• Narrow screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • Increase font size
Home Law Practices International Adoptions
International Adoptions
Article Index
International Adoptions
Department of Homeland Security Approval
Foreign Adoption Process
Immigrant Visas
All Pages

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security Approval

Adoptive and prospective adoptive parent(s) must comply with U.S. immigration procedures, initiated through the USCIS in the United States in order to bring an adoptive child to the U.S. Simply locating a child in a foreign country and going to the U.S. Embassy to obtain a visa for the child will not meet these requirements. An orphan cannot be brought to the United States without a visa, which is based upon an USCIS approved petition (form I-600).

The Orphan Petition form has two parts: I-600 and I-600A. The I-600 is used when the adoptive parents have identified a specific child. The I-600 is filed with the appropriate office of the USCIS in the United States . The USCIS adjudicates all aspects of the I-600 petition - including the suitability of the adoptive parent(s), compliance with any state pre-adoption requirements (if the child is to be adopted after entry into the United States), and the qualifications of the child as an orphan within the meaning of section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. When the petition has been approved, the USCIS notifies the U.S. embassy or consulate that processes visas for residents of the child's country. At the same time, the approved I-600 petition and supporting documents are sent to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire , where the petition is assigned a computer tracking code and then mailed to the appropriate U.S. consular office abroad.

The I-600A form should be filed if the prospective adoptive parent(s) have not yet identified a child or intend to go abroad to locate a child for adoption. Like the I-600, this application is filed at the local USCIS office in the United States with jurisdiction over the place of residence of the adoptive parent(s). USCIS evaluates the suitability of the prospective adoptive parent(s). When the application is approved, notification is sent to the adoptive parents and to the appropriate U.S. mission in the country where the parents have indicated they would like to adopt. Once the parents have located a specific child, they must file an I-600 Petition. The parents may file the I-600 petition either with their local USCIS office in the United States or with the U.S. consular office overseas. Although only one parent must be physically present to file the I-600 petition overseas, that parent must be a U.S. citizen. A third party may not file the petition on the parents' behalf, even with a valid Power of Attorney. In addition, if only one of the two parents travels, the petition must nevertheless be properly executed (signed) by both parents after it has been completely filled out. This means one parent cannot sign for the other parent and neither parent may sign the petition until all the details about the child have been entered on the form.