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Bronx Foreign Adoption

Many people from the Bronx adopt children from foreign countries. Often this is because they would like a baby, and babies under two years of age, and the waiting list for children under two can sometimes be years in the United States. But whatever the reasons, if you are living in the Bronx, you need to consult with a Bronx foreign adoption lawyer before taking another step. Foreign adoption can often be simpler than domestic adoption if you have a good lawyer, but it is a morass of potential problems for the uninitiated. You have more than U.S. law and New York state law to worry about; you must also be aware of any applicable laws of the foreign country and international treaties.

Why Adopt from a Foreign Country

Discuss the reasons you are considering foreign adoption with your Bronx family attorney. It’s possible that some of your reasons could be met by domestic adoption. Also your attorney can inform you of potential pitfalls in both domestic and foreign adoptions. Here are some of the reasons people adopt a foreign child.

  • As already mentioned, it may be the only way to get a baby under two without waiting for years.
  • You may have a desire to help an underprivileged child who has little chance of escaping poverty in their birth country
  • You may think that a foreign adoption may be more final with greater safety from birth parents making claims months or even years down the road. There are domestic adoption stories of parents changing their minds, claiming coercion and suing for the return of the child.
  • You have an affinity for the child’s country of birth. For example, maybe your family originated in the Ukraine, so you have decided to adopt a child from there.
  • You know the individual child.
The Hague Convention

It is by far easier to adopt a foreign child from a county that has signed the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention), an international treaty that was established in 1993.The Hague Convention has been signed by 83 countries, and it has put protections into place for the child, the birth parents and the adopters in order to guard against child trafficking, failed adoptions, custody problems and financial scams. For participating countries, the Hague Convention has standardized foreign adoptions and greatly reduced the risks. Your Bronx attorney can explain more about foreign adoption and the advantages of adopting from a Hague Convention country.

There is a required process for adopting from a Hague Convention country.

  • Use an adoption agency that is Hague accredited. The Colorado Department of Human Services and the Council on Accreditation accredit agencies in the United States. You can find a child through the agency, and they will get parental consent and otherwise supervise the entire process. You will be required to attend at least 10 hours of training before you are permitted to go the foreign country to adopt.
  • Submit to a home study. Agency personnel will visit your home and interview you to check that you are fit to be parents.
  • Apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS). You must file a form with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to establish eligibility and fitness to adopt. If the UCIS approves, then you must apply to the country from which you would like to adopt for a placement. Your Bronx foreign adoption lawyer can help you with this.
  • Adopt the child. You have the option of adopting the child in the child’s country of birth or in the United States.
  • Get the child an immigration visa. Since the child is a member of your immediate family, you will not need to wait for a visa.
  • Bring the child home to the United States. If the adoption is final, the child will become a U.S. citizen as soon as they enter the United States.
Countries Which Have Not Signed the Hague Convention

Adopting from a foreign country that is not part of the Hague Convention is more difficult and come with less protections, but it is certainly possible. Your attorney will need to be knowledgeable about the relevant adoption laws in the child’s country of origin as well as New York family law and U.S. immigration law. The child must be considered to be an orphan, but that does not always mean both parents are dead or have vanished. A child is also considered an orphan if the parent cannot take care of the child. The adopting parent must be a U.S. citizen in order to adopt a child in New York. They must also follow the New York laws for adoption.

Bronx Foreign Adoption Lawyer

When you are from the Bronx and adopting a child from another country, it is critical that you are represented by a Bronx attorney who is extremely experienced with the foreign adoption process. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience with successfully representing clients who are seeking to adopt children (both foreign and domestic), who have custody issues and who have other family law matters. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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