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The Hague Convention Process

A successful adoption is the fulfillment of wishes and dreams. In today’s post, we are discussing the details of the Hague Convention Process for international adoption, one of the possible processes to use to make your dreams come true.

Known commonly as the Hague Convention, the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption is an international treaty meant to safeguard and protect the best interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents as they undergo international adoptions. It applies to all adoptions occurring in countries covered by the Hague Convention filed on or after April 1, 2008.

Steps and Eligibility

Steps of the Convention Process include:

  1. Choosing a Hague Accredited Adoption Service Provider (ASP).

  2. Obtaining a home study from someone authorized to complete Hague adoption home studies.

  3. Submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, as well as all applicable supplements, to determine whether the adoptive parents are eligible to adopt.

  4. Submitting Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, to have the child found eligible to immigrate to the U.S before adopting or taking custody of the child.

  5. Working with adoption service provider to obtain a proposed adoption placement once USCIS approves your application.

  6. Obtaining an immigrant visa for the child.

  7. Bringing the child to the U.S.

When filing Forms 1-800A and I-800, the adoptive parent, must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen.

  2. Habitually reside in the United States.

  3. If you're married, your spouse must also sign Form I-800A and must also intend to adopt the child.

  4. If you're unmarried, you must be at least 24 years old at the time of filing Form I-800A, and 25 years old when filing Form I-800.

In order to qualify for adoption under the Convention Process, the child must:

  1. Be under the age of 16 at the time Form I-800 is filed (exceptions do apply if they are being adopted with a sibling who is under the age of 16);

  2. Habitually reside in a Hague Adoption Convention country; and

  3. Be found eligible for intercountry adoption by the officially designated central authority of the country where they reside, and have obtained all necessary consents (parental, for example) for adoption.

Form I-800A

As discussed above, after choosing an ASP and undergoing a home study, adoptive parents must file Form I-800A to establish their eligibility and sustainability. The average processing time for processing the forms is between 2.5 and 4.5 months. There is a $775 filing fee, plus an $85 biometrics fee for the applicant, the spouse, and each adult (person over the age of 18) living in the applicant’s or applicants’ household.

Once USCIS approves Forms I-800A, but before filing Form I-800, the adoptive parent may apply to the Central Authority of the country where the child resides for a specific adoption placement. Once the Central Authority has proposed placing the child with the adoptive parents, but before adopting the child, Form 1-800 must be filed.

Form I-800 and Adoption

Adoptive parents must next file Form I-800 to determine whether or not the adoptive child qualifies as a Convention adoptee. Again, the processing for this form is between 2.5 and 4.5 months, but, generally, there are no additional fees.

In certain circumstances, an adoptive child might be inadmissible to the United States. The reasons for inadmissibility might include health issues, a criminal record, or a bar due to previous unlawful presence in the United States, amongst others. If you think this might be the case for your child, you can file Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility to request an exception.

After Form I-800 is provisionally approved and once the Department of State advises to do so, adoptive parents can then complete the adoption process to obtain custody of the child and apply for a visa to bring the child to the U.S.

We understand that this process can seem overwhelming and confusing. Please allow us to help you make sense of this process and how it applies to you and your family. We work with some of the best adoption agencies and home study specialists in the country to better assist you. Contact us today at (385) 334-4030 or send an email to to set up your free consultation.


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