How to Adopt from Dominica
The process for adopting a child from Dominica generally includes the following steps:
- Choose an Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Adopt the Child in Dominica
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
- Bring Your Child Home
1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
The first step in adopting a child from Dominica is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
To bring an adopted child from Dominica to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how. In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Dominica as described in the Who Can Adopt section.
3. Be Matched with a Child
If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Dominica will provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.
The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Dominica's requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.
- ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: Parents are not matched to children. An adoption process begins when a child has been identified for adoption. Prospective adoptive parents must submit to the Welfare Division a copy of their home study report and W2 tax form.
- TIME FRAME: There is no specified period. A short hearing is required after all requirements are met and all documents are in order.
- ADOPTION FEES: Adoption fees vary from lawyer to lawyer but an adoptive parent can expect to pay at least US $700 to $1000 for an adoption, including stamp duty.
- DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The following are required documents:
- 1. Petition for Adoption (from country of adoptive parents);
- 2. Affidavit of support (from country of adoptive parents);
- 3. Consent of biological parents;
- 4. Birth certificate of child;
- 5. Application to appoint Guardian Ad Litem;
- 6. Guardian Ad Litem Report;
- 7. Home study report from prospective adoptive parents' country if not a citizen of Dominica and W2 tax forms to be submitted to the Welfare Division;
- 8. If married a marriage certificate and if one spouse is adopting the consent of the other spouse;
- 9. Application for Adoption and Draft Adoption Order.
NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.
5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Dominica, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600). Learn how.
6. Bring Your Child Home
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he/she can travel to the United States:
- 1 Birth Certificate
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
- 2 Domina Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Dominica.
- 3. U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.
NOTE: The United States does not have an embassy in Dominica. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados covers Dominica and processes immigrant visa cases for residents of Dominica. The Embassy requests that prospective adoptive parents contact them directly as soon as they have received their approved I-600A or I-600 from the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Upon receipt of the approved I-600A, I-600, telegraphic or faxed approval from the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Embassy will send the prospective adoptive parent (also known as the "petitioner") instructions on how to apply for the child's U.S. immigrant visa. Once the petitioner has completed several forms, the U.S. Embassy will schedule an appointment and mail the petitioner a letter confirming the appointment. The petitioner can also call the U.S. Embassy at 246-431-0225 and request an appointment to coincide with their visit to the island to complete the adoption. Appointments may also be requested via e-mail at: ConsularBridge2@state.gov.
At the time of the visa interview, the prospective adoptive parents must present the following documents:
- 1. The child's certified adoption certificate from Dominica;
- 2. Court documents;
- 3. Release documents from the biological parent(s), if any;
- 4. Child's valid passport from Dominica;
- 5. Four (4) full-face color photographs (2 x 2 on white background);
- 6. Medical examination (instructions will be given to the adoptive parents); and
- 7. Visa fee.
If the Embassy is not in possession of the approved I-600 petition or confirmation from USCIS, the petitioners must present a copy of their home study and evidence of support. If the petitioner has all the required documents and the applicant seems otherwise eligible under U.S. immigration law, the visa can be issued the day following the application.
To learn more about the Child Citizenship Act please read The Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
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