Making the choice to expand your family through adoption is a big decision. However, once you’ve made this decision and have also concluded that you want to adopt a child from another country, the associated process for completing the adoption can be confusing, especially if you have never done it before. The following are some commonly asked questions and answers regarding the process associated with international adoptions (which may also be referred to as intercountry adoptions.
What laws come into play with an international adoption?
Generally, there will be three different jurisdictional laws that govern international adoptions, and these include:
- The adoption laws in the country that is home to the child you plan on adopting
- The adoption laws of the state that you live in
- U.S. federal adoption laws.
Because the interplay of these laws is often complicated, it’s a good idea to speak with a family law attorney if you are considering adopting a child from another country.
Is there anything I can do to speed the adoption process up?
Yes. In many cases, individuals or couples who are planning to go through with an international adoption can facilitate the process by completing and submitting a bunch of paperwork even before they have chosen the child who they want to adopt. Additionally, in cases when the other country has requirements for adopting parents to spend time in the country prior to the adoption being approved, then the adopting individual or couple can further expedite the process by meeting this stay requirement prior to initiating the adoption process.
What is a Hague adoption?
These types of adoptions are those that comply with the treaty developed during The Hague Adoption Convention, which was officially enacted in April 2008. According to the terms of this treaty, these adoptions pertain to children who:
- Are younger than 16 years old when the adoption paperwork is filed
- Live in a country that signed the treaty and are eligible for international adoption according to that country’s laws
- Have been approved for adoption by all necessary agencies of that country.
For more international adoption FAQs, be sure to check out the upcoming Part 2 of this blog.
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