International adoptions

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
If you're a U-S citizen, you can petition for the immediate immigration of a foreign-adopted child. However, U-S law doesn't apply for the entry of newly adopted children of lawful permanent residents or long-term non-immigrant visa holders. If you're a permanent resident, you might consider becoming a U-S citizen before petitioning for your adopted child. Before a resident parent can petition for immigration of an adopted child, they must have lived with the child for two years. These parents must also live within the U-S, making the two-year requirement difficult to satisfy. If you're a long-term nonimmigrant visa holder, think about returning to your home country before you adopt. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, a long-term non-immigrant visa holder may bring the spouse and children to the U-S. Your adopted 'child' must have been adopted before the age of 16 and must have lived in your legal custody for two years. A child adopted overseas by a non-citizen must first live with the parent for at least two years. However, the Immigration and Naturalization Services won't allow the child to enter the U-S to meet this residence requirement. For more information about how to bring internationally adopted children to the U-S, you can contact a lawyer in your area who specializes in immigration.

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