I am a Resident of a Foreign Country, Living in the US. Can I Adopt?

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Foreign nationals are permitted to adopt a child born in the US while residing here in the United States. Most agencies, as well as the court of jurisdiction, will require that you furnish proof of your legal residence in the US as part of your adoption application and legal filings.

The next step is to locate an agency that can assist in cases such as this. Start with agencies in your area, and continue to move out until you find a couple to evaluate and compare. For a listing of public and private adoption agencies, see the National Adoption Directory Online. In your initial contacts with prospective agencies, explain your visa situation so that agencies can respond with whether or not they feel that they can work with you given your visa timeframes.

NAIC also offers a package of general introductory information for pursuing adoption.

Foreign nationals or legal permanent residents cannot under current US immigration law adopt a child born abroad (perhaps in Russia or in China) unless you live with the child abroad for two years after filing the adoption petition in the foreign court. The US State Department has posted a notice re this legal restriction on their web site, which reads in part,

"The United States Department of State reports cases each year of non-citizen parents who have legally adopted a child internationally and then find that the child cannot join them in the United States. The parents and child face only anguish and heartbreak. The best solution is for legal permanent residents to first naturalize as US citizens and for long term nonimmigrant visa holders to return to their home countries before adopting."
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