If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to adopt a child who is habitually resident in a country that is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, you generally will not be able to use the Orphan Process to immigrate the child to the United States. Limited cases, however, may qualify as transition cases and continue to follow the orphan process rather than the Hague process.
When Does a Case Qualify as a Transition Case?
If the new Hague partner country agrees to process pending orphan (non-Hague) cases to conclusion under the orphan process, USCIS will consider a case to be a transition case if, before the country’s entry into force date, you:
- Filed Form I-600A;*
- Filed Form I-600; or
- Completed an adoption.
*Special rules for Form I-600A filings to qualify:
You may file for a one-time, no-fee extension of your Form I-600A approval, however:
- Your Form I-600A approval must remain valid until you file your Form I-600 petition.
- If you are approved for more than one child, your Form I-600A approval must remain valid at the time you file each Form I-600 petition for each child’s case.
- If your Form I-600A approval expires before you file a child’s Form I-600 petition, you must start over using the Hague process to petition for that child.
Once your Form I-600A has been approved, you may not:
- Increase the number of children you wish to adopt (except to pursue the adoption of a birth sibling, provided you identify the birth sibling and file the Form I-600 petition before your Form I-600A approval expires);
- Use your one-time, no-fee change of country to change to another transition country (you may change to a non-transition, orphan country); or
- File a second Form I-600A to extend eligibility.