What Steps are Involved in an International Adoption?

international adoption

If you’ve decided to adopt a child, and want to learn more about the adoption process, there are a few different types of adoption you can explore. One of these options is international adoption, which is when you decide to adopt a child from outside the United States.

There are plenty of children around the world in need of loving, adoptive families, but the legal proceedings and process are comparatively different than domestic adoptions. That’s why it’s important to decide which option is best for you and your family, so you can begin the legal process.

If you want to learn more about international adoption, we’re here to explain and compare the process to domestic adoption, so you see the differences.

The Difference Between International and Domestic Adoption

While there are plenty of differences between international and domestic adoption, one of the biggest is the child’s age and the total cost of adoption. In most domestic adoptions, parents are able to adopt children as infants, or under the age of one, if they so choose. However, with international adoption, the adoption process can take a bit longer, so more children are above the age of one by the time they are adopted.

Also, in most international adoptions, biological parents tend to have less contact or interaction with their birth children. Even in an open adoption, it’s difficult to arrange a face to face meeting, so if you chose to have an open international adoption your child won’t have traditional forms of contact like a domestic open adoption.

The main difference between these two types of adoption is the total cost. While adoption can be financially demanding, international adoption has a few different requirements that come with a different set of costs. Many countries require visits and interviews face to face with prospective parents, in which case travel must be taken into consideration. Plus, you will have to account for your visa, and your future child’s visa as well.

It’s important to be aware of your options and discuss them at length with your adoption lawyer. They’ll be able to explain the legal process ahead, once you decide which route to pursue.

What Steps are Involved in International Adoption?

Once you decide to adopt internationally, it’s important to find an adoption agency that fits your personal needs. Finding a compatible adoption agency is very important, and at times, very difficult. If you’re struggling to find an international adoption agency in North Carolina, a family law attorney like Apple Payne Law is here to support and assist you as necessary. They can also help you sort through the logistics of international adoption, so you aren’t dealing with complex adoption law terminology or questions on your own.

In order to adopt, you have to begin your application, which consists of:

  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Form
  • Home Study
  • Application Fee
  • Other Required Documents related to Your Adoption Program

The key difference in your application and paperwork depends on which country you want to adopt from, and whether or not they abide by the Hague Adoption Convention. Hague accredited countries means these countries are required to abide by a certain level of rules or protection regarding the adoptive party. This requires a specific type of form, called an I-800 form, while a non-Hague accredited country requires an I-600 form. It’s increasingly difficult to adopt from a non-Hauge accredited country, so bear that in mind before filing.

From there, you can truly begin the adoption process, and learn more about the birth parents and their child once the proper paperwork has been completed.

How can A North Carolina Adoption Attorney Help You?

When it comes to adoption services, there can be a lot of hoops to jump through. A North Carolina adoption attorney can help you navigate the complex waters of domestic, foster, private, open, and international adoptions. Keep in mind that every attorney practices different areas of law, so find a lawyer that can assist you with your particular set of circumstances. If you’re planning on adopting a child in North Carolina, our team can definitely help you learn more of the adoption basics, and help you with the legal process. Contact the North Carolina adoption attorneys at Apple Payne Law to schedule your initial consultation.

Author Bio

Ronald D. Payne II
Ronald D. Payne II is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Apple Payne Law, a North Carolina law firm he founded in 2018. With more than 11 years of experience practicing law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including business law, estate planning, family law, probate, and traffic law.

Ronald received his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded the 2020 Client’s Choice Award by Avvo and multiple Rising Star awards from Super Lawyers.

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