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International Adoption Immigration (Intercountry Adoption)

International Adoption Immigration

International Adoption Immigration Intercountry Adoption Immigration

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International adoptions (also called intercountry adoptions) are governed by U.S. federal law, the laws of the child’s country of birth, and the laws of your U.S. state of residence.

International Adoption Immigration Processes
There are three different international adoption immigration processes (intercountry adoption immigration processes) for adopted children coming to live in the U.S. permanently:

  • The Hague Process: if the child is adopted by U.S. citizens and habitually resident in a country that is a Party to the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention

  • The Orphan Process (non-Hague): if the child is adopted by U.S. citizens and the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention does not apply

  • The Immediate Relative Process: if the child is adopted by U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents (Green Card holders)

To learn if a country is a party to the Hague Convention, and for additional country-specific information, see International Adoption by Country.


International Adoption Home Study

A "home study" is a required document for all Hague and Orphan international adoption (intercountry adoption) cases that helps determine whether the prospective adoptive parents are suitable and eligible to adopt a child, based on criteria established by law.

An international adoption (intercountry adoption) home study must be conducted by someone licensed or otherwise authorized to conduct international adoption home studies, and must be completed according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations.

Different international adoption home study guidelines exist for Hague and Orphan international adoptions. For more information, see:

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