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Minneapolis Immigration Lawyers Assisting In Adoptions Of Children And Orphans Abroad

There is nothing more exciting than bringing a new child into your home and for some families, that happens through the process of adoption. Our immigration lawyers at the Wilson Law Group in Minneapolis regularly help reunite families through their immigration legal services, and we also help U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents complete foreign adoptions and bring adoptees to the United States.

Defining Adopted Children And Orphans

The topic of adoption in the immigration context divides into two groups – adopted children and orphans.  There are significant differences that determine who is eligible to petition for a child, which children are eligible, and the process involved.

First, lawful permanent residents and citizens of the United States can adopt a child the law classifies as an adoptee.  The law regarding the adoptions requires that one parent is a citizen of the United States.  If unmarried, the minimum age is twenty-five.

The term “child” includes a child adopted while under the age of sixteen years if the child has been in the legal custody of, and has resided with, the adopting parent for at least two years before the filing of an immigrant visa petition.  This was the original definition in the Act, before the implementation of the Hague Convention through the Inter-country Adoption Act (“IAA”) on April 1, 2008.  The Hague Convention and Inter-country Adoption Act govern the adoption of children between two signatory countries and require preapproval before any adoption occurs.  The government therefore recognizes an adopted child if the adoption occurred before the child reaches the age of 16 (18 if the child is a biological sibling of a child the adopting parent has already adopted or will adopt) and the child has been in the legal custody of, and resided with, one or both of the adopting parents for at least two years before the filing of any immigration petition.  The two-year residency period can occur before or after the adoption.

Can A Child Be An Adoptee And An Orphan?

A child can be an adoptee and an orphan at the same time.  A child is an orphan “because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents, or for whom the sole or surviving parent is incapable of providing the proper care and has in writing irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption.”  

What Are The Requirements For Adopting An Orphan?

The parents of an orphan do not have to fulfill the two-year requirement or adopt the child abroad.  However, the parents must initiate the process of adopting an orphan before the child’s sixteenth birthday and must establish their capacity to care for the child through an initial application process that includes a detailed home study.  The adoption can occur in the United States or abroad.  An adoption that occurs abroad, however, requires the parents to meet and observe the child as prerequisite and the parents must satisfy the law of the foreign country.  

Adopting International Children

Eligibility for immigration petitions filed on behalf of children adopted in the United States or abroad depends upon many factors. Wilson Law Group has represented adoptive parents seeking immigration status for international children in their newly expanded families. Our immigration attorneys, in our Minneapolis office, are happy to schedule a time to discuss eligibility and options with you.

Adopting international children – whether they are in the United States or abroad – requires a careful assessment before any prospective parent invests emotionally or financially in the process. Wilson Law Group has represented families in the United States who adopt international children living abroad and within the United States. We are happy to schedule a time to discuss this option to expanding your family with you.

Schedule A Free Consultation To Discuss Your Foreign Adoption With A Minneapolis Immigration Lawyer

Our immigration attorneys offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Once we better understand your personal history, story and immigration needs, we can tell you more about how we can help you with your international adoption. To schedule your free appointment, call our office at 612-430-8022 or send us an email using the firm’s online form.