Charleston International Adoption Lawyer
Are you looking to perform an international adoption to expand your family? A Charleston Immigration Lawyer from our firm can help you through the legal process. Remember, "with immigration, nothing is as simple as it first appears℠" and this is especially true with adoptions. Adoption is defined as "the permanent legal transfer of parenting rights and responsibilities from one family to another".
The processing of inter country foreign adoptions between countries for Americans and Permanent Residents of the U.S. is a challenging and most rewarding aspect of immigration law for attorneys who practice in this field. Potential parents can realize their life dream of starting or enlarging their families and foreign children can find the stability of family and the hope for a brighter future. Attorneys who do these type of cases usually get the added reward of knowing they made a significant difference in people's lives and contributed to the "march of humanity".
It is important to note that such reward does not come without significant efforts by all involved. Prospective Parents will do whatever is asked; Attorneys check and recheck every aspect of the process to assure compliance; Adoption Service Providers, strive for compatibility; the USCIS places a priority on orphan adoptions; the central authority or foreign service providers do their part and foreign orphanages strive to find loving children new and stable homes. Adoption is a very special time for the adopting parents and their greater family. We realize that as your lawyer we have the added reward of knowing we made a difference in the life of a child and your family. Therefore we endeavor to not make the legal process more burdensome or intrusive than is absolutely necessary. That way the new parents can channel all their energies, hopes and dreams into welcoming the "new loved one" into their hearts and home.
Adoptions take many forms and there are three broad categories of adoption.
Related or Step-Parent Adoptions
When all the parties are related by blood or marriage, a home study is usually not required nor is an immigration attorney unless the child is a citizen of another country. The typical examples are where a step parent marries a person of child and wants to adopt that child for family cohesion. Another situation is where a minor daughter is pregnant, with no intention of marriage and can't afford the child. Often grandparents wish to adopt to preserve the family unity. Unless the child is a foreign citizen an immigration attorney is also not needed here. We will not deal with these cases involving only U.S. citizens, but can refer you to other competent legal counsel who does.
Unrelated Private Adoptions
These are adoptions where a child, usually a baby is given up at birth to predetermined parents to be for a fee through a friend, church or "baby referral service". Generally, these cases are within a state or cross state lines and involve U.S. citizen babies. They do not require services of an immigration attorney, so we will not further discuss them. However, on occasion they involve babies from other countries. These are usually the type of adoption cases we recommend to stay away from.
Unrelated Agency Adoptions
These are U.S. based agencies offering babies or children. The birthmother relinquishes her child to the agency which often places the child in a foster home which may or may not ripen into a full time permanent adoption. Again, we do not deal with cases involving only U.S. citizens, as these do not require the services of an immigration attorney, but we can refer you to other competent legal counsel who does.
So what then are foreign child adoptive parents to do? There are three legitimate inter-country foreign child adoption processes available;
Each will be discussed in the bullet point detailed above. Under the Hague Convention a treaty was signed by many, many nations outlining procedures and rules to govern foreigners adopting their children. The U.S., Canada, Mexico and a host of others belong to this treaty. The U.S. will not currently recognize adoptions from certain Hague treaty members such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guatemala, Montenegro, Pakistan, Romania and Vietnam. Additionally, Russia just signed federal law banning inter country adoption by U.S. families. It is unclear whether Russia will permit the completion of any pending adoptions in the pipeline.
Finally, the natural parents of an adoptee cannot, at any time, obtain U.S. immigration benefits that were conferred through the adoptive immigration process. Even if the child later has the adoptive relationship legally terminated. However, if immigration benefits are available through other means of the child, they be applied.
During and after the finalization of the adoption process other immigration factors and procedures come into play, such as;
- Adoptee Vaccinations
- Post-Adoptive Procedures
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Expeditious Naturalization
- Frequently Asked Questions
Talk to a Charleston Immigration Lawyer from our firm to learn more about all the International Foreign Child Adoption Processes.