Duty of Disclosure

The duty of disclosure is ongoing throughout the Hague and orphan adoption processes and requires that you and any adult member of your household (AMH):

  • Give true and complete information to your home study preparer;
  • Disclose any other relevant information, such as physical, mental, or emotional health problems or behavioral issues;
  • Disclose any arrest, conviction, or other criminal history, in or outside the United States, even if the record of the arrest, conviction, or other criminal history was expunged, sealed, pardoned, or otherwise cleared;
  • Disclose any history of substance abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse or neglect, or family violence as an offender, even if closed or unsubstantiated; and
  • Notify your home study preparer and USCIS of any new event or information that might require you to submit an updated home study.
If you. . . Then the duty of disclosure continues until:

Reside in the United States

A final decision admitting your child to the United States with a visa

Reside abroad and intend to immediately seek a visa for your child

A final decision admitting your child to the United States

Reside abroad and do not intend to immediately seek an immigrant visa for your child

Final approval of your child’s Form I-600 or Form I-800 petition

Time Frame for Notification

Once you file a suitability application or a Form I-600 or Form I-800 petition, you should notify your home study provider and USCIS of any significant changes within the time frames outlined below.

If an event occurs... Then you should notify USCIS and your home study preparer…

While your suitability application is pending, or while your request for action on an approved suitability application is pending

Immediately

After we have approved your suitability application or your request for action on an approved suitability application, but before you have filed your child’s petition, and the change is related to criminal history or other history of abuse or violence as an offender

As soon as practical (generally within 30 days of the event)

After we have approved your suitability application or your request for action on an approved suitability application, but before you have filed your child’s petition, and the change is not related to criminal history or other history of abuse or violence as an offender Within 30 days of the event, or at the next suitability determination point
While your child’s petition is pending Immediately
After we (or the U.S. government entity we designate) have approved your child’s petition, but before your child has been admitted to the United States** Immediately

**If you reside inside the United States or reside abroad and are immediately seeking an immigrant visa for your child after final petition approval. You must notify USCIS, your home study provider, and the Department of State visa-issuing post of any significant changes that occur before your child enters the United States.

If you do not disclose an event as required, we may deny or revoke your application or petition. If USCIS denies or revokes your application or petition because you failed to disclose required information, you will generally be barred from filing a new application or petition for one year.

Examples
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3

You filed Form I-600A or Form I-800A with a home study on Feb. 1, 2021. Your application is still pending with USCIS. On Feb. 23, 2021, you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The next day, you receive a court date of March 13, 2021.

In this example, you are obligated to notify your home study preparer and USCIS of this arrest as soon as possible, and by March 23, 2021, at the latest. You should send notification to USCIS and include the details and circumstances surrounding the arrest, any court records, and an updated home study.

You file Form I-600A or Form I-800A with a home study on Feb. 1, 2021. Your application is still pending with USCIS. On April 13, 2021, your family experiences a significant decrease in financial resources.

In this example, it is best practice to notify the home study preparer and USCIS of this significant change by submitting an updated home study by May 13, 2021.

You reside in the United States. USCIS approved your child’s Form I-600 petition, but your child has not yet been admitted to the United States. You are arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol. You are obligated to immediately notify your home study preparer, USCIS, and the Department of State visa-issuing post of this arrest.

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