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International Adoption in Rhode Island

International, otherwise known as intercountry, adoption is the process of adopting a child outside of the United States.

The process is a bit different when compared to domestic adoption, so you may be unsure of where to start when you are learning about how to adopt a child from another county. Here, you can learn more about the process and the steps needed to successfully complete this type of adoption in Rhode Island.

American Adoptions is unable to provide International adoption services, as we specialize in newborn adoption in Rhode Island.

If you’re ready to talk to one of our adoption specialists, you can contact us today by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or filling out our free online form. But, if you're certain domestic infant adoption in Rhode Island isn't right for you, you can choose to pursue international adoption.

The International Adoption Process in Rhode Island

Depending on where you choose to adopt from and whether the country is Hague-accredited, your experience adopting internationally may vary. Regardless, all international adoptions will have certain requirements and procedures that you will need to follow.

Step 1: Choosing a Country

One of the most exciting steps is choosing which country you want to adopt from. Travel restrictions, political climate, and changing adoption laws can influence your decision. Before you get on your first plane ride, you will want to do some research on your chosen country.

When making your choice, you should consider factors such as:

  • Your preferences in a child: Is there a certain age group that you’re considering? Children in certain ages and sibling groups, as well as of a specific gender, may be more available in one country compared to another. You can research what kinds of children are available in the country that you are considering through an international adoption photolisting.                                                                           

  • Culture of the country: Is there a certain country whose culture and traditions you have always been interested in? This will be another aspect to consider. While you may be bringing a child from another country into the United States, it is important that you make them feel as welcome as possible after your overseas adoption. This will be a great time to learn more about your adopted child’s home country when it comes to food, family customs, and holidays.

  • Costs: Many families think that international adoption will be cheaper than domestic adoption, but this a common misconception. International adoption facts have shown the costs to be on par with domestic adoption. As a parent hoping to adopt internationally, you will also need to budget for your visa, airfare, and your stay while in the country. Total international adoption costs will vary depending on the country.

  • Eligibility: Not only are you required to meet your home country’s adoption requirements, you will also need to be eligible according to your chosen country’s standards. This is where Hague accreditation comes into play.

In order to protect children adopted internationally, the Hague Adoption Convention treaty was ratified to oversee international adoptions. You are still able to adopt from a non-Hague accredited country, but adopting from a country that follows The Hague convention guidelines will ensure certain benefits, including:

  • Better access to medical records

  • A list of itemized expenses

  • Prevention of child trafficking

For a full list of Hague Convention countries, you can visit the Intercountry Adoption section of U.S. Department of State’s website.

Step 2: Choosing Your Professional

After you have found the country that is right for you, it’s time to choose your international adoption professional. International agencies operate in different parts of the world, so you will want to make sure that the agency you choose is able to work with your country. The agency should also be Hague-accredited, according to the Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.

Below are some international adoption agencies that will be able to assist while you are adopting internationally as a resident of Rhode Island:

A good international adoption agency will support, educate, and guide you during your adoption overseas in Rhode Island. They may also oversee your home study and post-placement assessments. To make the choice easier, it is a good idea to look at reviews online in order to get a feel for the agency.

Step 3: Completing your International Adoption Home Study

While the country that you choose does not need to be Hague-accredited, the agency performing your home study does. This process can take up to three months to complete, so it is recommend to begin collecting the necessary documents as early as possible.

This process is not too different from the domestic adoption home study. You will need to gather necessary documents for your social worker, such as background checks, clearances, and personal references. It will also consist of an in-home visit, a home inspection, and an interview process.

Step 4: Apply to be Eligible for Adoption

In order to continue your international adoption, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must verify that you are eligible to adopt. During the USCIS adoption process, you will most likely be filing either a 1-800A or 1-600A. Which one you will need to fill out depends on whether or not you are adopting from one of the Hague Convention countries.

Adopting from a Hague-Convention country:

You will need to send your 1-800A along with your completed international adoption home study and any additional documents. After this, your eligibility will be valid for 15 months.

Adopting from a non-Hague Convention country:

If you are completing a non-Hague convention adoption, you can file either a 1-600A either before you find a child to adopt, or you can file a 1-600 after you have matched with a child through your Rhode Island international adoption agency.

Once the USCIS has declared that you are eligible for adoption, your adoption service provider will send your 1-800A or 1-600A and your adoption dossier to the country that you wish to adopt. After this, your forms will be reviewed again in order to make sure the guidelines are met.

Step 5: Receiving Your International Adoption Referral

Once an international adoption opportunity is available, the foreign adoption agency will contact your international adoption provider, which will then contact you. If you accept the referral, you can begin your travel preparations and making sure that your child is eligible to adopt.

Just as you had to file a 1-800A or 1-600A in order to determine if you were eligible to adopt, there are additional forms needed to make sure your child can immigrate to the United States. This process will involve filing either the 1-800 or 1-600 form.

If USCIS approves of your child’s information, he or she will be granted adoption eligibility. The next step will be to apply for your child’s visa in order to leave his or her home country. You will need to then fill out and submit the DS-260 form, which will be reviewed by the home country’s administration.

Step 6: Travel and Adoption

Traveling to your child’s country for the first time may be one of the most exciting parts of your international adoption. Typically, you will stay in the country for one to four weeks. You will be able to get to know your child as you complete the final steps of your child’s visa application. Lastly, there will be an interview with your child’s country’s adoption authorities in order to make sure that you have met their standards.

After the interview, your child will receive a visa according to one of the following situations:

  • IH-3 or IR-3 Visa: If both adoptive parents were present and the adoption was completed in the child’s home country.

  • IH-4 or IR-4 Visa: If only one of the two adoptive parents are present, or if the adoption was not completed in the country. In this case, you will still need to finalize the adoption in the United States.

Being able to return home with your newest family member is an exciting achievement. However, you may not be done with your international adoption just yet.

Finalization and Re-Adoption

The last step to completing your international adoption will either be completing an adoption finalization or international re-adoption. Which process is necessary will depend on which visa your child received. If your child received an IH-3 or IR-3 visa, your adoption is considered complete, but it is highly encouraged that you complete a re-adoption.

If your child received an IH-4 or IR-4 visa, you will still need to finalize your adoption in the United States. This will require you to complete the N-600 form and any additional adoption proceedings for Rhode Island. Once this step is complete, your child’s adoption will be complete and they will be considered a United States citizen.

Still considering private domestic infant adoption in Rhode Island? Call 1-800-ADOPTION anytime for more information about our agency programs.

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