International Adoptions

In an international adoption, the new parents adopt a child who is a citizen of a foreign country. In addition to satisfying the adoption requirements of both the foreign country and the parents' home state in the U.S., the parents must obtain an immigrant visa for the child through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly called the INS). The child will be granted U.S. citizenship automatically upon entering the United States. Many countries with children available for adoption will not permit adoption by openly gay or lesbian parents; some countries, like China, require the adopting parent to sign an affidavit that he or she is heterosexual. Despite this, many gay and lesbian adoptive parents have successfully completed international adoptions as single parents, with their partners later becoming legal parents through second parent or stepparent adoptions in the United States. Prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to work with an agency, because direct adoption can be difficult due to language, customs and legal differences. Our attorneys and staff work with a qualified agency, and are very familiar with the often difficult and seemingly cumbersome procedures required for international adoptions. This process can be frustrating for adoptive parents. Having processed adoptions from many different nations such as Guatemala, China, Russia, Ukraine, Honduras and Vietnam, our staff's expertise is reassuring for clients.

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