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I am on H1B visa and want to adopt a child from India.
As per the Department of State (DOS)'s web-site one of the parent must be US Citizen, or One of the parent must remain with the child for 2 years to be adopted.
[url=http://travel.state.gov/family/adoption/info/info_455.html]International Adoptions: Legal Permanent Residents and Intercountry Adoptions[/url]
Does anybody has successfully adopted a child from India while on H1B status? I would like to know the complete process. Your suggestion and comments will be a great help.
Thanks...
WizardofOz
Professor,
the only thing is that if you leave the US for 2 years, you will lose your GC unless you get an exception granted. The drafters of the current laws that prohibit non-citizens to adopt internationally thought about that point as well. I wonder what their motivation was to go so fiercely after GC holders! They could have solved the problem of illegal adoptions by putting appropriate safety guards in place but no, they just went ahead and made things miserable for all GC holders.
About your plan: make sure to file for an exception ahead of time. I thikn your plan is very risky, and things can go terribly wrong. Try go find somebody who actually did something like this. If I was you, I would start calling adoption professionals and see what they say. I see a tremendous amount of technical difficulties to comply with the Hague requirements. For example, how will you e.g. do the required post-placement visits?
If you find an agency who ever had a GC client who actually left the country for 2 years - let me know. I never heard of that. It is theoretically possible, and whoever justifies the current laws will tell you stuff like "just go and live 2 years abroad" but in practice, it is not likely that this will work. When I was still a GC holder, I contacted agencies and asked them this question. No agency would agree to even talk with me as a GC holder! They all required citizenship.
WizardofOz, Professor,
We are in similar situation (GC holder, trying to adopt from India). After researching all available options, I was thinking of this same solution. My wife doesn't work, so she can go to India and live with the child for 2 years and then, we file I-130 to get child back with us on visa. Hopefully, we can get 2 year extension for her for GC, else she can visit every 6-12 months to retain her GC.
But, before we go further on this route, I am interested to know and talk to someone, who has actual done it or in process of doing it. Anyone out here?
US agency wouldn't talk unless you are citizen. With this process, I think you don't need to go with US agency at all.
Probably, a good immigration lawyer is needed to make sure that, whichever adoption agency we work with in India, follows proper legal process. Any contacts for immigration lawyer would be appreciated.
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Rohit,
I adopted domestically because there were no other reasonable options. Do I regret it? Not at all. The outcome was great. Could not have wished for better children! Do I think that the U.S. unnecessarily prevents from GC to adopt? Absolutely. There is no justification for the current laws as they cause undue hardship on permanent residents. Unethical adoptions can be prevented by other means (e.g. require that adoptions be done only via accredited agencies).
Historically, the restrictions were put in place b/c some non-citizens used adoption to bring their family members to the U.S. This is clearly not what most GC holders have in mind. The current restrictions by USCIS are in no proportion to the perceived problem and a reform is desperately needed.
The first thing to do, IMHO, is not to put up with the situation but to advocate for a change of law. I have contacted immigration attorneys, wrote advocacy letters to senators and legislators but so far nobody was willing to pick up the case because there is little publicity or electoral gain involved.
The second thing to do would be going to the media with it. Not sure how much the American public will sympathize with our cause but it's worth a try.
Now, regarding your idea to totally avoid Americans from being involved in the process: The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has issued new guidelines regarding adoptions. Trust me, the Indian process can be quite lengthy, so even if your wife lives two years in India, you need to take into account the overhead it takes to get an Indian homestudy, get matched and get placed. This overhead can easily be a year.
And as if that was not enough, in all likelihood they will require you to reside in India as well if you adopt through India.
Your wife is always entitled to a GC as long as you have one. That is not a problem. Visiting the U.S. every 6 months however is not enough to maintain the GC. You have to live in the US for more than 180 days per year to maintain status.
In summary, I don't think your idea will work, for a plurality of reasons.
Here is what I suggest: I think time has come to take the advocacy seriously and get the laws changed to something more reasonable than what we have today.
