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Should we Adopt Internationally? | What to Know

Different adoption options & processes

Under the American legal system, there are several avenues for adoption,  all with their sub-categories and rules. Adoptions of U.S. children are categorized as domestic (via an agency), independent (without an agency), or via the foster care system. An adoption from overseas, on the other hand, has specific requirements depending on the country of origin and the child’s specific situation. Each adoption alternative has different advantages, disadvantages, waiting times, costs, and many other considerations you need to be fully aware of. Different criteria are evaluated such as age, marital status, how long have you been married, economic income, if you already have other kids at home, and so on.

Fundamental to being approved as an adoptive parent under U.S. law is the “home study.” The adoption home study is simultaneously a test and an opportunity to share and compile information.  It’s intended to:

  1. Inform the prospective family about adoption and help them to prepare;
  2. Assess the suitability of the potential family to adopt; and
  3. Collect the information about the possible adoptive family that will help a social worker match the family with a child or youth whose needs the family can best meet.

Adoption processes are very individualized; it wouldn´t be accurate to speak of a flat fee or a specified amount of time for the resolution of your case. The cost will determine upon different aspects, such as the country where you are filing the request, the specialists you will hire, documentation required from both countries, and so on.

The U.S. State Department estimates that many foreign adoptions can take 1-4 years depending on the child’s country of origin, and in particular, if their country is part of the Hague Convention On Protection Of Children and Cooperation In Respect Of Intercountry Adoption.  If it is, then you’ll have to go through the “Hague Process” in collaboration with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).  There are about 90 Hague countries.

If you’re adopting a child from a Hague country, you’ll work with USCIS to

  1. find an adoption provider in your chosen country,
  2. go through that country’s adoption approval process,
  3. find your beautiful new child to love, and
  4. proceed through all the administrative and legal requirements to get your child legally recognized by U.S. immigration.

Contact Our Morris County Cohabitation Agreement Attorneys Today

International adoption can turn into a great way to bring joy to your life, but especially a way to bring hope and shelter to a person who will change your life forever. Although the exhausting process, paperwork, and requirements can seem overwhelming, don’t give up. You can find support along the way.  At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Morristown, Chester, Mendham, Chatham, and Morris County.

If you are considering either local or international adoption, we encourage you to speak with our firm today and ask for a free and confidential consultation regarding your needs, please contact us online, or through our Morristown office at (973) 840-8970.