U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that prospective adoptive parents already in the process of adopting a child from a country that has implemented the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) who filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, prior to April 1, 2008, and who have received the one time no-charge extension, may file one additional Form I-600A, and continue to proceed with their inter-country adoption through the “orphan” process. The new Form I-600A must be filed before the current approval expires, and only if the prospective adoptive parents have not yet filed the corresponding Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.
U.S. law and regulations allow individuals who began the inter-country adoption process by filing Form I-600A or Form I-600, before April 1, 2008, to continue using these pre-Hague Adoption Convention forms and procedures even if they are adopting a child from a Hague Adoption Convention country. However, depending on the time that it takes prospective adoptive parents to be matched with a child and file Form I-600, the approval of the I-600A might expire before the prospective adoptive parents are able to file Form I-600. By allowing the filing of one new Form I-600A prior to the expiration of the current approved Form I-600A, USCIS is allowing prospective adoptive parents who have been grandfathered into the pre-Hague Adoption Convention process to continue to proceed under this “orphan” process, provided the child’s home country agrees.
If the Form I-600A is no longer valid, prospective adoptive parents must file a Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, with a home study which meets all of the requirements for a Hague Adoption Convention home study. Once a Form I-800A is approved, the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative may be filed on behalf of the prospective adoptive child.