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Steps to adopting a child from outside of the United States

Many immigrants to the United States are pursuing their own “American dream.” The American dream can mean many things to different people. To some, the American dream involves a house, a car and a family. When having a child on your own is not an option, many look to adoption.

Many immigrants from other countries who are living and pursuing their American dream in the U.S.A. would prefer to adopt from their country of national origin. Adopting a child from another country and bringing them to the United States is a process that is provided for by the Hague Convention.

8 steps in the process of international adoption under the Hague Convention

When adopting under the Hague Convention, one must follow the eight steps outlined below:

  • Choose a primary provider: The first step is to make sure that you are working with an Adoption Service Provider (ASP) who is accredited in the United States.
  • Home study: A home study must be conducted by a party who is authorized to do so.
  • File application Form 1-800A: This step is very important. If one goes forward without having properly filed this form, it could lead to delays or even rejection of the adoption.
  • Proposed adoptive placement: Once the application Form 1-800A has been approved, the next step is to work with the primary provider in step one to apply for “Proposed adoptive placement” with the Hague central authority.
  • Form 1-800 petition: Before adoption occurs, the petition Form 1-800 needs to be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is essentially asking for a provisional immigration status to the United States because of the intended adoption.
  • Gain custody: Once Form 1-800 has been approved it is time to gain legal custody of the child to begin immigration and adoption in the U.S.
  • Immigration visa: If you live in the U.S., it is time to obtain a visa for the child to enter the U.S.
  • Enter the U.S.A.: Once all the previous step has been completed it is time to ´physically bring the child to the U.S. to finalize the adoption and immigration process.

Furthermore, having professional help who is experienced in international adoptions and child custody under the Hague Convention can be an advantage.


Please note, due to the hurricane, our office phone system is unavailable. Please email your legal team or email us at [email protected]. Thank you.

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