I will PM you the name of an adoption attorney who is familiar with USCIS immigration and has done advocacy work before (and was successful!). I suggest that you contact the attorney and describe the problem. I am considering to do the same in any case, although I am citizen now, to promote this issue.
Regarding adoption, I suggest that you either wait until you are citizen (which can be up to five years) or that you adopt domestically. Oh, and once you are citizen, you will be considered an OCI which might prolong the time frames to adopt from India, as per CARA.
So maybe domestic adoption deserves a try. If you want recommendations on domestic adoption, then just PM me.
Hope this helps ... :)
Thanks WizardofOz.
I have contacted several accredited agencies. All of them passed the bucks, saying they work only with US citizen, and I need to find other agency, who can work with permanent resident, but no one tell who would it be.
I am starting to believe that trying to adopt as permanent resident from India would be way too difficult and i will be spending few years struggling with systems in both US and India.
I am frustrated with the system.
I have written to senator from our area as well, but haven't got any response yet.
I have also contacted the attorney you PM'ed me.
I don't think we can wait for another 5 years to become citizen to 'start' adoption process.
Rohit, your post brings back many bitter memories for me. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I know the feeling of being marginalized in US adoptions all too well. In my case, it took 10 long years to become citizen. The first thing I did after I became citizen was to contact an international adoption agency! :cool:
As a non-citizen, no agency will work with you because the forms to certify you as adoptive parent who is eligible for international adoption (form I-800A for Hague countries as India and form I-600A for non-Hague countries) REQUIRE citizenship. You can go to the USCIS website, download the forms and check for yourself. It says e.g. in the I-800A form "Not a citizen of the United States. STOP. You may not file this application".
There are state and national requirements of adoptive parents that MUST be satisfied. These requirements constitute a kind of "minimal standard". Agencies sometimes add their own (sometimes whimsical/crazy/arbitrary) "restrictions" on top of the basic requirements. Unfortunately, I have observed that agencies often neglect explaining to potential adoptive parents that there is a difference between state and nation requirements and their own agency restrictions. This may mislead adoptive parents into thinking that certain "restrictions" apply unconditionally whereas in reality, they could just switch agency and eliminate those additional "restrictions". Buyer beware! :evilgrin:
Anyway, back to the topic. US citizenship is NOT an arbitrary agency restriction, it is part of the minimal standard for international adoption. In other words, it is the law. No agency will work with you on international adoption, period. There are stories out there about humanitarian parole being granted after a legal fight but this is a HUGE gamble that I would not take!
Since the current law obviously needs modification, the remedy is to advocate and to lobby. OF COURSE your senator did not answer. My congressmen and senators did not answer either. They do not care. Why would they? There is nothing in for them.
You could go to the media and expose the hardship permanent residents are facing when they attempt to adopt. I predict that you will not find a journalist who will be interested in the story because it's just not something that would affect the American public on a wide scale.
It is hard to gain sympathy as an immigrant about our situation. I have read comments that ranged from insensitive to unintelligent such as "they should just go back to their home country", "they can adopt domestically, so what is the problem", "they choose to be permanent residents to avoid the duties that come with citizenship". (Yeah, seriously).
Oh, and there is another little quirk: Let us say that you wait until you get citizenship ... then you count as OCI from the Indian point of view. That means that you will wait for a relatively long time since you are now last in the line in the Indian adoption system! In short, you are now in a perfect deadlock. :grr: I know the feeling all too well. It is not something you have DONE - it is where you were BORN. Positively maddening.
So where do we go from here? The attorney that I PM'ed you has done advocacy work in international adoptions before and is well known. I am curious what guidance we can get from this attorney, if we get one. If you are open to the idea of domestic adoption, then we can explore this option. I know several Indian families who adopted domestically, and I have followed their journey. They were all in your situation. None of them adopted an Indian child. But all of them are happy :) As I said in the beginning, I am sorry for your situation and I can only imagine what frustration you must feel right now.
