  • Post-placements visits in your home to ensure everyone is adjusting well
  • And more

Step 4: File to Become Eligible for International Adoption in Ohio

Prospective adoptive parents pursuing intercountry adoption in Ohio will first need to be verified as eligible to adopt by The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Adoption Department.

For those adopting through Hague Convention countries:

You’ll file Form 1-800A, your completed international adoption home study and other required documents. Once you’re confirmed as eligible to adopt for a Hague Convention country, it’s valid for up to 15 months.

For those adopting through a non-Hague Convention country:

You’ll file Form 1-600A if you haven’t been matched with a child yet. If you’ve already been matched with a child, you’ll file Form 1-600 along with your completed international adoption home study and other required documents.

Once you’re confirmed as eligible to adopt for a non-Hague Convention country, it’s valid for up to 18 months.

Once the USCIS adoption department has confirmed your eligibility for international adoption in OH, your adoption professional sends your completed forms and adoption dossier to the country’s adoption authorities. They’ll also review your dossier to confirm your adoption eligibility according to their own national adoption laws and requirements.

Step 5: File for the Child to Become Eligible for Adoption

You’ll need to repeat the same adoption eligibility process for the child that you intend to adopt.

You’ll now file Form 1-800 if you’re adopting from a Hague Convention country, or you’ll file Form 1-600 if you’re adopting from a non-Hague country.

The USCIS will need to confirm your child’s adoption eligibility in order for you to file for the child’s U.S. visa. You’ll file Form DS-260 to the child’s country’s adoption administration to review and then approve.

Step 6: File for Travel Visas and Return to Ohio

To adopt abroad from Ohio, you must travel to your future child’s home country for certain legal processes — and to meet them!

Expect to stay in your child’s home country for one to four weeks while you complete the adoption and visa application processes. There may also be an exit interview with your child’s country’s adoption authorities.

If the sending country’s adoption authorities find that you’ve met all the necessary requirements to adopt, they’ll grant your child the visa necessary for them to return to Ohio with you. There are two kinds of visas you might receive:

  • If both adoptive parents (when applicable) are present and the adoption is completed within the sending country, you’ll be supplied with an IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) visa.
  • If only one of two adoptive parents are present and/or the adoption still needs to be finalized upon returning to Ohio, you’ll be supplied with an IH-4 (Hague) or IR-4 (non-Hague) visa.

Once you’ve obtained a visa for your child, you’ll be able to return home to complete your international adoption in Ohio.

Step 7: Complete the Adoption with a Re-Adoption or Adoption Finalization

The final step to the international adoption process in Ohio is either a finalization or a recommended re-adoption. Your adoption professional and local attorney will advise you on which is necessary for your situation.

  • If your child was granted an IH-4 or IR-4 visa, you’ll need to finalize the adoption in Ohio.
  • If your child was granted an IH-3 or IR-3 visa, a re-adoption within the U.S. is highly recommended by adoption experts, even though the adoption is technically complete according to the sending country’s standards.

A re-adoption or finalization is key to protecting your child’s rights as a U.S. citizen. This step ensures that your child’s adoption is formally recognized by both countries’ administrations. By failing to re-adopt or finalize your international adoption in Ohio, you may run into legal difficulties regarding citizenship or parenthood even years or decades later. An adoption finalization is legally required, but a re-adoption safeguards the legal bonds of your family.

Once finalization or re-adoption in Ohio is complete, the international adoption process is also completed.

International Adoption Agencies in Ohio

There are several resources for international adoption in Ohio that you may consider working with, some of which offer international adoption home study services, such as:

Still considering domestic vs. international adoption in Ohio? You can always request additional information from American Adoptions or call our specialists anytime at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more about our services and programs.

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.