International adoption in Ohio is the least chosen form of adoption, but, for some families, adopting a child from another country is the ideal way to build their family.
Is this the right type of adoption for you? It will depend on your unique circumstances and your hopes for the adoption process. The type of adoption you choose will drastically alter the future of your family, so it’s important to have all of the most important information. That’s why we’ve created this guide to international adoption in Ohio.
Keep reading to learn more about this particular way of growing your family, and make sure to check out our guides to the other types of adoption in Ohio that might be right for your family.
The Complexities of International Adoption
International adoption in Ohio can be a more complex process because the regulations of two countries must be considered, and each country has different eligibility requirements. It is of utmost importance that you choose the appropriate adoption professional, as they must be accredited to work in the country from which you are wanting to adopt. They must also be compliant with Hague requirements.
The Hague Adoption Convention is an international treaty put into place in order to ensure that international adoptions are in the best interest of the child and have a high success rate. Their regulations prevent child trafficking, require itemized expenses, encourage better access to medical records, and require Adoption Certificates and Custody Certificates. Some countries are accredited by Hague, and others are not.
That may sound overwhelming — but don’t worry. You aren’t in charge of ensuring that your adoption follows the details of a complex international treaty. That’s what your agency is for. That’s why it is so important to choose a Hague-accredited agency. Below, we’ve provided several options you can consider.
Who Might Choose International Adoption
International adoption isn’t right for everyone, but it could be perfect for you. How can you know? While that choice is ultimately up to you, here are several common reasons people choose international adoption in Ohio:
- Those who are prepared to navigate cultural transitions: When a family decides to adopt a young person with language and customs that are different than their own, there can be significant obstacles that they might face. If you have done research on a child’s country of origin and have given thought to how their cultural differences might affect the way you relate with them, and how you can continue to affirm and embrace their ethnic heritage as they become a part of your family, then you might be an ideal candidate for international adoption in Ohio.
- Those who are open to adopting a child regardless of age: It is possible to adopt an infant from another country, but many times they need for adoption presents itself later in the life of the child. If you are enthusiastic about integrating an older child into your home, international adoption in Ohio might be ideal for you.
- Those who prefer predictable costs: While domestic adoption has a wide range of costs, dependent on many variables, international agencies in Ohio can quote you an overall price with very little variable costs.
- Those willing to consider the regulations of two different countries: The most common countries that American families adopt from are Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Haiti, and India. You are more likely to find adoption professionals who have expertise in the processes and eligibility criteria of these countries than others. With an adoption specialist in Ohio who is equipped to navigate these guidelines, you will be in good hands.
- Those who would like limited or no contact with birth parents: There are many benefits to open adoption for both adoptive parents, birth parents, and adopted child. However, there are many who have good reasons to prefer a closed adoption. While most domestic adoptions are open or semi-open, it is rare for a birth family to remain involved after an international adoption is final.
Steps to Adopt via International Adoption in Ohio
1. Choose the country you would like to adopt from.
There is a lot that could weigh into your decision about what country to adopt from. Depending on shifting adoption laws, political current affairs, and travel bans, you may be limited to certain countries. Other considerations might be age and gender of children who are eligible to be adopted, cost of adoption from one country to the next, requirements that are particular to certain countries, and racial and cultural heritage of eligible children.
2. Choose an international adoption professional in Ohio.
Ask a professional at an international adoption agency in Ohio if they are Hague-compliant, what countries they work with, and any other questions that you need answered to feel comfortable going forward. It is important that you know what options you have and who is best able to work with you to make your dream of international adoption come true.
3. Complete an international home study in Ohio.
Home studies are evaluative tools to ensure that a child is being placed in a safe, loving, permanent home where they will thrive. International home studies need to be completed by professionals who are licensed according to Hague Convention home study requirements and take about three months to complete.
4. Gain approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
To become eligible for international adoption in Ohio, you must be verified by the USCIS. If you are adopting from a Hague Convention country, you will file Form 1-800A. If you are adopting from a non-Hague Convention country, you will 1-600A or 1-600. Once the USCIS confirms your eligibility, they will send your documents to the adoption authorities in the country from which you are hoping to adopt.
5. File a petition with USCIS.
Once you have been placed with a child, you will need to apply to the USCIS for them to become eligible for adoption into the US. You will again file Form 1-800 if they are coming from a Hague Convention country or Form 1-600 if they are coming from a non-Hague Convention country. Once the USCIS confirms their eligibility, you will be free to file for their U.S. Visa. You will file Form DS-260 to the child’s country of origin for approval.
6. Travel to Child’s Country of Origin and Return to Ohio.
You, of course, will be excited to travel to meet your adopted child, but the trip is also necessary to meet certain legal requirements. Visa application processes and other adoption procedures will require you stay in your child’s home country for one to four weeks. You will return home to Ohio after having obtained a visa for your child and be ready to complete your international adoption in Ohio.
7. Complete Your International Adoption in Ohio.
The last step you will take in the international adoption process in Ohio is either finalization or a re-adoption. While finalization is required by law, a re-adoption protects the legal bonds of your family. Your adoption professional will advise you on the processes you need to follow, depending upon your situation.
It is likely this information has spurred more questions about international adoption in Ohio. Contact the following Ohio agencies with your inquiries: