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Before You Start

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with each adoption process as there are important differences.  An adoption agency will be able to help you arrange an adoption placement, but cannot represent you before USCIS or advise you on the legal aspects of your child’s immigration. If you want representation with adoption proceedings you may want to consider obtaining an attorney. 


The intercountry adoption process is governed by three different sets of laws:

  • U.S. federal law
  • The laws of the child’s country of birth.
  • The laws of where you reside (U.S. state/territory or foreign country).


There are three different processes to immigrate your adopted child:

  • Hague Adoptions
  • Orphan Adoptions (Non-Hague)
  • Immigrating Other Adopted Children

Home Studies

Home studies are very important to the intercountry adoption process. Visit the  Home Study Information page to learn:

  • What is a home study?
  • Who can conduct a home study?
  • What are the home study requirements?

When to Contact Us

We are committed to deciding cases as promptly as possible. For information about how long you can expect your case to take please visit the Processing Times page. If your case has not been decided within the regular processing time, you should contact us at the USCIS Adoptions Contact Information page.

After the Adoption

The process does not stop with the adoption. Make sure you understand citizenship requirements and how to obtain documentation of citizenship. For more information please visit the After Approval section.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/08/2011