As part of the process to immigrate your adopted child to the United States, USCIS will conduct a background check on you, your spouse, and any household member of age 18 or older.
The background check is a required part of the adoption process.
Fingerprint-Based Criminal Records Check
The validity period of your fingerprint check will be noted on your Notice of Approval (I-171H or I-797). Your fingerprints never “expire” but the validity period of background check and clearance based on the collection of your fingerprints is 15 months.
The validity period of your background check and clearance may be different than the validity period of the approval of your Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, or I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.
Differing Validity Periods
If you are filing a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphans as an Immediate Relative or Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative and the validity of your Form I-600A or Form I-800A approval is current but the validity of your background check and clearance check has expired, then advise the National Benefits Center (NBC) via e-mail at:
Include the prospective parent(s) name(s) and receipt number from your approved Form I-600A or I-800A in the e-mail.
The NBC will then:
Note: the Lockbox is unable to accept fees for fingerprinting unless the request is submitted with a proper form (I-600/600A, I-800/800A or Request For Evidence). Biometrics fees and requests for fingerprinting that are submitted to the Lockbox without a proper form will be rejected and returned to the applicant.
Your background check and clearance must be valid at the time your Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, or Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, is processed; regardless of whether your Form I-600A or I-800A Notice of Approval is still valid.
Checking Available Child Abuse Registries
In a Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention case, your home study preparer must check available child abuse registries for you, your spouse and each additional adult member of your household. This must be addressed in the home study.
The home study preparer must take one of the following courses of action:
Orphan (Non-Hague) Cases
Screening for Abuse and Violence
Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/30/2011