If you seek to adopt a child who habitually resides in a country that is a party to the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention on or after April 1, 2008, you may not be able to use the “Orphan Process” in order for the child to immigrate to the United States. Please visit the Hague Process page.
When a Case is “Grandfathered”
If you filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition or Form I-600, Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative before April 1, 2008, you may be able to use the Orphan process, instead of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention process.
Grandfathering may continue even after the expiration of your Form I-600A approval, if you file a new Form I-600A before your current approval expires.
Grandfathering allows you to continue to follow the Orphan process, rather than having to start over.
The purpose of the grandfathered Form I-600A is to maintain the validity of the Form I-600A approval, and your grandfathered status, if you have not completed the adoption within the validity period of your original Form I-600A approval or an extension.
You are eligible to file for a grandfathered I-600A if you meet the following requirements:
You filed your original Form I-600A before April 1, 2008.
You obtained an extension of the original approval, before the original approval expired.
The extended approval period has not yet expired.
You have not submitted a Form I-600 for each authorized child. See examples below.
You file a new Form I-600A, with the filing fee and all necessary documentation, before the approval of your extension of the original approval expires. (Note: Forms I 600A and I 600 are NO LONGER filed at local USCIS field offices. File according to form instructions, available under the “FORMS” section.)
You must file a Form I-600A extension before filing for a grandfathered Form I-600A.
The grandfathered Form I-600A must be submitted, along with all associated fees and documentation, during the validity period of the I-600A extension, but no sooner than 90 days prior to its expiration. For example, if the extension on the approval of your prior Form I-600A expires on April 15, 2010, then April 15, 2010, is the very last day on which you can file a new Form I-600A and have it be grandfathered.
Number of Cases That Can be Grandfathered
A grandfathered Form I-600A may be used to support only as many Form I-600 petitions that were approved on the basis of the original Form I-600A filed before April 1, 2008. For example, if you were approved to adopt one child, and have already submitted the Form I-600, you are not eligible for grandfathering for the adoption of an additional child.
You cannot increase the number of children to whom grandfathering applies. The only exception is if you are seeking to adopt a birth sibling of a child who was already grandfathered, and who will be immigrating at the same time as the birth sibling. Please see the following examples for clarification.
Example 1: You are approved to adopt three children, and have filed two Form I-600s. You still have one remaining referral and will need to maintain a valid Form I-600A in order to submit the final Form I-600 for the adoption of the third child. You are therefore ELIGIBLE to file for a grandfathered Form I-600A for the third child.
Example 2: You are approved to adopt one child, and are referred one child. While you are abroad to adopt that child, it is discovered that the referred child has a birth sibling. You are going to adopt the sibling at the same time, and the other country is willing to allow you to do so. In this case, both children will be eligible for grandfathering. It will be necessary to update your home study in order to obtain an amended Form I-600A approval notice and to be deemed eligible to adopt the sibling.
Note: If you do not adopt the birth sibling until after the first child has immigrated, the birth sibling’s case will not be grandfathered, and you will have to use the Hague Intercountry Adoption procedure for the birth sibling’s adoption and immigration.
What if My I-600A Lapses?
If the validity period of the Form I-600A lapses at any point, you must start the process over again. If the child you seek to adopt habitually resides in a Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention country, you will need to file a Form I-800A, rather than a Form I-600A.
For example, if your From I-600A approval expires on April 15, 2010, and you do not file a new Form I-600A on or before that date, you will need to use the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention process.