National Judicial Network Webinar – Getting it Right: Adoptions and Immigration Relief for Foreign-Born Children (January 23, 2024)

PowerPoint Presentation (January 23, 2024)

Immigration Relief for Abused, Abandoned, or Neglected Children Special Immigrant Juvenile Classification Brochure

Fact Sheet: Adoption in U.S. Courts of Children from Hague Adoption Convention Countries

Intercountry Adoption Process: Flow Chart of Key Steps

USCIS Adoption Webpage (with link to sign up for updates)

Complete Policy Manual

Family-Based Petition Process

Intercountry Act of 2000

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Code of Federal Regulations Title 8 CFR 204.2

Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative

Annual State Department Reports on Intercountry Adoption

Hague Status Table

Hague Convention Countries List

State court judges, attorneys, and victim advocates often encounter foreign-born children being adopted by family members, stepparents, or guardians in the U.S. Adoption alone does not ensure that the immigrant child will attain lawful immigration status. Representatives from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will provide information on adoption of foreign-born children and immigration relief options to help ensure just outcomes and prevent unintended immigration consequences for adopted children. Foreign-born children in the U.S. who are adopted in a U.S. court may face immigration-related implications if required steps are not followed. When a U.S. citizen adopts a foreign-born child in the U.S. without properly considering requirements imposed by U.S. immigration laws and the Hague Adoption Convention (when applicable), this may delay, prevent, or complicate the child’s ability to obtain lawful U.S. immigration status or to become a U.S. citizen. Different rules apply depending on whether the child’s country of origin is or is not a Hague Convention country. U.S. citizens generally cannot bypass the requirements of the Hague Convention by identifying a foreign-born child from a Hague Convention country who is already in the U.S. and then completing an adoption in the U.S. State courts generally must not enter an order finalizing an adoption in a case subject to the Hague Convention unless the Department of State has certified compliance with the Convention procedures. USCIS panel members will provide an overview of adoption-based immigration, discuss other paths to legal immigration status open to foreign-born children including Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and offer tips and tools for state court judges and attorneys working with immigrant children for whom adoption is an option that promotes the child’s healing, health and well-being.