United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

The adoption of a foreign-born orphan by a U.S. citizen, whether it takes place abroad or in the United States, is governed by the adoption law of the orphan’s country of birth and also the state of residence of the U.S. citizen.  The immigration to the United States of an adopted, or to-be-adopted, foreign-born orphan is governed exclusively by United States law, specifically, the Immigration and Nationality Act, all amendments thereto and the rules and regulations issued thereunder.

In our view it is a privilege to adopt a foreign-born orphan, a privilege to bring a foreign-born orphan into the United States to be raised here, and a privilege to have U.S. citizenship bestowed upon a foreign-born child following adoption.

These privileges are available only to adoptive applicants who qualify under and demonstrate a willingness to abide by (a) the adoption law of the foreign country with jurisdiction over the child, (b) U.S. (federal) adoption law and the adoption law of the state of residence of the adoptive applicant, (c) the immigration law of the United States, including the rules and regulations of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security (the “USCIS”), and (d) where the foreign country with jurisdiction over the child is a signatory to the Hague Convention, the Hague Convention and related laws of the U.S. and of foreign Convention countries in which we operate.

USCIS Policy Statement

It is the express policy of Open Seas that our staff be familiar with and maintain a working knowledge of these interrelated bodies of law so as to be able to provide competent guidance to our adoptive applicants as they complete the voluminous USCIS documentation necessary to complete an overseas adoption.  To get them started, we give all our adoptive applicants a copy of a document we drafted entitled “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services:  Filing Procedures and Documentary Requirements,” which lays out for the applicant just what its responsibilities and those of the Agency are in the international adoption /immigration process.