If the child you adopted or intend to adopt in the United States is residing abroad, the child will need an immigrant visa to enter the United States.I don't have an idea for the child adopted by India and others countries.
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WizardofOz,
Thanks for sympathizing. I could tell your frustration back then by reading this post from beginning.
Deadlock it is!
I have gone through I800A & I600A. It does need you to be US citizen. I think this is all agencies care about and look as first thing.
Legally, there is a path for permanent residents through I-130. It ain't pretty, but it is there.
Unfortunately, there aren't enough people trying it because of hardship it has in the whole process, and consequently, agency doesn't bother to give any attention to this process and wants to remain unware when you point them to it.
Attorney did respond and confirmed my assertion that there is a path for GC holders. However, I still need to go through Hague process and start the process here in US.
So, it is down to finding an US agency, who knows about this process and willing to work with me. I will keep looking.......
I have taken your suggestion to US domestic adoption. May be, that is something we will come to at the end and then will get more information from you and others who have done it. But, we are not emotionally prepared to do so yet.
Hi in_rohit
I am preparing to adopt now, and am planning to inquire more about this when I visit Delhi in Dec. hopefully, I will be able to start the process then. I will PM you my contact, it will be nice to discuss this with someone in the same phase!
Please keep us posted. Rohit, I have PMed you the name of an international adoption agency run by Indians. They may sympathize with you. I don't know if they'll go down the I-130 route with you but worth a try. It may set a precedent for GC holders to have a pathway to adopt! Good progress with the attorney!
Regarding the hardship involved in the I-130 process and subsequently agencies not ready to do it: That's why I say that advocacy is necessary. I am confident that a good group of people together with a lawyer could bring about a change. This is what I would like to see - not individuals who manage to adopt internationally as GC because they find a special arrangement or have financial resources to deal with a complicated process ... I need to see a "mainstream" pathway so that all GC holders can do it. In my opinion, the legal pathway will be requiring applicants to go through accredited agencies and providing GCs to the adopted children instead of US citizenships, conditioned on the child getting the citizenship of the adoptive parents, of course. Just my thoughts. That is how it is done in countries such as e.g. Switzerland. If the Swiss can do it, so can we :)
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Hi Momto1human-2furry/ (Any other parents out there with successful domestic adoption),
I am in the same situation , on work visa and GC under process. Just found out that I cannot adopt internationally but qualify for domestic adoption . Can you please guide me on what my first steps should be? Can you give me leads to contact . I live in NJ. Also can you advice based on your experience how long the process takes ? I would like to adopt a baby as young as possible. Is it possible to adopt new born babies?
Thanks for your help.
Adopted children come to the U.S. as dependents all the time. If coming from a non-Hague country, they come in on IR-3 or IR-4 visas -- IR stands for "immediate relative" -- and if coming from a Hague country, they come in on IH-3 and IH-4 visas. In addition, if children don't qualify for any of these visas, there is a dependent visa that is used for an adopted child that lives overseas with his/her new parents for two years.
The Immigration and Nationality Act, which defines the visa categories and specifies their rules, follows good adoption practice, in wanting to be sure that adopted children are placed in safe, loving families. One way it tries to achieve this goal is to allow children to be placed only with families who are likely to stay in the U.S., where an adoption agency can provide some followup. It wants to be sure that a family does not come to the U.S., adopt a child, and then quickly remove him/her to a country that does not have such safeguards, where the child could be neglected, abused, or abandoned. It's not a perfect solution to the problem of child abuse and neglect -- there's still all too much of it around -- but it's one small step.
The INA also wants to support adoption by U.S. citizens, many of whom have tried for years to have a baby biologically or to adopt a child domestically, without success. An additional law, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, also makes IR-3 or 4 and IH-3 children automatic citizens, since they were adopted by at least one U.S. citizen. IR-4 children become automatic citizens after their parents adopt or readopt them in the U.S. and submit the paperwork to the USCIS.
