Adoption

Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens adopt children from overseas. This is known as an intercountry adoption.

Adopting a child from another country is often a complicated journey, and the information on this site is designed to help you as you move forward.

USCIS is Responsible For:

  • Determining the eligibility and suitability of the Prospective Adoptive Parents (individuals) looking to adopt.
  • Determining the eligibility of the child to immigrate to the United States.

Which Process is For You?

There are three processes for adopting a child internationally.

Two separate processes apply only to children adopted by U.S. citizens. Depending on what country you choose to adopt from will determine which process you will adopt by.

Another process applies to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who may petition for his/her adoptive child through an Immediate Relative Petition.

COVID-19 Impacts on Intercountry Adoptions

Because of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, USCIS has received inquiries from concerned parents who are at various stages of adopting children from abroad and bringing children to the United States. We are committed to working with prospective adoptive parents to assist them to the greatest extent possible.

Some parents have inquired about the use of parole for children to enter the country. USCIS rarely approves parole requests for adoption-related cases because parole does not provide the same procedural safeguards for prospective adoptive children, prospective adoptive parents, and birth parents that exist in regular adoption-based immigration avenues, such as determinations that a child is an orphan or available for intercountry adoption. Additionally, parole does not afford children the U.S. immigration status protections that regular adoption-based immigration avenues provide. For example, a child who is paroled has not been formally admitted into the United States for purposes of immigration law and would have to take additional steps in order to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) and a U.S. citizen. The child would not be admitted as an LPR and would not automatically acquire U.S. citizenship as other children entering on the basis of adoption normally do.

For more information on parole, visit our webpage, Guidance on Evidence for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests.

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