International Adoption or Inter country adoption refers to the adoption of a foreign-born child for whom federal law makes a special immigration visa available. Although international adoptions are finalized in the country of origin of the child, there are a lot of procedural formalities to be complied with when the child is brought to the U.S.
The First step is to file an application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Application forms include an Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from Convention Country and Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. Application forms differ for countries whose adoption procedures are subject to Hague Adoption Convention and those countries which are not subject to Hague Adoption Convention. Like any other adoption, along with the application a home study should also be submitted. A home study is a review of the family and home environment of prospective adoptive parents. This helps the USCIS and the foreign country’s adoption authority determine whether the applicant’s home environment is suitable for the child.
The prospective adoptive parents do not only have to comply with U.S. federal law, they must alos comply with the laws of the child’s country of origin and the laws of the U.S. state that the child will call home. For example, certain countries forbid individuals with certain disabilities from adopting. Other countries may restrict single parent adoptions. U.S. state laws also vary with regard to eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents. Moreover, U.S. federal law does not prohibit gay and lesbian or same-sex couples from being an adoptive parent. However, some U.S. state laws and some countries do forbid gay and lesbian individuals, as well as same-sex couples, from being adoptive parents. In addition, criminal background checks of the prospective adoptive parents are done by the FBI.