Eight Major Steps in International Adoption 

  1. Preliminary home state approval
  2. Preliminary INS approval
  3. Application to a foreign adoption source
  4. Receiving referral of the child.
  5. Filing the orphan petition
  6. Travel abroad
  7. Emigration, Immigration
  8. postplacement procedures.

Twenty-three steps are dealt with, from agency registration to U.S. naturalization, or citizenship.

(Reprinted from: "How to Adopt Internationally" by Jean Nelson-Erichsen and Heino Erichsen.)

Step 1 Learn all you can about international adoption from available resources. Attend seminars hosted by adoptive parent organizations and private adoption agencies.
Step 2 Collect agency information.
Step 3 Choose an international adoption agency.
Step 4 Choose the agency that will conduct your home study (if different from your international adoption agency).
Step 5 Initiate home study by applying to appropriate agency.
Step 6 Obtain documents required for home study.
Step 7 Prepare documentation required for Form I-600A (Application for Advance Processing).
Step 8 File Form I-600A
 (Application for Advance Processing).
Step 9 Apply for a passport
Step 10 Select an adoption program in a foreign country.
Step 11 Obtain documents required for your foreign dossier
Step 12 Obtain translations for documents in your foreign dossier.
Step 13 Obtain naturalization, verification (or apostille), and authentication of documents in your dossier.
Step 14 Prepare for the referral of your child
Step 15 Obtain visa or tourist card (if necessary) for travel to your child's country.
Step 16 File Form I-600 (Orphan Petition) if this is to be filed in the United States.(This is usually filed abroad if the adoption is finalized in the child's country and both parents travel to meet the child.)
Step 17 Prepare for your adoption trip.
Step 18 Meet your child.
Step 19 Obtain the guardianship or final adoption decree.
Step 20 Apply for the orphan visa and file Form I-600 (Orphan Petition) if this was not filed earlier.
Step 21 Participate in postplacement supervision.
Step 22 Readopt your child in your state of residence.
Step 23 File for U.S. citizenship for your child.

It is best to follow the steps in the order they appear, whenever possible. Based on our experience and that of the many adoptive parents we have guided, prospective U.S. adopters who try to alter this approach will encounter serious difficulties along the way.


Table of Contents
1. How to Adopt Smoothly
2. What are the steps?
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