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I have been scouring the net for the kind of information below and have only found misinformation and so have decided to sign up and give some potential parents some hope.
I would like to share what I have found.
I figure that this might encourage another person to take one more step beyond the 'no' and get the answer that they were hoping for. It has been such a fight to get this information I imagine that many people stop long before this. I have spoken to many people who said no believing they were correct but could not base it on anything concrete or provable. The government official I spoke to said that she hears of many people in this situation who had given up on their hopes of creating or expanding their families in this way... because they couldn't find the information to refute the naysayers.
Most of the time when we hear a "No - you aren't a US citizen, therefore you cannot adopt here" - you are coming up against 'policies' not 'laws'. I suggest that you get back on the horse and do some more research! :)
You cannot adopt internationally while living in the US on a work visa (IE: you can't adopt from Russia or China, etc). No questions there. That one is an absolute 'No' from the US Immigration. Because you are in the US on a work visa - your internationally adopted child would not necessarily automatically qualify for a dependant visa which would obviously cause some difficulties when bringing the child into the US. Therefore - they simply don't allow it.
So, sorry... 'no go' there.
The question that we are actually seeking to ask is whether or not your home country will recognize your domestically adopted child and will allow that child citizenship.
As an aside, I am Canadian and will explain the following as a Canadian:
The idea that you must return to your home country in order to adopt is laughable. You must not, actually. Should you do something like this - it would be frowned upon seriously as the Home Study process is required to ACCURATELY assess you, your community, your home and where/how you intend to raise your child. If you do not live there, you are not giving accurate information. Canada will not do a Home Study if you do not live in the country. End of story.
The answer from Canada is 'yes' (to the above question), go ahead and do a domestic adoption and, as long as it is a finalized adoption which followed all of the laws in the local jurisdiction (I am only speaking in reference to the US), your child will be eligible for citizenship.
I have been banging my head against the wall reading misinformation for the past week but have finally gotten confirmation from the Canadian government confirming my understanding, both verbally and in writing. As well as a couple of lawyers from different locations in the US.
The Hague Convention, in this situation, only comes into play IF I wish to adopt internationally - that means - if I wish to adopt outside of the US. I don't wish to... therefore I follow exactly the same process everyone else would follow in a domestic US adoption - citizens and non-citizens alike. The Hague Convention is more about where the children are coming from and less about where the parents are coming from. So, if you wish to adopt from the US while you are here in the US - you can.
For me as a Canadian, there is an extra step that I can take to make the adoption officials here in the US feel better about working with us. I can write a letter to Citizen and Immigration Canada and, after having them verify our information, have them respond with a letter stating that they will have no part in our adoption process given our circumstances and will ensure that our adopted child will be given Canadian citizenship. This is NOT a necessary step but can be done so that this letter (from the Canadian government) can be added to our adoption dossier or if there is a specific request from a US Authority.
So... moral of the story - Don't give up, it is possible. Just look a little further. And call Foreign Affairs. ;)
There is another issue. Many U.S. agencies and states WILL place U.S. children with people who are citizens of other countries living in the U.S. on Permanent Resident Visas -- "green cards" as we call them here, although the cards are no longer green. The reason is that legal permanent residents, as the title suggests, are here permanently. The agencies can follow up with them, open adoptions can occur if both the birth and adoptive families agree, and so on. Many legal permanent residents eventually wind up pursuing U.S. citizenship.
Unfortunately, U.S. agencies and states tend to be much less willing to place American children with people who are in the U.S. on work visas or other visas that are not considered permanent. It doesn't matter whether the people are from Canada or from halfway around the world. The reason is that the agencies know that, at some point, the families are likely to return home -- for example, if the company that is sponsoring them no longer has a need for their services. The agencies won't have the ability to follow up with the families, to counsel them if there are problems, and so on. And many birthmothers will NOT allow placement with a family if there is a strong likelihood that the family will move overseas, where they cannot occasionally visit and where they may not be too sure what sort of a life awaits their children.
Sharon
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Thank you very much for your response.
