For those who want to be parents, adoption is a viable option and can occur domestically or internationally. The Hague Convention on Protection of Children & Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the “HCCA”) is a multilateral treaty between more than 75 countries, including the United States, that became effective in April 2008. The HCCA provides protections for children and families that are involved in adoptions between countries that are parties to the treaty. The HCCA also works to prevent the trafficking, sale, and/or abduction of children.
Adopting a child from an HCCA country is vastly different from adopting one from a country that is not a party to the treaty. If you are an American citizen interested in international adoption, you should make yourself aware of the requirements.
Generally, the HCCA adoption process involves the following steps:
● Choosing a U.S.-approved or accredited adoption service provider;
● Apply to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and be found suitable and eligible to adopt internationally;
● Be matched with a child by the authorities in the minor’s country of origin;
● Apply to the USCIS to request the child be found eligible for immigration to the U.S.;
● Receive provisional approval from the US to proceed with the international adoption;
● Adopt or obtain legal custody of the minor in the child’s country of origin;
● Successfully obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for the child in order to bring him or her home.
Other Key Points
The HCCA provides further safeguards for children, birth parents, and prospective adoptive parents. The primary focus of the HCCA is to ensure that each adoption is in the best interest of the child in addition to preventing the abduction, trafficking, and sale of children. For the United States, the Intercountry Adoption Act (ICAA), as well as the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), implement those purposes. The requirement that adoption service providers (ASPs) be approved or accredited by the U.S. Department of State’s designated accrediting agency for HCCA cases ensures that these providers meet federal standards designed to ensure the use of ethical and professional adoption standards. Similarly, the U.S. HCCA adoption procedures are proposed to avoid potential issues that could hinder children from entering America. The process is structured in a manner that can identify potential pitfalls before adoption occurs in the child’s home country.
International Litigation Support
If you need international litigation support, contact Ancillary Legal today. Our team has significant experience and can support all your domestic and international litigation needs. If you need support for your depositions, court reporting, transcripts, and videography, contact us at Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting.