U.S. Citizens who have adopted or are considering adopting a child while living abroad face many challenges outside of the ‘usual’ adoption difficulties. There are two primary avenues to acquiring immigration benefits, and ultimately U.S. citizenship, for a foreign child adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen parent: the orphan process and the immediate relative process.
Today 97 countries, including the United States, have ratified The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation with Respect to Intercountry Adoption, which drastically changed how orphan adoptions between countries are processed.
Expat Legal Services Group can advise adoptive or prospective adoptive parents on the possibility of adopting a child and obtaining immigration benefits through the adoption. We can also refer individuals to local counsel to navigate local adoption procedures and to Hague accredited agencies for orphan cases, when necessary.
We can prepare and submit applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for immediate relative adoption cases for either permanent residency or automatic U.S. Citizenship for children who will continue to reside abroad.