Domestic Adoption in the USA on a Work Visa
I have been scouring the net for the kind of information below and have only found misinformation and so have decided to sign up and give some potential parents some hope.
I would like to share what I have found.
I figure that this might encourage another person to take one more step beyond the 'no' and get the answer that they were hoping for. It has been such a fight to get this information I imagine that many people stop long before this (including one poster who asked exactly this question 4 months ago). I have spoken to many people who said no believing they were correct but could not base it on anything concrete or provable. The government official I spoke to said that she hears of many people in this situation who had given up on their hopes of creating or expanding their families in this way... because they couldn't find the information to refute the naysayers.
Most of the time when we hear a "No - you aren't a US citizen, therefore you cannot adopt here" - you are coming up against 'policies' not 'laws'. I suggest that you get back on the horse and do some more research!
You cannot adopt internationally while living in the US on a work visa (IE: you can't adopt from Russia or China, etc). No questions there. That one is an absolute 'No' from the US Immigration. Because you are in the US on a work visa - your internationally adopted child would not necessarily automatically qualify for a dependant visa which would obviously cause some difficulties when bringing the child into the US. Therefore - they simply don't allow it.
So, sorry... 'no go' there.
The question that we are actually seeking to ask is whether or not your home country will recognize your domestically adopted child and will allow that child citizenship.
As an aside, I am Canadian and will explain the following as a Canadian:
The idea that you must return to your home country in order to adopt is laughable. You must not, actually. Should you do something like this - it would be frowned upon seriously as the Home Study process is required to ACCURATELY assess you, your community, your home and where/how you intend to raise your child. If you do not live there, you are not giving accurate information. Canada will not do a Home Study if you do not live in the country. End of story.
The answer from Canada is 'yes' (to the above question), go ahead and do a domestic adoption and, as long as it is a finalized adoption which followed all of the laws in the local jurisdiction (I am only speaking in reference to the US), your child will be eligible for citizenship.
I have been banging my head against the wall reading misinformation for the past week but have finally gotten confirmation from the Canadian government confirming my understanding, both verbally and in writing.
The Hague Convention, in this situation, only comes into play IF I wish to adopt internationally - that means - if I wish to adopt outside of the US. I don't wish to... therefore I follow exactly the same process everyone else would follow in a domestic US adoption - citizens and non-citizens alike. The Hague Convention is more about where the children are coming from and less about where the parents are coming from. So the earlier poster is actually giving accurate information if your plan was to adopt from outside of the US. However, if you wish to adopt from the US while you are here in the US - you can.
For me as a Canadian, there is an extra step that I can take to make the adoption officials here in the US feel better about working with us. I can write a letter to Citizen and Immigration Canada and, after having them verify our information, have them respond with a letter stating that they will have no part in our adoption process given our circumstances and will ensure that our adopted child will be given Canadian citizenship. This is NOT a necessary step but can be done so that this letter (from the Canadian government) can be added to our adoption dossier or if there is a specific request from a US Authority.
So... moral of the story - Don't give up, it is possible. Just look a little further. And call Foreign Affairs.
I am also a Canadian on H1-B here, and we have been thinking about adopting a child. We are thinking of maybe moving to a Green Card beforehand though...
I am curious about the letter you talk about, from Immigration Canada. I am not sure I understand. Some questions:
- What is the content about? Is it because the US may be afraid the baby would not be able to follow you back to the US?
- What type of information do they need from us in order to give us that letter?
- Can we ask for that letter even before starting the adoption process?
Unrelated to that letter now: is there a minimum length of time we must stay in the US after adopting, before being able to go back to Canada? Like a "stabilty" period for the child?