Texas Foreign Adoptions and Immigration

Adoptive parents often have the same common question about foreign adoptions in Texas: “Does U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) require additional paperwork?” Foreign adoptions and the immigration process can get incredibly confusing and stressful, especially after you have already found a child and fallen in love with him or her. A Texas adoption lawyer can help you ease your way through the necessary processes with as little stress as possible.

U.S. Immigration

While not all cases are the same, there are a few things that will determine whether or not USCIS will require you to file additional paperwork. Those are:

  1. Which type of visa the child entered the U.S. with (Was the adoption full and final?)
  2. When the child entered the U.S.

There have been cases when a child has been adopted outside of the U.S. and brought to America, only for the adoptive parents to find out they have to go through the entire process of adoption again in the U.S. This typically happens with children who come to the U.S. on an IR-4 (or IH-4) visa. Adoption laws require adoptive parents to complete a full and final adoption for these children in the U.S. before they reach their 16th birthday. USCIS will require additional paperwork to be filed on their behalf after the adoption is complete.

Those who enter the U.S. with an IR-2 visa will be required to complete immigration paperwork, as well. Essentially, these are children who were adopted in another country and lived with the adoptive parents in that country for a minimum of two years before arriving in the U.S. Parents who adopt a child who entered the U.S. with an IR-3 (IH-3) visa will not need to complete any immigration paperwork, because their adoption is already full and final in the eyes of the U.S. government.

When Did the Child Enter the U.S.?

Certain children were granted automatic citizenship with the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 and were given U.S. certificates of citizenship. Children who turned 18 before February 7, 2001 do not have rights under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, however they do have other options available to them. Some children were entitled to specific benefits of the Child Citizenship Act 2000, but did not obtain automatic citizenship certificates; they should apply for their certificates.

The Law Office of Lauren Cain helps clients in Frisco, Texas adopt children, and make their families complete, as seamlessly as possible. If you feel like you have reached too many speedbumps in the adoption process, Lauren Cain can be reached at 214-326-4664 or contact us online for all of your adoption questions and legal representation.