You've made some very good points. I still feel that my original points are valid. Basically, everything you've pointed out falls under the 'policies' of the agency, facilitator... etc - not any law that exists anywhere in the United States. What most state laws require is that you must be a 'resident' to adopt (not all states require this).
And there is of course, as you've pointed out, always the emotional side of adoption. The birthmother... but still again, no laws are involved in this decision. That is always up in the air no matter where you are from.
I've spoken to the clerk at the Superior Court of California. He was full of information, but basically he said that citizenship never comes into play when filing the paperwork with the courts and he has never heard of an objection of this kind (others - but not this one). I've actually spoken to many US government officials now (whew!) in regards to this and all of them are very clear that if it was a requirement to be a US citizen or LPR, it would be clearly stated within the state laws.
So again, it comes down to all parties 'feelings' and 'policies' in the whole process but not 'laws'.
The point I am making is that, just because adoption by non-citizens who are NOT permanent residents is not forbidden by law, it does not mean that you have the right to insist that a state child welfare department or private adoption agency place a child with you.
If, for example, you tried to sue an agency because it denied your application to adopt, on the grounds that it discriminated against temporary residents or on some other basis, you would not prevail. States and agencies have the right to decide whether or not to place children with temporary residents, and many will decline to do so, as a matter of policy.
The main concern of agencies is that, if a child is going to be taken overseas, there may be weak oversight by the foreign country in matters such as abuse and neglect. They may fear that the child would face discrimination in some countries, given that many countries do not have a tradition of adoption and consider "blood ties" as very important. And they may fear that a foreign country might not have a strong "social safety net" if the family was ever faced with loss of income or other unfortunate circumstances. Overall, their main concern has to be the welfare of the child. And they cannot discriminate based on nationality; for example, they cannot say that they would place a child with a Canadian temporary resident, but not with a Sri Lankan temporary resident.
And because so many American women are choosing to parent their children, these days, it has become very difficult for adoption agencies to find birthmothers who are willing to place the children they bear with adoptive families. As a result, they tend to bend over backwards to please women who are considering placing their babies. If they know that most birthmothers want young married couples to adopt their children, they may create policies that discourage single and older people from applying. Likewise, if they know that most birthmothers won't place with temporary residents, they will discourage applicants who are on work visas or other temporary visas.
While these are not "legal" barriers, they are barriers, and you simply have to recognize that they are there.
When it comes to LEGAL barriers you do need to consider Canadian laws about adoption and immigration. As an example, Canada, like the U.S., is a Hague country. There might be a concern if you moved to the U.S., adopted an American child, and then moved right back to Canada, because it would appear that you violated Hague laws.
Remember that a Canadian citizen living in Canada would have to go through the Hague process to adopt and immigrate an American baby. If it could be proved that you established temporary residence in the U.S for the purpose of circumventing Hague requirements, and managed to adopt a child, Canada could deny you the right to bring your child into Canada because you did not follow Hague rules.
Sharon
Thank you again. I am very glad that this discussion is happening somewhere on the interwebs as this is exactly the kind of information that needs to be available to everyone.
Again you have brought up some very good points, and come from an angle that I would not have considered. It is true that there are some agencies, facilitators, etc... who choose not to work with non-citizens, even for domestic adoptions. However, in their refusal, never once has it come up that the adoptive parents might take the child to their home country out of their reach so that they may no longer follow up on them.
The main concern was; would the child be eligible for citizenship in the country of their adoptive parents. And actually, I continually came up against a very wishy washy "no"... but no one seemed to know why they were saying no but basically agreed that the US government allowed it... but no one thinks that the Canadian government allows it.... when I tell them that the CDN gov does indeed allow it and even has systems in place to allow it - everyone seems to go back to "Oh - but then I guess that it would be US immigration that wouldn't allow it... or the US government... or the courts, yeah... the courts - they wouldn't allow it..." but it keeps coming down to the fact that no one really knows... especially if they aren't at the government level and when I say that I have spoken to US Government officials - the response is that the government doesn't know what they are talking about. (?!?)
