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Adopting a child from abroad? Understand the Hague Convention

The Hague Convention, which was meant to prevent children under 16 from being taken from their "habitual" country of residence, entered into force in the U.S. in 1988; subsequently, the tenets of the convention become part of the international adoption process for American adoptive parents.

Understanding this convention and considering how it might apply to your particular situation may help you avoid major stress when adopting a child into your family from overseas. Complicated legal issues can arise in international adoptions. If you don't have legal guidance to get through all the red tape, you may wind up feeling overwhelmed and helpless. In fact, some people throw in the towel altogether rather than struggle without help.

Many adoptive families benefit from legal advice regarding the Hague Convention. They know it provides protection and often helps alleviate stress as families expand and welcome new members. There are approximately 100 countries that are party to the Hague Convention. If you are adopting a child from a country on the list, you will want to obtain more information about the Hague Convention.

The Hague Convention adoption process

Any time someone adopts a child, either domestically or from abroad, there are large amounts of paperwork to complete. As for the Convention adoptions, the following information might come in handy:

  • You must act in conjunction with an accredited service or adoption service provider in the United States to satisfy Hague Convention adoption requirements.
  • You must meet all eligibility requirements for international adoption when applying for an adoption through the Convention.
  • Whatever the child's country of origin, if it is a Convention country, you must obtain legal custody of the child in his or her native country before the adoption can go through.
  • If your child will be emigrating to the U.S., you must see to it that he or she possesses the appropriate immigrant visa.
  • The Hague Convention came about in order to prevent abduction and human trafficking.
  • An important focus of the Convention is to confirm that a particular adoption is in a particular child's best interests.
  • Procedures in the Convention process prevent complications that could impede a child's ability to enter the United States.

Bringing the adoption to fruition

Once you obtain approval for an international adoption, the ball should start rolling to bring the adoption to fruition. Procuring an adoption through the Hague Convention process is not a foolproof way to avoid obstacles. Even though you may be excited and eagerly await the arrival of your child, many things can go wrong that would cause delay of entry to the U.S.

Some family law attorneys in Texas are experienced in navigating the Hague Convention adoption process. Many parents take advantage of their services to avoid the headaches that often accompany international adoptions.

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