Adoption Lawyer Serving Leesburg, Loudoun, Fairfax, Ashburn, Manassas, Winchester and Northern Virginia --- The Law Firm of Karen S. Law.

Intercountry Adoption/Immigration

Citizenship for Adopted Children

Many international adoptive parents are surprised when they apply for a passport for their child to learn that their child is not really a U.S. citizen. The Immigration rules are complex. We can quickly assess your child's citizenship status and assist you with the application for a Certificate of Citizenship, if necessary. In some cases, you will be required to re-adopt your child in the U.S. in order to qualify for citizenship. We handle re-adoptions for families that live in Virginia and can refer other families to legal counsel in their home state.

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Children Present In the U.S.

Maybe the child you wish to adopt is a foreign citizen. We can help you assess whether the adoption will allow your child to apply for U.S. Citizenship. Since April 1, 2008, the Hague Convention Treaty on Adoption has completely changed the rules for adoption finalized after that date even if the child is living in the US. You are strongly encouraged to consult us or another Immigration attorney familiar with the Hague Convention Treaty on Adoption before you begin the adoption process. We partner with attorneys and families around the country. Learn more( Adoption_Policy_Conference)

Children Present from Overseas

Due to the Universal Accreditation Act of 2012, it is no longer possible to adopt a child residing abroad while you reside in the U.S. independently with attorneys. Instead, you MUST use a U.S. accredited agency to facilitate the process, even if the child is a relative. You cannot just adopt the child in their country of origin, and then, apply for an immigrant visa. Instead, you must use a U.S. accredited agency from the outset. The names of any U.S. agencies that operate in the country where the child lives can be found at IAAME ASP Directory. Not all agencies will agree to take your case, so you will need to diligently contact them to see if they will accept the case. You will most likely need to work with two agencies, one to do your home study in your state of residence, and one to supervise the process who works in the country where the child resides. There are age deadlines for these cases, which cannot be waived. Typically, the child must be under the age of 16 when the Immigration forms are filed. The adoption can occur shortly thereafter. If the child you wish to adopt is close to that age, you may find that no agency will accept your case. We are so sorry that we cannot assist you. We have been lobbying for many years for an exception to this requirement but at present, this is the law in the U.S.

Serving clients in Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Arlington County, Alexandria, Frederick County, Albermarle County, Culpeper County, Dinwiddie County, Pittsylvania County, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Warren County, Westmoreland County, Virginia Beach and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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