International adoption in Arizona offers a great way to grow your family because it lets you give a home to a child from another nation. Have you thought about adopting a child from another country?
If you have, you probably have questions about the international adoption process, such as:
- How much does it cost?
- How do I explore my international adoption options?
- Which countries are best for international adoptions?
- Are there requirements for international adoption?
- What are the best international adoption agencies in Arizona?
It’s true — the international adoption process is complicated. There are details not required in other forms of adoption because international adoption requirements must be satisfied.
But, there’s hope. You’re not alone when researching international adoption. Many international adoption agencies in Arizona can help you through the process.
What is International Adoption?
International adoption involves adoption of a child from another nation. International adoption in Arizona is the least common of the three main methods of child adoption. In 2019, only 25 Arizona families adopted from abroad.
International adoption is less common than other adoption types because it involves additional details. You must meet Arizona adoption requirements as well as the rules of the adoptee’s home nation to complete an international adoption.
Who Chooses International Adoption in Arizona?
International adoption in Arizona may not be the right option for all prospective adoptive families, but for some, it’s the perfect option. It’s often appealing to prospective adoptive families in one or more of the following categories:
- Families open to adopting a child of any age: You may adopt an infant from another nation. But, most waiting children in institutional homes in other countries are older. Most children adopted internationally are between the ages of five and 12.
- Prospective parents who want no contact with birth parents: Some prospective adoptive parents want open or semi-open adoptions. That’s not usually an option in international adoptions. Most international adoptions are closed adoptions.
- Those open to adopting children with medical challenges: Many children in institutional homes in other nations have significant health challenges. Prospective adoptive parents interested in international adoption in Arizona should consider providing care for children with special needs.
- Families who aren’t concerned with the child’s family medical history: The medical history of a child’s family is important for some potential adoptive parents. The family medical details of children in institutional homes in other countries are often unknown in international adoption in Arizona.
Prospective adoptive parents considering international adoption must meet special requirements. Those requirements are dictated by federal law as well as Arizona international adoption law.
What’s the cost of international adoption in Arizona?
The cost of international adoption in Arizona varies. There are several influencing factors, including the chi’s country of origin, your adoption agency, and the cost of travel abroad.
Below are some factors that affect the cost of international adoption:
- Country choice: The cost of adopting a child varies by country. It can cost as little as $15,000 to adopt a child from the Philippines, or as much as $38,000 (or more) for a Japanese adoption in Arizona.
- Cost of international adoption agency services: The cost of adoption professionals also differs based on the services provided and the type of fee structure used.
- Travel requirements: If you need to make a single trip to the child’s home country, your travel costs will be minimal. Some countries require multiple trips prior to custody transfer, which will cause travel costs to rise.
How to Adopt Internationally in Arizona
If you choose international adoption in Arizona you must follow a standard process. While every adoption is unique, here are the big steps that every process follows:
Step 1: Select a Country
When planning an international adoption in Arizona you must first choose the country you’d prefer to adopt from.
Choosing the right birth country involves considering factors like changing adoption laws, the political climate in the country of adoption, and travel bans that may impact your adoption nation of choice.
Selecting a country is important. Research the adoption requirements of countries you’re considering. Think about social factors that could impact your international adoption in Arizona — such as if the country allows for single parent adoption or LGBTQ adoption, or if the country has income requirements for adoptive families.
Step 2: Find an International Adoption Agency in Arizona
You’ll need the help of international adoption agencies in Arizona to navigate the adoption process.
Adoption laws vary widely between nations. For that reason, international adoption agencies in Arizona handle adoptions in specific nations. That’s why it’s important to decide the country you’d like to adopt from before selecting an adoption professional.
Make sure to choose a Hague-accredited adoption agency in Arizona under the auspices of the Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.
Step 3: Finding International Adoption Attorneys in Arizona
There’s a significant legal component in international adoption in Arizona. You need experienced international adoption attorneys in Arizona to ensure legal requirements are fulfilled.
Your international adoption attorneys in Arizona will help meet the requirements of intercountry adoption law. Your attorney will also help you apply for U.S. citizenship for your child after custody is transferred in the home nation.
Step 4: Getting a Home Study for International Adoption in Arizona
All adoptions require a home study, but the home studies required for an international adoption in Arizona differ from the average adoption home study. International home studies must meet the requirements set forth by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The purpose of the home study for international adoption in Arizona is to establish the safety and stability of a potential adoptive home. It also ensures the child is a good fit for the family.
