View Full Version : Adoption on a work visa

02-24-2011, 05:50 PM
I understand that as long as DH and I are on work visa here in the US, we cannot adopt.

Has anyone had any experience or more detailed info about this? is it possible to find some loop holes?

Snow mom
03-03-2011, 11:00 PM
I'm not entirely sure of the visa situation involved, but a former coworker of mine from Holland adopted two babies in the U.S. and the girls will return to Holland with the parents when they move back. This was known at the time of the adoption. I believe they went through private adoption. Anyway, I was a bit surprised that they were allowed to adopt in the U.S. but apparently it wasn't a problem so it might be worth looking into options.

03-03-2011, 11:25 PM
Both the Hague process and the Orphan process here state you must be a US citizen.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=a22c741b78c73210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCR D&vgnextchannel=a22c741b78c73210VgnVCM100000082ca60a RCRD

It makes sense -- neither you nor your spouse are US citizens. Presumably, your adoptive children would have the citizenship of your home country. You would need to start and complete the process there. Whether or not you can do any part of the process while not resident in your home country would depend on the laws of your home country.

03-03-2011, 11:33 PM
More info here:


Lawful Permanent Residents and Nonimmigrant Visa Holders

Incoming/Immigrant Adoption Cases

U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents

Each year our office learns of cases in which lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States have legally adopted a child in another country and then found out that the child cannot join them in the United States. The parents and child face only anguish and heartbreak. Generally the best solution for lawful permanent residents wishing to adopt children who are not U.S. citizens is to first naturalize as U.S. citizens. An unmarried U.S. citizen over twenty-five years of age or a married U.S. citizen may file an I-600 or, upon meeting certain conditions, an I-800, immigrant visa petition for an adopted child. The spouse of a married U.S. citizen need not be a U.S. citizen but he or she must agree to the adoption. Note that only U.S. citizens may file an I-600 or I-800 United States immigrant visa petition on behalf of a foreign-born adopted child.

A lawful permanent resident, however, may be able to bring an adopted foreign-born child to the U.S. on the basis of an approved I-130 immigrant visa petition in the immigrant category F2A if the adopted child meets the definition of child in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 101(b)(1)(E). That section of law requires: 1) the child be adopted while under the age of 16, 2) evidence of a full and final adoption, and 3) the child has been in the legal and physical custody of the adoptive parent(s) for at least two years before the lawful permanent resident adoptive parent(s) may file an immigrant visa petition for the child in a family preference category. The two years of physical and legal custody may be fulfilled inside or outside the United States, depending on the circumstances.[1] (http://cas2k3ftp01/adoptions/update.php?path=16_residents.html#_ftn1) Family preference immigrant visas are subject to numerical limitations, so even after fulfilling the two year physical and legal custody requirements of the law, there is likely to be an additional waiting period for a visa number to become available.

U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa Holders
A foreign-born adopted child will not be entitled to derivative U.S. nonimmigrant visa status unless the child meets the criteria of INA 101(b)(1)(E) as described above. In practice this means that long term nonimmigrant visa holders cannot adopt overseas and immediately bring the child back to the United States on a nonimmigrant visa of the same classification as that of the adoptive parent(s). The only exceptions apply to an unmarried son or daughter (which would include an adopted child) of a principal nonimmigrant alien entitled to A (diplomatic and other foreign government officials) or G (foreign government representative to international organization) nonimmigrant status.

Domestic Adoptions in the United States

U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents
In most cases, U.S. lawful permanent residents who adopt children in the United States do so under domestic state adoption laws. The adopted children are generally U.S.-born, U.S. citizen children who are habitually resident in the United States. One of the rights of LPRs is that in the United States they receive the protection of Federal, state, and local law.
If you are a U.S. lawful permanent resident and you wish to adopt a specific child who is living in the United States, but who is NOT a U.S. citizen or already a U.S. lawful permanent resident, please write for further information to [email protected] ([email protected]) (if the child is a citizen of a country NOT a signatory of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention) or to [email protected] ([email protected]) (if the child is a citizen of a country that is a signatory of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention).

03-04-2011, 12:05 AM
Yes, you have to be a citizen to adopt in this country. AND you have to be a citizen to adopt internationally, which does not make any sense to me, although I understand that the reason is that when you bring an adopted child from abroad the child becomes a citizen, and since the parents are not citizens they cannot "sponsor" their adoptive child.

DH and I are legal residents, and because we could not adopt either in the US or internationally, we ended up undergoing IVF. Fortunately it worked and we now have two wonderful kids, but IVF was not our first choice and we were heartbroken when we learned that if we wanted to adopt children we would have to move back to our country of origin or to somewhere else.

06-14-2011, 05:12 PM
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 (as referenced by an earlier poster). 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 you 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 like this 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. 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.

I chose to reply to this slightly older message because I have been having such difficulty finding any information regarding this but lots of misinformation. I figure that this information might allow 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. 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.

So... moral of the story - Don't give up, it is possible. Just look a little further.

08-21-2011, 01:37 PM
I realize this is an old thread, but I'm a US citizen, DH is a permanent resident (greencard) and we had no problems adopting domestically.

08-21-2011, 02:27 PM
It makes sense -- neither you nor your spouse are US citizens. Presumably, your adoptive children would have the citizenship of your home country. You would need to start and complete the process there. Whether or not you can do any part of the process while not resident in your home country would depend on the laws of your home country.

Here's the problem: you cannot start the process in your home country because any respectable adoption agency there will need to conduct a home study that they will not be able to do from abroad. The agency there will ask you to work with an agency here, but an agency here will not work with you because you are not a citizen. AND, if you manage to get an agency in your home country who will agree to giving you a baby without a home study where you live, you cannot bring it into the US with your work visa unless the baby has lived with you for 2 years.

We went through all of this and it was frustrating and heartbreaking. It does not make sense to me that you cannot adopt a baby if you are not a citizen (you can have biological children here and they will be citizens even if you are not) but it even makes less sense to me that you cannot adopt internationally either.

I am sorry to tell you this. I did all this research 7 years ago and maybe things have changed.

08-21-2011, 02:28 PM
I realize this is an old thread, but I'm a US citizen, DH is a permanent resident (greencard) and we had no problems adopting domestically.

Yes, because one of you is a citizen. If that is the case, you have no problems adopting in the US or internationally.

11-16-2011, 03:03 PM
We are a Canadian family living in the US, we have green cards but still maintain our Canadian citizenship. We are in the very beginning stages of US domestic foster care adoption. We travel to Canada twice each year and I'm wondering specifically what paperwork the Canadian customs require. An American lawyer has advised us that a US passport and a certified letter of temporary custody will work for the child at the US border. But I'm most concerned about pre-finalization (likely next summer but possibly Christmas 2012 as well) at the Canadian border. Any thoughts?