Can we bring adopted children from Mexico to the US? 3 Answers as of August 23, 2010

My wife and I are missionaries in Mexico. We have talked about adopting children from a home here for quite some time. We are US citizens and plan on returning back home with the children. Will we be able to bring the children back to the US? How would they then become US citizens?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
I have received your inquiry via e-mail, and I appreciate your situation. I can understand your desire to give orphaned or abandoned children a home that they deserve, but I am sure you understand that adoption in any country is never easy. Since 2008, the Hague Convention on Adopting Children was signed by nearly 80 countries. The United States led the drafting of the treaty, and Mexico is a signatory. Therefore, since April 2008 changes have been made in adoption procedures to make them uniform, and may be tougher, or at least longer to follow. However, people all over the world do overseas adoptions every day, especially by Americans. The Hague Treaty has an 8-step process to follow:

1. Choose a Hague Accredited Adoption Service Provider (and perhaps also an immigration attorney).

2. Obtain a home study from someone authorized to complete a Hague adoption home study

3. Apply to American immigration (USCIS) before adopting a child or accepting a placement for a determination that one is suitable for intercountry adoption.

4. Once USCIS approves the application, work with the adoption service provider to obtain a proposed adoption placement

5. File a petition with USCIS, before adopting the child, to have the child to be found eligible to immigrate to the United States based on the proposed adoption

6. Adopt the child, or obtain custody of the child in order to adopt the child in the United States

7. Obtain an immigrant visa for the child

8. Bring the child to the United States for admission with the visa.

You can only bring the children back after the adoption and the State Department grants an immigrant visa for the child. But once a visa is awarded, and the child enters the USA with you (or delivered to you), the child automatically leapfrogs from being a legal resident into an American citizen (naturalized).

If you wish to discuss the matter further, please call or e-mail me. I hope to be of help. I wish you the best.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/23/2010
Law Offices of Juan Dotson
Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
Yes, the children must be 16 years or younger and qualify as an orphan under U.S. standards. It is better (and likely cheaper) to complete the adoption process in Mexico. You and your husband can apply for green cards once they become your son or daughter. An attorney in the United States can assist your family in processing this application so you do not have any unnecessary hurdles.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/18/2010
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