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What is the criteria for an orphan adoption to the U.S.?

Florida residents who are seeking to adopt a child from overseas should be aware of the orphan process used by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Given the fluctuating and unpredictable events that are happening in the world today, more and more children are seeking a home and safety in the U.S. There is no shortage of people who are willing to take these children in, but orphan adoption must be done in accordance with the laws for international adoption. This is particularly worrisome with the political climate such as it is.

For a U.S. citizen, those who are married must have the spouse sign Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. The spouse must also adopt the child. For those who are unmarried, they must be at least 25 when filling out this form as an individual. The prospective parent must establish that proper parental care will be provided to the child. He or she must also establish that the child is an orphan as defined by the immigration laws of the U.S.

It must be established that either the person or the spouse have adopted the child abroad and one was in the presence of the child before or while the adoption was taking place; or it must be established that the adoption will be done in the U.S. when the child arrives. There must be permission for the child to come to the U.S. from his or her own country.

Under U.S. immigration law, an orphan is defined as a foreign-born child who has no parents for any reason or has one parent who cannot care for the child and adhere to the local standards of that country and who has released the child in writing to be adopted. The orphan petition must be filed before the child turns 16 or before he or she turns 18, if the child is a birth sibling of another child who was already in or is coming to the U.S. to be adopted.

It is a noble endeavor to bring a needy orphan to the U.S. to provide a better life, but it must be done legally. Having legal help with child citizenship can ensure that all the rules are followed and the adoption adheres to the applicable laws so there are no problems with the case before, during or after it has started.

Source: USCIS.gov, "Orphan Process," accessed on June 6, 2017

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