The INA does not discriminate against adopted children. The children of both bio children born in the U.S. and adopted children who come to the U.S. on adoption visas -- Hague and non-Hague -- can become citizens and enjoy all the benefits of citizenship. They can go to school and work in the U.S. They can vote. They can run for most political offices -- though foreign born children still can't become President, even if they are citizens; many of us hope that will change, but the change would involve a Constitutional amendment, which could take years, as the requirements for changing the Constitution are very complicated. The Presidency issue isn't affected by the INA.
Now, personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the INA changed to allow the children of green card holders, who are -- at least theoretically -- likely to stay in the U.S. permanently, to bring children into the U.S. on adoption visas. But there's very little Congressional will for changing even less controversial provisions of the INS. And many people in and out of Congress want to encourage permanent residents to become citizens, not to encourage them to stay here permanently as non-citizens.
And, nowadays, much as I hate to say it, there's a good bit of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. My Dad was an immigrant who came from Eastern Europe at a time when Jews were facing discrimination -- and conscription into the Czar's army as "cannon fodder". My Mother was the daughter of two immigrants who raised eight children to be productive citizens of the U.S. So I am pro-immigrant, but I know all too well that Congress is unlikely to relax laws that, they think, could mean more immigrants coming to the U.S.
All in all, I think that the Immigration and Nationality Act needs an overhaul in many areas, not just those pertaining to adoption law. But much as I'd be comfortable with giving people on green cards the right to immigrate children, I really would not feel comfortable with people on temporary visas using their stay in the U.S. to adopt children. I would encourage them to return to their home country to adopt. And I say that, knowing that my daughter, an American citizen born in China, is now dating a young man who is from India, and trying to get an H1B visa, following his graduation from a Master's degree program that he attended on a student visa. If they married, of course, they could adopt and immigrate a child, since my daughter is a citizen. But if he married another Indian on an H1B visa, they would have to go back to India and adopt there.
Sharon
Hi PBK81 - I am pursuing domestic adoption while on H1B. I got help from many helpful members on this forum. One of them Lakshmi, has written a great article which I found very helpful to answer initial questions -
[url=http://www.womensweb.in/articles/adoption-process-for-indians/]How can Indian women adopt a child abroad?[/url]
hope this helps.
Hi Momto1human-2furry,
Me and my husband are on H1 and are looking to adopt via domestic channels. We have reviewed one agency in NJ. They however have not worked with Indian adoptive families in the past. Do you think it would be beneficial if the agency has worked with our visa situation and background in the past? And also Will you be able to share the agency contact information with whom you worked in the past?
Thanks for your help.
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Hi in_rohit
I am preparing to adopt now, and am planning to inquire more about this when I visit Delhi in Dec. hopefully, I will be able to start the process then. I will PM you my contact, it will be nice to discuss this with someone in the same phase!
Hey ProffessorUS, I am in a same boat. Would you please share your experience with me? People are saying I will send you PM what does that mean? Is it personal message? I am new on this website and can't figure out how to send PM.
Please keep us posted. Rohit, I have PMed you the name of an international adoption agency run by Indians. They may sympathize with you. I don't know if they'll go down the I-130 route with you but worth a try. It may set a precedent for GC holders to have a pathway to adopt! Good progress with the attorney!
Regarding the hardship involved in the I-130 process and subsequently agencies not ready to do it: That's why I say that advocacy is necessary. I am confident that a good group of people together with a lawyer could bring about a change. This is what I would like to see - not individuals who manage to adopt internationally as GC because they find a special arrangement or have financial resources to deal with a complicated process ... I need to see a "mainstream" pathway so that all GC holders can do it. In my opinion, the legal pathway will be requiring applicants to go through accredited agencies and providing GCs to the adopted children instead of US citizenships, conditioned on the child getting the citizenship of the adoptive parents, of course. Just my thoughts. That is how it is done in countries such as e.g. Switzerland. If the Swiss can do it, so can we :)
Hey WizardofOz, I am also on h1b and want to adopt a child in India. Can you send me contact details on international adoption agency run by Indians?