Can you adopt a child from another country?

Are you interested in adopting a child from another country? Are you interested in bringing that child to live in the United States with you?

If you answered yes to these questions, you must first be eligible to adopt as governed by United States law.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is responsible for making this decision. Simply put, you are not permitted to adopt a child and bring him or her into the country until you are first determined eligible by the USCIS.

Some of the national requirements to bring a foreign born child into the country include:

-- You must be a United States citizen

-- Those who are unmarried must be age 25 or older

-- Those who are married are required to jointly adopt the child

-- You must meet requirements that prove your suitability as a parent, such as completing a home study, fingerprinting and a criminal background check.

To go along with federal requirements, each state has its own set of requirements for prospective adoptive parents. Along with this, each foreign country has requirements that adoptive parents must meet.

You definitely have the opportunity to adopt a child from another country, but there are many requirements you must first meet. By understanding these, you can more easily move through the process.

Due to all the requirements and potential roadblocks, many prospective adoptive parents decide to consult with an attorney. This allows them to make more informed decisions from start to finish.

Source: Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State, "Intercountry Adoption: Who Can Adopt," accessed May 19, 2017

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