A growing number of parents in Texas and throughout the country have made the decision to adopt internationally. People may be focused on the adoption process itself, but it can be important to remember that international adoption is also an immigration matter. There are certain rules that parents can follow to help ensure a smooth process to bring a new child into their family. In the first place, the child must be legally adopted under the laws established by their home country. The child must also qualify as an orphan under the age of 16, and the adoptive parent must be a U.S. citizen who is at least 25 years old.
Parents must receive a family evaluation that determines that they will provide a suitable home for an adopted child. Called advance processing, it can be helpful for parents to complete the evaluation before searching for an adoptive child. In order for the evaluation to be valid for immigration reasons, it must be conducted by an organization authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. The evaluation includes a home visit, an interview of adults living there, background checks and a review of the financial, emotional and mental stability of the potential adoptive parents. The parents must also provide proof of citizenship.
Once the evaluation is complete and the parents have dealt with the international adoption process, they will need to apply for an immigrant visa at the relevant U.S. consulate. They will need an interview with a consular officer and an approved I-600 or I-600A petition with USCIS.
There are two types of visas that may be issued for children going through an international adoption process to allow their adoptive parents to move them back to the United States. An immigration law attorney may work with prospective parents to navigate the family immigration system.