Many couples that want to extend their families turn to adoption. Adoption is the legal process in which individuals who are not a child’s biological parents permanently assume the parental rights of a child. If you have adopted or plan to adopt a child living outside the United States, you must apply for an immigrant visa to bring them into the country. The Hauge and orphan adoption processes are restricted for children adopted by U.S. citizens and meet strict eligibility requirements for the programs. Please continue reading to learn about these family-based petitions and contact a competent Middlesex County, New Jersey, Family Immigration Lawyer who can help you understand your legal options.
What are the different types of visas for adopted children?
The Hauge Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption is an international program that, hence its name, deals with international adoptions. Essentially, this treaty protects children who are adopted internationally from abuse and exploitation. The program ensures that adoptions under the convention will be recognized and implemented in other countries. It preserves the best interests of a child with respect for their fundamental rights. Through this convention, visa types for Hauge adoptions include:
- IH-3 visa: This visa is issued for children with final adoptions from a Hauge Convention country.
- IH-4 visa: This visa is issued when a child from a Hauge Convention country comes to the United States to be adopted.
Adopting a child through the orphan process is also possible if you are a U.S. citizen who is married. You and your spouse agree to sign Form-I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative; you establish that you will provide proper parental care and adopt the child once they arrive in the United States. However, the child you adopted or want to adopt must fit the classification of an orphan as defined under U.S. immigration law. The orphan (non-Hauge) adoption process includes:
- IR-3 visa: This visa is issued when a full and final adoption is finalized abroad.
- IR-4 visa: This visa is issued to a child who has come to the U.S. to be adopted, was adopted abroad by only one parent if they are married, and was not seen by the parent during the adoption.
Furthermore, a child can receive an immigrant visa through the Family Based Petition Process. This petition is not available to children from Hauge countries. Visas types of the Family-Based Peititin Process include:
- IR-2 visa: This visa is issued to a child adopted before their 16th birthday (or 18th birthday if the sibling exception is applicable). In addition, they were in the legal custody of and jointly resided with the adoptive parents for at least two years.
As you can see, there are various ways in which you can bring an adopted child to the U.S. However, the type of visa your child will be issued will determine the steps you will be required to take for the child to obtain citizenship. Therefore, it is best to contact a determined lawyer from the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC, who can help you navigate your legal options.