In order to adopt a child overseas and bring that child back to the United States, the child must be found eligible to be adopted under U.S. law. Because adoption laws vary from country to country, it is possible to adopt a child abroad who does not qualify to immigrate to the United States. That is why a child must also be found eligible to be adopted under U.S.
law. It allows the child to move with you to the United States. The federal agency responsible for determining whether a child is eligible to immigrate to the United States is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS’ rules for the eligibility of an adopted child to immigrate to the United States differ for children living in Hague Adoption Convention countries and those living
in non-Convention countries. Children in Convention countries must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee; children in countries non-Convention countries must meet the U.S. definition of an orphan. To apply to USCIS for a determination of whether a child is eligible to immigrate to the United States, you will use one of two forms:
Form I-600, the Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, or
Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. New visa categories, IH-3 and IH-4, will be used in Convention adoption cases.
Form I-600 is used for non-Hague Adoption cases, while the Form I-800 is used for Hague Adoption cases.
Filing either Form I-600 or I-800 tells USCIS that you have identified a specific child to adopt and request authorization for that child to come to the United States. Both forms, along with their filing instructions, can be accessed on the website of USCIS.
Keep in mind: In addition to qualifying
under U.S. immigration law, a child must qualify for adoption under the laws of his or her country of origin in order to be adopted. Each country has different requirements for children to be eligible for adoption.