The home study includes in-home interviews, background checks, and financial record reviews. It sometimes takes three months to complete. Information gathered from the study is reviewed by USCIS and the adoption authority in the adoptee’s home country to determine adoption eligibility.
Prior to your home study for international adoption in Arizona, prepare to comply with requests related to the process. You can get a head start on the process by gathering the following documentation:
- Health records
- Financial records
- Adoption reference letters
- Criminal background checks for everyone in the prospective adoptive household over the age of 14
- Narratives explaining your adoption motivations
- In-home interview
- Post-placement visits and interviews
You will need to work with an accredited international adoption agency in Arizona to complete the home study.
Step 5: Gain USCIS Eligibility for International Adoption in Arizona
In the next step, you will need to request to be determined eligible for international adoption by the USCIS.
When adopting from a Hague Process country, you and your international adoption attorneys in Arizona will complete Form 1-800A and submit the required documents and home study results. If you’ve chosen a non-Hague Process country, you should complete form 1-600A if you don’t already have a referral and form 1-600 if you have been matched with a child.
For Hague Process countries, the adoption eligibility window is 15 months. For non-Hague Process countries, the window lasts 18 months.
Once you’re eligible, your international adoption agency in Arizona will assemble an adoption dossier for you.
Step 6: Child Referral and Matching
When adopting internationally, a match with a waiting child comes through a referral from authorities in the adoptee’s home country. Or, your international adoption agency in Arizona may identify a promising opportunity for you.
Once the referral is made, your agency will inform you about the child. You’ll review the information and learn details about the child’s gender, age, medical history, and developmental history. Photos and videos may be available at this point in the process. The information you receive varies according to the child’s home nation.
You have a specified time to consider the match and accept it. Before deciding about the referral, gather as much information as possible to inform your choice. Ask plenty of questions. Your international adoption agency in Arizona will get the answers you need.
The next step is determining whether the child is eligible for international adoption in Arizona and U.S. citizenship. When your eligibility to adopt was determined, you submitted form 1-800A or 1-600A. For the child, you’ll file form 1-800 for Hague Process countries or 1-600 for non-Hague Process countries.
Step 7: Travel and Adoption
After accepting a referral, you’ll travel to the home country of the child, meet them for the first time and begin the transfer of custody.
In some countries, the entire legal adoption process occurs in the home country of the adoptee. You’ll gain custody of the child, then finalize the international adoption in Arizona after returning to the U.S. You can plan to spend between one and four weeks in the child’s home country.
In some cases, a single trip is required and the custody is transferred after a few weeks. In other nations, there may be several trips necessary before you gain full custody. Your chosen international adoption agency in Arizona will help you make arrangements for your travel to the birth country of the adoptee.
Step 8: Immigration and Travel to the U.S.
To leave the child’s home country and return to the U.S., you’ll need to secure a visa for the child. This is done by the U.S. embassy or consulate in the child’s home country.
If both parents are present at the time of application and the adoption is completed in the home country, you’ll either receive an IH-3 (Hague nation) or IR-3 (non-Hague nation) visa. If only one parent is present, an IH-4 or IR-4 visa is granted. With the visa, you’ll be able to legally return to the U.S. with your newly adopted child.
Step 9: Adoption Finalization or Re-Adoption in Arizona
There are sometimes additional steps required in an international adoption in Arizona after you return home.
You’ll need updated documentation for the child after returning to the U.S., including a Social Security number for the child and an Arizona birth certificate for a foreign adoption.
You may need to take a few more steps. For example, if only one parent was present at the time the visa was granted, you will need to finalize the adoption after returning to the U.S.
Though the international adoption in Arizona may be considered final in the home country, adoption professionals advise adoptive parents to pursue re-adoption. Re-adoption ensures the child has the full rights of U.S. citizenship. Your international adoption agency can walk you through all of these important legal steps.
International Adoption Professionals in Arizona
International adoption in Arizona requires extensive experience and detailed knowledge of intercountry adoption laws. You’ll need an international adoption agency on your side.
Below is a list of licensed international adoption agencies in Arizona:
- ABC Infant and International Adoption Options
- Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency
- Nightlight Christian Adoptions
- America World Adoptions
International adoption in Arizona is complicated, but it’s also rewarding. It provides a chance to offer your home to a waiting child from another country while expanding your family.
If international adoption in Arizona seems like an agreeable option for your family, start the process today by contacting one of the organizations above.