Law Office of David Nguyen, PC.
Law Office Of David Nguyen BBB Business Review
Only 1 of 5 recommended immigration law firms

How do I adopt a child?


There are many reasons to adopt a child. Some reasons include the desire to provide a child with a loving home, infertility challenges, death of a loved one, etc.

There are several ways to adopt a child and provide them with immigration benefits. We will illustrate the most common methods to adopt a child in the United States.

Via a court order in Texas (no interest in Immigration benefits)
  • Ann is a U.S. citizen, and is married to Steve, who is also a U.S. citizen. Steve has a child from a prior marriage. Ann would like to adopt the child. Ann can adopt the child by filing a Petition for Termination and Adoption of Stepchild. Ann will need to have the child’s biological mother sign a waiver stating that she acknowledges the petition and that she would like to voluntarily relinquish her parental rights. Ann and the child’s biological mother will be mentally evaluated to ensure that their decision is best for the child.
Via Stepchild Adoption (spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident)
  • Kristie is a U.S. citizen. Forest is a foreign national with two children from a prior marriage. If Kristie marries Forest, she can confer immigration benefits to any child that is under 18-years-old at the time of the marriage. The children would be considered immediate relatives and are eligible to file an adjustment of status application immediately.
  • Kristie is a U.S. lawful permanent resident (“Green Card holder”). Forrest is a foreign national with two children from a prior marriage. If Kristie marries Forrest, she can confer immigration benefits to any child that is under 18-years-old at the time of the marriage. The children would be in the F2A second preference category and will qualify to come to the U.S. when their priority date is current.
Via Stepchild Adoption (K-1 Fiancee)
  • Tom is a U.S. citizen. Vy is a foreign national with a 20-year-old, unmarried child. If Tom marries Vy, he can confer immigration benefits to any child that is under 21-years-old right up to the time they enter the United States. The child can enter the U.S. with his/her mother. Any child that reaches the age of 21-years-old or gets married before coming to the U.S. will be refused entry – even if they have a valid K-2 dependent visa.
Via Hague country Adoption (child is currently outside of the U.S.)
  • Nathan would like to adopt a child from Vietnam. Vietnam is a party to the Hague Convention. This means that Nathan would have to adopt the child before the child reaches the age of 16-years-old and must adhere to the strict Hague Convention rules and regulations. The general steps include: (i) selecting a licensed Adoption Service Provider (ASP), (ii) filing Form I-600A and submitting a home study, (iii) adopting the child in the child’s home country; (iv) filing Form I-600, and (iv) helping the child obtain an immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.
  • For a complete list of Hague Convention Countries, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/abductions/hague-abduction-country-list.html
Via Non-Hague Country Adoption (child is currently outside of the U.S.)
  • Madison would like to adopt a child from Nigeria. Nigeria is not a party to the Hague Convention. This means that Madison would have to adopt the child before the child reaches the age of 16-years-old but does not need to adhere to the strict Hague Convention rules and regulations. The general steps include: (i) adopting the child in the child’s home country; (ii) filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and (iii) helping the child obtain an immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.

Attorney David M. Nguyen from the Law Office of David Nguyen, PC is a member of the Hague Convention Attorney Network. For more information on How to Adopt a Child, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (281) 777-1236 today. We have two convenient locations in north and south Houston, Texas.

Call For A Free Consultation
(281) 777-1236

Related Articles