The Hague Convention is an international agreement that establishes certain requirements to guarantee that adoptions between countries are made in the best interests of the children involved. The United States signed onto the Convention in 2008, thereby adopting the requirements of the Convention to apply to any international adoption from or to another Hague Convention member country. This treaty also enforces a civil law that allows a parent to go to court in cases of international child abduction or where a child is facing deportation to a home country.When does it apply?
The Hague Convention applies to all adoptions between the U.S. and other countries that are a part of the Convention. However, it may also be important in other circumstances. For instance, if one parent flees to another country with the child and does not agree to return the child home, the Hague Convention can allow the parent to obtain custody and have the child returned.How should an individual begin the process of adopting under the Hague Convention?
Each country under the Hague Convention has a central authority which helps parents with applications. In the U.S., the Department of State is the central authority. It is important that you seek legal counsel to help guide you through the process. Our attorneys can assist you along the way and help you navigate through the Office of Children’s Issues within the Bureau of Consular Affairs.Prepare Ahead
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our attorneys can also help you take preventative measures to ensure that you are not placed in a difficult situation with your child. In many cases, especially when a child has dual citizenship, it is important for a parent to prepare for the possibility of an international custody dispute. As a result, parents should keep a record of information, especially as it pertains to passports, social security, and international contact information. Additionally, parents can rely on custody orders which ensure that the children remain in their home country. For separating or divorced parents, our attorneys can help draft custody orders which clearly state that the child is not allowed to leave the U.S. without permission from both parents.
Convention Countries: (The U.S. is currently processing adoptions with the these countries)
The following six steps must be completed in order to be eligible for a Convention adoption:
- Choose an accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply in order to be found eligible
- Referral to adopt a child
- Apply on behalf of the child to immigrate to the United States
- Adopt the child
- Acquire a Visa for the child