A Malawi Court has scheduled a November 15 hearing for the resumption of pop superstar Madonna’s international adoption case. The Human Rights Consultative Committee is asking the court to ensure that no Malawian laws have been violated during the adoption process. They are also asking to be involved in the process to evaluate the singer’s capacity to bring up the baby according to his best interests. Attorneys for Madonna say no Malawian laws have been broken.
International adoption is essentially a private legal matter between a private individual (or couple) who wishes to adopt and a foreign court, which operates under that country’s laws and regulations. Should any issues or complications arise during the adoption process, U.S. authorities are unable to intervene on behalf of prospective parents with the courts in the country where the adoption is taking place.
What the U.S. State Department Can Do:
· Provide information about international adoption in countries around the world.
· Provide general information about U.S. visa requirements for international adoption.
· Make inquiries of the U.S. consular section abroad regarding the status of a specific adoption case and clarify documentation or other requirements.
· Ensure that U.S. citizens are not discriminated against by foreign authorities or courts in accordance with local law on adoptions.
IWhat the State Department Cannot Do:
· Become directly involved in the adoption process in another country.
· Act as an attorney or represent adoptive parents in court.
· Order that an adoption take place or that a visa be issued.
In addition to following the laws of the foreign country where the adoption will take place, U.S. Citizens must also abide by the regulations and laws of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and their state’s adoption laws.
The following section tells you how to begin the U.S. immigration portion of the international adoption process:
What is the quickest way to bring a foreign-born orphan that I adopt to the U.S.?
The fastest way is to file USCIS Form I-600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) before you identify a foreign-born child to adopt. This allows the USCIS first to process the application that relates to your ability to provide a proper home environment and your suitability as a parent. Then, once a child who meets the definition of orphan is identified, you must file Form I-600 (Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative) in behalf of the child.
Should I do “advance processing” if I’ve already identified the child?
It is generally advisable for all prospective adoptive parents to do advance processing. You should do advance processing even if you are traveling to the country where the child is located and will file an orphan petition at an overseas Immigration and Naturalization (USCIS) office (or at an American consulate or embassy if there is no USCIS office in the country). By completing advance processing, you will ensure that USCIS has already processed the application that relates to your ability to provide a proper home environment and your suitability as a parent before you adopt a child in a foreign country. This is important, because you will not be allowed to bring a child that you have adopted to the United States if you are found to be unable to provide that child with a proper home environment or you are found unsuitable as a parent.
What kind of information about my spouse and myself will I, as the petitioner, need to provide to the USCIS?
You must provide proof of U.S. citizenship. If you are married and living in the United States, you must provide evidence of your spouse’s U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status as well as proof that you are married and that any previous marriages ended legally. You must submit a complete and current home study within prescribed time limits. You may also have to prove that you comply with the pre-adoption requirements of the state in which you will live with your adopted child. You must submit the required filing fee for your application, and be aware that each adult member of the household must be fingerprinted by the USCIS.
In 2005, According to the U.S. State Department, 22,728 visas were issued to orphans entering the United States.
Sagaria Law, P.C. handles all kinds of adoptions in the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, and Monterey. With offices in San Jose, Fremont, and Monterey, we can take you through the adoption process so that the experience goes as smoothly as possible for you and your family. Contact Sagaria Law, P.C.
Madonna Adoption Hearing Rescheduled, Forbes.com, October 27, 2006
International Adoption, U.S. State Department
International Adoption Statistics, Adopt.com
Related Web Resources:
Independent, Agency, or Foreign Adoptions in California, California Courts Self-Help Center
California Adoption Laws, Adoption.com
Immigration Information, USCIS.gov