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Adopting Abroad A Beautiful & Complex Journey

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Family Law

Bringing a childing into a home with a loving and supportive family is a dream for many individuals. International adoptions provide a unique opportunity to expand a family across borders and share the magic of your respective cultures. Of course, adoptions can be complex, especially when they involve immigration, but that should not limit you and your family from taking steps toward this beautiful process.

International Adoption

Just like the name implies, international adoptions involve the adoption of a child from another country to bring them to the home country of the adoptive parents. These adoptions are considered much more complex because the process requires compliance with the adoption laws for both the child’s country of origin, international treaties, and the immigration laws of the U.S. These laws vary from one country to another, and understanding those legal requirements are necessary for a successful adoption.

The Hague Convention and Its Impact

Many countries follow the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention). The Hague Convention is an international treaty that protects the best interests of children involved in international adoptions. Over 100 countries have signed this treaty and agree to the rules that govern the adoption process.

One of the significant aspects of the Hague Convention is that it establishes a specific process for international adoptions. It typically requires adoptive parents to work with an accredited adoption agency authorized to handle Hague Convention adoptions. The agency plays an important role in ensuring the adoption process adheres to the principles and guidelines set forth by the treaty.

Family Adoption

Ultimately, the Hague Convention makes the process of selecting a child to adopt significantly more limited. Typically children who are eligible for adoption are processed through the adoption agency first, which then work with prospective parents. Adoptive parents may be matched with a child based on several factors like the parent’s preferences and the child’s needs, which may result in having less direct control over selecting a specific child.

This can be disheartening for families in the U.S. that wish to adopt related child family members abroad. For example, if some of your family members abroad cannot take care of their child, and you wish to adopt them, the Hague Convention may limit your ability to do so unless the child is an orphan. The treaty’s principle to prioritize the best interests of the child in certain situations could be interpreted to mean that it would be better for the child to be adopted domestically.

Petitioning for Adoption

Whether you’re a family member who wishes to adopt a relative, or a family seeking a child who needs a home abroad, adoptive parents must also navigate the U.S. Immigration process to bring their adopted child into the country. This process requires obtaining the necessary visas and fulfilling the immigration requirements to establish the child as a permanent resident or citizen.

Every family’s situation is unique and the process for international adoption will look different for each family. At Rotella & Hernandez, we understand that family is important to you. We offer guidance for families who need assistance regarding international adoptions, immigration, and family law. If you need help navigating the complex legal requirements of these processes, call our office at 305-596-3618 to schedule a consultation.