Hague Adoption Convention Process
United States immigration law provides three different processes for immigrating based on an adoption. An individual may immigrate under one of these provisions only if their adoption meets all the requirements of that specific process. Two of these processes apply only to children adopted by U.S. citizens. The child may immigrate immediately after the adoption or may immigrate to the U.S. to be adopted under either the:
- Hague process if they are habitually resident in a country that is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention; or
- Orphan process (non-Hague) if the Hague Adoption Convention does not apply.
Another process, the family-based adoption petition process, may apply to certain U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents if the child was adopted before age 16 (or age 18 if an exception applies), and has been in the legal custody of and lived with (jointly resided with) the adoptive parent for at least two years.
For more information, go to our Adoption page.
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) is an international treaty providing important safeguards to protect the best interests of children, birth parents, and prospective adoptive parents involved in intercountry adoptions. A prospective adoptive parent generally must follow the Hague Adoption Convention process if they:
- Are a U.S. citizen who is habitually resident in the United States; and
- Seek to adopt a child who is habitually resident in a Hague Adoption Convention country (other than the United States) on or after April 1, 2008, or the other country’s “entry into force” date.
The Hague process involves USCIS determining the adoptive parent’s suitability and eligibility to adopt, and the child’s eligibility to immigrate as a Hague Convention adoptee.
For information, go to our Hague Process page.
How to File
- Read the instructions for Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country;
- Read the instructions for Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative;
- Complete and sign your forms;
- Pay the applicable filing fees; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
If you have questions after you file, you can contact our National Benefits Center adoptions unit.
After You File
Once we receive your forms, you will receive:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your application;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required;
- Notice of our decision.