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Haitian Adoption: Scenario #3

  • You reside overseas
  • The orphan was paroled into the United States and released to your physical custody by Health and Human Services (HHS) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • You did not have a final adoption or custody determination in Haiti and the Department of State did not issue an Immigrant Visa, and (see notes below)

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You, the U.S. citizen adoptive parent, complete the adoption proceeding with the official adoption authority of the country in which you reside.

  • You may adopt the child in the country of residence, where allowed under the law of that country
  • The child must be adopted before the child's 16th birthday (or before the 18th birthday if the child is being adopted by the same adoptive parent of a natural sibling who qualifies/qualified as an orphan or adopted child while under the age of 16)
  • You must have legal custody of the child for 2 full years which will include any formal custody granted before the actual adoption (Health and Human Services (HHS) sponsorship is not legal custody)
  •  The child must reside with you for 2 full years (which will include time residing together before the actual adoption)
  • The child must not be inadmissible as an immigrant

Note: In order to obtain immediate relative status and/or apply for citizenship for the child, you, the petitioning parent, must be a U.S. citizen.  The child may be eligible to immigrate as the adopted child of a Permanent Resident, but must wait until a visa number is available. 

You have 3 options. After you have 2 years of legal custody and joint residence, and you have adopted the child, you may pursue options one or two. If you have completed an adoption in Haiti you may also pursue option 3.


 adoption option 1 arrow

USC or LPR adoptive parent

 adoption option 2 arrow

USC adoptive parent only

 adoption option 3 arrow

USC adoptive parent only

File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. If approved, then file DS-230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with appropriate fees, and any other forms required for overseas processing.  See the Department of State’s website for more information. 

If you are completing the adoption as a Permanent Resident, not as a U.S. citizen, you must file the Form I-130.  After the Form I-130 is approved, you must wait until a visa number becomes available in accordance with the Department of State Visa Bulletin in order to file either the DS-230 or the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.  Your adopted child will not automatically become a U.S. citizen.   Only the U.S. citizen adoptive parent may file a Form N-600K, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, on behalf of his or her adopted child.

File Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship, with appropriate fees, for issuance of a certificate of citizenship under section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. (Currently filed with USCIS field offices within the United States.)


File Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, with any required fees, for B-2 visa to allow the child to be temporarily present in the United States with a lawful admission for the N-600K interview. (Must be admission, not parole.)

NOTE: The adoptive child must maintain his or her lawful B-2 status through the date of adjudication.

If you have completed the adoption in Haiti and already filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, and it is pending or approved, then you may continue with the orphan adoption process in Haiti.

Under this process you are not required to have 2 years of legal custody and joint residence.

NOTE: It is possible that the overseas prospective adoptive parent could apply with the U.S. Embassy in his or her country of residence, but he or she would have to check with the Department of State to verify this.

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