Your USCIS Filing Status
Can Your Adoption Case Proceed through the Non-Hague Convention Process?
However, as noted above, the U.S.-Haiti transition plan could change if Haiti determines changes are necessary during its transition to a Hague Adoption Convention system.
If your case does not meet the transition-case criteria outlined in the chart above, then you may need to begin the Convention process.
U.S. prospective adoptive parents who pursue a non-Hague Convention adoption in Haiti must meet the criteria described in the chart in the section titled, “U.S. Prospective Adoptive Parents Pursuing a Non-Convention Adoption.”
You may maintain your approved Form I-600A for Haiti, but must file a Form I-600 petition on behalf of a specific Haitian child that you were matched with by IBESR before your Form I-600A approval expires and before April 1, 2016.
If you wish to request a one-time, no-fee extension of your Form I-600A approval for an additional 18 months, you must:
- Request an extension in writing with the USCIS office that approved your Form I-600A;
- Request the extension before the expiration of your approved Form I-600A and no earlier than 90 days before its expiration; and
- Submit an amended or updated home study, as appropriate.
Additional Cautions on Form I-600A
- Extensions: IBESR initially raised concerns about the extension of Form I-600A approvals during the transition period. USCIS informed IBESR that we may continue to grant one-time extensions of Form I-600A approvals to prospective adoptive parent(s) who continue to demonstrate that they are suitable and eligible to adopt. However, even if USCIS grants a Form I-600A extension beyond April 1, 2016, we will not accept Form I-600 petitions filed on behalf of a Haitian child on or after April 1, 2016.
- Changing the number of children you plan to adopt: In general, you may request to amend a valid Form I-600A approval to increase the number of children you are approved to adopt. However, because Haiti is now a Hague Adoption Convention country, you may only adopt the number of Haitian children reflected on your Form I-600A approval notice for a Form I-600A filed before April 1, 2014. Therefore, if you receive an amended Form I-600A approval increasing the number of children you are approved to adopt, the additional children must be either adopted from non-Hague Adoption Convention countries or may not be adopted from Haiti under the non-Hague Adoption Convention process.
- Second Form I-600A filing: You will not be able to file a second Form I-600A in order to extend your case status as a transition case. (Prospective adoptive families will still, however, be allowed to file a one-time, no-fee extension of the original Form I-600A approval, as explained in the section titled, “To Continue Pursuing a Non-Hague Convention Adoption in Haiti.”)
- The following table provides guidance on whether you will need to begin the Hague Adoption Convention process in order to adopt a child from Haiti. This information is based on when your Form I-600A approval expires.
If your Form I-600A approval expires before:
- You are not allowed to file a second Form I-600A because the U.S.-Haiti transition provisions are different from the transition provisions that were in place when the United States joined the Hague Adoption Convention in 2008. Previous USCIS policy that had allowed prospective adoptive parent(s) to file a second Form I-600A for their case and remain a grandfathered transition case only applied to cases that were in transition when the United States became a Hague Adoption Convention partner on April 1, 2008. This policy does not apply when subsequent countries, such as Haiti in this case, become Hague Adoption Convention partners with the United States.
If you began the adoption process before April 1, 2014, but your case will not meet the transition case criteria described in the chart above by April 1, 2016, you may continue your adoption from Haiti provided that you continue under the Hague Adoption Convention process.
Also, if your case will meet the transition case criteria described in the chart above by April 1, 2016, you have the option of choosing to continue your case under the non-Hague Adoption process or changing to the Hague Adoption Convention process.
The following describes how to change your non-Hague Convention adoption case to the Hague Adoption Convention process:
1. If USCIS has approved your Form I-600A:
To start a Hague Convention adoption, you must file Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, and include:
- The appropriate filing fee;
- A Hague-compliant home study specifying the designated Convention country (such as Haiti) where you intend to adopt; and
- All other documentation required in the Form I-800A instructions.
You may not transfer your Form I-600A approval to initiate a Hague Convention adoption with USCIS. (A Form I-800A is required when prospective adoptive parents choose to pursue a Hague Convention adoption because there are Hague Adoption Convention-specific requirements that USCIS does not evaluate in the Form I-600A adjudication.)
2. If your Form I-600A is still pending with USCIS:
If your Form I-600A is still pending with USCIS, you can continue with your case by changing to the Hague Adoption Convention process. You must:
- Notify the USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC) in writing of your desired change to the Hague Adoption Convention process; and
- Submit a completed Form I-800A application with a Hague-compliant home study specifying the Hague Convention country you wish to adopt from (Haiti), and all other documents required in the Form I-800A instructions.
Find Out If Your Form I-600A Is Pending with USCIS
- If you filed your Form I-600A with a USCIS overseas office, please contact that office directly by phone or mail. Contact information for USCIS international offices can be found at www.uscis.gov\international.
- If you filed your Form I-600A with the USCIS NBC you may contact the Adoption Unit directly for more information about your specific case at 1-877-424-8374 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contacting USCIS National Benefits Center
- If you use the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), write to:
USCIS National Benefits Center
P.O. Box 8025
Lee’s Summit, MO 64002
- If you use express mail and courier delivers, write to:
USCIS National Benefits Center
850 NW Chipman Road, Suite 500
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
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