I'm a dual citizen of Brazil and US and my wife and I are considering adopting a child (maybe two!) from Brazil.
I completely understand the process (great explanation [URL=""] in this post here[/URL]), but I would like to know if not using an agency is an option after the home study is finished and the USCIS has approved our petition to adopt internationally.
I'm very used to Brazil's bureaucracy and have an attorney there that could assist me with the process, but I wonder whether an agency would be really needed after the home study is done in my state. Thoughts?
If a US-based agency is required, I would welcome receiving some referrals of agencies that have helped in adoptions from Brazil.
Both the US and Brazil have ratified the Hague Convention on international adoption. As a result, you will need to use an agency that is licensed in a U.S. state and Hague-accredited. You will need to use a Hague-accredited agency, even if you are adopting a relative's child whom you already know.
Instead of filing the non-Hague I-600A and I-600 with the USCIS, you will need to file the I-800A (which approves you to bring an orphan into the U.S.) and the I-800 (which reviews your approval and determines the eligibility of the child to immigrate under Hague rules). Your agency will walk you through all of the paperwork needed to complete your adoption and the immigration of a child.
Be aware that Brazil may have an approval process for domestic adoptions, which you may be entitled to use as a dual citizen. HOWEVER, such a process will not be compliant with the Hague Convention, and you will be unable to obtain an adoption visa for your child to enter the U.S. if you use that process. You MUST use the international adoption/Hague process.
It would be a good idea for you to read the section on adoption from Brazil on the website of the U.S. State Department, at [url=]Brazil | Intercountry Adoption[/url].
You can find a list of Hague-accredited U.S. adoption agencies acceptable to Brazil at [url=]Credenciamento de Organismos — Secretaria de Direitos Humanos[/url]. This website is in Portuguese, which I presume that you understand. You can also check with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Brazil, or the Brazilian Embassy in the U.S. The approval process was started only about a year ago, so there are relatively few agencies approved currently.