Taiwan and the Hague Convention
Taiwan is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).
In January 2013, the Taiwan Child Welfare Bureau announced its participation in a Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) program with the United States. The PAIR program requires prospective adoptive parents to receive a preliminary determination on the child’s likely immigration eligibility from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to filing an adoption case with a court. This preliminary determination, also referred to as the PAIR process, provides foreign courts and relevant Taiwan authorities with information regarding a child’s likely eligibility to immigrate to the United States before the court enters an order establishing a permanent legal relationship between the U.S. citizen parent(s) and the child.
The Taiwan Child Welfare Bureau issued an administrative order effective April 1, 2013 requiring adoption service providers to include a PAIR letter with the filing of an adoption proceeding with a Taiwan court. To enable prospective adoptive parents adopting from Taiwan to comply with Taiwan’s new administrative order, USCIS issued a policy memorandum allowing prospective adoptive parents to file a Form I-600 (Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative), before filing an adoption proceeding with a Taiwan court.
Following the receipt of a PAIR letter from USCIS and subsequent issuance of a foreign adoption decree, prospective adoptive parents must submit the foreign adoption decree and the child’s travel and identity documents to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) which will then complete the final approval of their Form I-600 and issuance of a visa. If AIT finds the case is not clearly approvable, it will return the case to USCIS for further action. Prospective adoptive parents should pay special attention to the process described below as it differs from other non-Hague and Hague countries.
The United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. All Consular and other representative functions are handled by AIT, a non-profit, private corporation authorized by the Taiwan Relations Act to conduct and carry out programs, transactions, and other relations between the United States and Taiwan.
We strongly urge prospective adoptive parents to only work with licensed adoption facilitators in Taiwan. The use of unlicensed facilitators in Taiwan could result in an adoption being carried out in a manner that does not permit the child to qualify as an orphan as defined under U.S. immigration law. If the child does not qualify as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, he or she may be found to be ineligible to immigrate to the United States. It is important for prospective adoptive parents to confirm that the adoption service provider they choose is authorized to facilitate adoptions in Taiwan by checking with Taiwan’s adoption authority, the Child Welfare Bureau. Please see the Information below in the “Choose and Adoption Service Provider” section.
U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Taiwan, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.
Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.
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