There is obviously very strong feelings around adoption on many different levels. That will never be disputed. But strong feelings cannot be mistaken for laws. Non-citizens can indeed adopt in the US, provided they jump through all of the same hoops as any other adoptive parent in the US, plus a few more. Non-citizen parents also need to be aware that while everything else in their file might look great to a birth mother, the fact that they are non-citizens may close that door for them. This may mean slightly more heartache and a longer waiting period for those prospective parents, but it does not mean "No".
Additionally, in all of this, I am speaking of ONLY following the laws required. I am not trying to, nor condoning, the circumventing of those laws in any way (IE: moving to the US with the intent to adopt a child and then return to the home country). That is simply a recipe for disaster, heartache and pain.
In reference to Canadian Immigration, there is an extra step that CDN's can go through that results in a letter from Canadian Immigration saying that an adopted child would be eligible for citizenship. It is based on proof of residency in the US, a letter from the sponsoring employer, and a few more things just shy of fingerprints and blood. I imagine that most developed countries have something like this in place as well. As I have had no need to research this, I do not know definitively. This is only an assumption on my part.
Thank you again for continuing this discussion. I am very happy to be able to present an open discussion regarding this touchy subject. If anyone wishes the list of people that I have spoken to and their responses, please PM me and I will pass it on.
Thank you again. I am very glad that this discussion is happening somewhere on the interwebs as this is exactly the kind of information that needs to be available to everyone.
Again you have brought up some very good points, and come from an angle that I would not have considered. It is true that there are some agencies, facilitators, etc... who choose not to work with non-citizens, even for domestic adoptions. However, in their refusal, never once has it come up that the adoptive parents might take the child to their home country out of their reach so that they may no longer follow up on them.
The main concern was; would the child be eligible for citizenship in the country of their adoptive parents. And actually, I continually came up against a very wishy washy "no"... but no one seemed to know why they were saying no but basically agreed that the US government allowed it... but no one thinks that the Canadian government allows it.... when I tell them that the CDN gov does indeed allow it and even has systems in place to allow it - everyone seems to go back to "Oh - but then I guess that it would be US immigration that wouldn't allow it... or the US government... or the courts, yeah... the courts - they wouldn't allow it..." but it keeps coming down to the fact that no one really knows... especially if they aren't at the government level and when I say that I have spoken to US Government officials - the response is that the government doesn't know what they are talking about. (?!?)
There is obviously very strong feelings around adoption on many different levels. That will never be disputed. But strong feelings cannot be mistaken for laws. Non-citizens can indeed adopt in the US, provided they jump through all of the same hoops as any other adoptive parent in the US, plus a few more. Non-citizen parents also need to be aware that while everything else in their file might look great to a birth mother, the fact that they are non-citizens may close that door for them. This may mean slightly more heartache and a longer waiting period for those prospective parents, but it does not mean "No".
Additionally, in all of this, I am speaking of ONLY following the laws required. I am not trying to, nor condoning, the circumventing of those laws in any way (IE: moving to the US with the intent to adopt a child and then return to the home country). That is simply a recipe for disaster, heartache and pain.
In reference to Canadian Immigration, there is an extra step that CDN's can go through that results in a letter from Canadian Immigration saying that an adopted child would be eligible for citizenship. It is based on proof of residency in the US, a letter from the sponsoring employer, and a few more things just shy of fingerprints and blood. I imagine that most developed countries have something like this in place as well. As I have had no need to research this, I do not know definitively. This is only an assumption on my part.
Thank you again for continuing this discussion. I am very happy to be able to present an open discussion regarding this touchy subject. If anyone wishes the list of people that I have spoken to and their responses, please PM me and I will pass it on.
Thank you for sharing this information. I am currently in the US on a H1B visa trying to initiate a domestic adoption but am getting mixed messages at to whether I am eligible (mainly due to The Hague Convention). could you PM me with more details on information from Canadian government that could smooth the process. thank you.
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Thank you for sharing this information. I am currently in the US on a H1B visa trying to initiate a domestic adoption but am getting mixed messages at to whether I am eligible (mainly due to The Hague Convention). could you PM me with more details on information from Canadian government that could smooth the process. thank you.
Hi Lidia,
We’re you able to adopt in H1B? I am starting my journey towards domestic adoption.
Regards,
Krithika