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Adoption

Alert: On Sept. 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Immigration Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., 20-cv-05883-JWS, preliminarily enjoined DHS from implementing or enforcing any part of the USCIS Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements rule.

While the rule is preliminarily enjoined, we will continue to:

  • Accept USCIS forms with the current editions and current fees; and
  • Use the regulations and guidance currently in place to adjudicate applications and petitions. This includes accepting and adjudicating fee waiver requests as provided under Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) Chapters 10.9 (PDF, 2.87 MB) and 10.10 (PDF, 2.87 MB).

For more information, please refer to the Federal Register Notice, dated Jan. 29, 2021.

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.

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.

Topics

Paper with text Adoption Request text on it with a pencil laying across it.

Before You Start

We play a key role in the intercountry adoption process. If you’re considering adopting a child born abroad, learn more about the adoption process before you get started.
Paper with the text Adoption Request, the paper is stamped with the word Approved and a stamp stilling on top of the paper

Suitability-Related Changes

Depending on which adoption process you chose, you may have additional requirements to complete your case.
Family walking through the forest in fall

Immigration Through Adoption

Immigration through adoption (commonly called intercountry adoption), is when you adopt a child born in a different country. Read more about U.S. immigration law and the role we play in the intercountry adoption process.
A child's hand resting on the palm of an adult hand

Bringing Your Internationally Adopted Child to the United States

The type of visa your child may receive will determine what steps you need to take for them to acquire U.S. citizenship.
map of word

Country Information

Adoption rules and procedures can vary greatly by country. Learn more about USCIS country-specific processing
image of naturalization certificate

After Your Child Enters the United States

Learn more about documenting or obtaining U.S. citizenship for your child
Paper with adoption  Placement agreement text and a pair of glasses laying on the paper

Suitability and Home Study Information

Home studies helps us determine whether you are suitable and eligible to adopt a child born outside the U.S., based on the criteria that have been established by law.
Picture of a black Phone sitting on a table

Adoption Contact Information

Processing and adjudicating intercountry adoption applications and petitions is one of our top priorities. Find out more information on who to contact if you have questions.