Dedicated Silver Spring Attorney Guides Parents Through International Adoptions
Trustworthy advice for prospective parents adopting children overseas
Since 1999, residents of Maryland have adopted 7,264 children via an intercountry process. The vast majority of these children have been infants and toddlers. Although the number of international adoptions has fallen sharply since 2004, this process remains a viable option for many prospective parents. At Law Offices of Tina Sharma, I counsel adoptive parents on the international process so they can avoid the potential pitfalls of dealing with a foreign bureaucracy. As an immigrant to this great country, I am grateful for my life in America and am passionate about assisting parents who want to give foreign children the benefits of life in the United States. While international adoption holds great promise, mistakes can be costly. I work diligently to protect your interests at every stage of the process and am also committed to ensuring nontraditional families, single women, and members of the LGBT community can fulfill their dreams of adopting a child without impediment.
Advantages to choosing international adoption
There are many reasons that prospective parents choose international adoption. These include:
- Greater availability of infants — Many prospective parents have been unable to conceive but still wish to start their parenting at the earliest stage of a child’s life. The shortage of infants available for adoption in the United States often motivates parents to look overseas.
- Disappointment with U.S. adoption process —The United States generally has more stringent adoption protocols than other nations, and many prospective parents have felt the heartbreak of a birthmother’s last-minute revocation of an independent adoption.
- Ethnicity — Although many prospective parents do not care about matching ethnicity, those who do can reach out around the world to find a child who shares the physical characteristics and culture of their ancestors.
- Charity —Although many children in the United States grow up in foster care and never get adopted, our safety net cares for orphans much better than other countries. In less developed nations, orphans who are not adopted in infancy face a difficult existence from which an international adoption can save them.
Whatever your reason for pursuing an international adoption, I provide the knowledgeable guidance you need to reach a successful outcome.
Laws governing international adoption
There are layers of laws governing the international adoption process, including U.S. federal law, Maryland state law, the laws of the country where the child resides, and possibly the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (if the child’s country of origin is one of about 90 signatories of the agreement).
The major steps in the international adoption process include:
- Establishing eligibility — Before you can bring an adopted child into the country, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requires a home study that demonstrates your ability to provide a loving, stable home for that child. A home study conducted under Maryland state law is sufficient to satisfy USCIS and the Hague Convention. As long as you adopt your child in accordance with the laws of the child’s country, you do not have to petition the court in Maryland for an adoption.
- Processing your child’s visa —The U.S. Consular Officer in the child’s country of origin must be satisfied that the adoption meets the requirements of the Hague Convention, and that the birthparents’ rights have been legally terminated.
- Obtaining U.S. citizenship for the child —The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows children adopted abroad to automatically become U.S. citizens, but you must file for your child’s naturalization.
As long as you adopt your child in accordance with the laws of the child’s country, you do not have to petition the court in Maryland for an adoption. Depending on the country from which you are adopting, there will be special considerations. You can rely on my experience to fully prepare you for any obstacles you encounter.
Contact a trustworthy Silver Spring attorney for international adoptions
If you are considering an international adoption, you need reliable legal counsel throughout the process. Call Law Offices of Tina Sharma today at 202-899-5871 or contact my Silver Spring office online to schedule an appointment. My office is conveniently located downtown just one block away from the Montgomery County courthouse.