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  • 16 N. West St.
    Waukegan, IL 60085

International Adoption

International Adoption

The manner in which children may enter or gain status in the United States through adoption varies widely. Adoption is very complex, since the adoption must comply both with the law of the child’s country, and the laws of the United States.

Since 2008, most international adoptions are governed by the Hague Convention. The United States is a party to the Hague Convention, and it entered into force in the United States on August 1, 2008.  Every adoption finalized after that date must comply with the Hague Convention, provided the child is from a country which is also a party to the Convention. The Convention provides a number of safeguards to ensure that the child to be adopted is not a victim of trafficking or other illegal practices.  Over 80 countries are parties to the Hague Convention.

If a child is not from a country that is a party to the Hague Convention, then there are two different options for adoption:

(1) the child has lived with the adoptive parent for two years, and two years have passed since the adoption decree was entered, or

(2) the Immigration Service determines that the child is an orphan, and the adoptive parents meet certain requirements.

Special Note:

If a U.S. citizen marries a foreign national, and that foreign national already has children, the U.S. citizen may be able to petition for both the spouse and the children – no adoption necessary. If the U.S. citizen and the child’s parents were married prior to the child’s 18th birthday, the child is considered a step-child of the U.S. citizen, under immigration law. The U.S. citizen will not usually have to adopt the child to establish a step-relationship.

Schedule A Consultation!

As we respond to the current events surrounding COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients and staff remains paramount. Effective March 21, 2020 until April 7, 2020, we remain open for business, as an essential service per Governor Pritzker’s March 20, 2020 “Stay at Home” Executive Order. However, we are temporarily suspending in-person client services at our office. Instead, we are offering user-friendly web-based video conferencing and regular teleconference appointments. The video conferencing feature is simple to use for those with internet access and comes at no extra charge to our clients -- we encourage its use whenever possible.

Please contact your attorney to set this up via email or call us at 312-332-2550 to set up a video conferencing consultation.

Thank you,

The KB&A Team

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