If you and your spouse have been going through the process of adding to your family through international adoption, you may be alarmed at the recent immigration actions that have been implemented by the executive branch, including the revocation of documents permitting immigrants to reside in the U.S. legally. Even if your adoption goes off without a hitch, you may find yourself nervous at the thought of bringing your immigrant child into a country in the midst of a wave of anti-immigration sentiment. Read on to learn more about how recent executive actions could impact your adoption, as well as the steps you may want to take upon your child's arrival to the U.S. to protect his or her civil rights.
How could international adoptions be impacted by executive action on immigration?
There are two primary processes through which a child can immigrate to the U.S. through adoption -- the Hague Process and the Orphan Process. The Hague Process is used whenever you're adopting a child from one of the countries that has entered into the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention, while the Orphan Process can be used when adopting through all other countries. Both processes are governed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) organization.
While it's not clear that the recent executive actions on immigration will have any direct or immediate effect on international adoption from Hague or non-Hague countries, many prospective adoptive parents have concerns -- especially if seeking to adopt from one of the several Middle Eastern countries recently placed on a ban list. Children being adopted from these countries could face some additional hurdles or perhaps even lengthier waiting periods for adoption than previously expected.
What can you do to preserve your child's rights after he or she has arrived to the U.S.?
After your adopted child has arrived stateside, there are some steps you can take to speed up the adoption process and make your child an official (and legal) U.S. citizen. In most cases, your child will have been issued a visa prior to arrival so that he or she is considered a legal resident of the U.S. until the visa's expiration. Because these visas are designed to be temporary and can be revoked without some of the due process rights generally extended to non-citizen residents, it's important to seek adoption as quickly as possible. Once an adoption action is pending, the odds that your child can be detained or deported are significantly reduced.
It's sometimes wise to enlist the services of an immigration attorney, as this can be a complex area of law in which the consequences for a mistake can be huge. Contact a firm like The Law Office of Israel S Hernandez, PLLC to learn more.