International or Intercountry

For families wishing to adopt internationally, Jennifer will share her experience and knowledge in navigating and understanding the process.  However, Jennifer does not process or handle international adoptions but will refer you to an agency or international Adoption Service Provider should you need representation.  Jennifer also does not handle immigration matters.  If the child you are seeking to adopt is not in the United States on an IR-4, IR-3, IH-4 or IH-3 Visa, Jennifer will require you hire an immigration attorney to consult and advise about any possible adoption and the implications. 

Once you return home with your child following the international adoption, Jennifer and Catelyn will assist in obtaining a state issued birth certificate through the re-adoption process or other administrative process. As of April 1, 2008, if your child is adopted from a Hague Country, you should be able to obtain a United States Hague Adoption Certificate without any further legal process in your home state.  However, it remains a general recommendation that clients who adopt internationally complete a re-adoption in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.  Jennifer handles re-adoptions for a flat fee.  The reasons to go through the re-adoption process include changing the child's name if necessary, having State issued documents (final adoption decree) that can be used if needed instead of using a Foreign Decree (often only one provided) and to obtain a Certificate of Birth for foreign born children.  Maryland has an administrative process to obtain the Certificate of Foreign Birth if a name change and additional documents are not needed.  A Certificate of Birth does NOT establish citizenship and the document itself will state that it is not proof of citizenship.

On July 12, 2010, Mayor Fenty signed The Adoption Reform Amendment Act of 2010.  It went into law in October 2011.  One change will affect re-adoption cases. Title IV of the Act eliminates the need for a full re-adoption process in cases in which (1) a final decree of adoption has been granted by a foreign country and (2) the child has been issued an IR-3 visa.  There is still a court process but it is streamlined in these particular cases. 

Below are helpful links for International adoption forms.  

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Form I-600A Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition
Form I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative
Form I-800 Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative
Form G-28 Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative.
Form I-864A Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member
Form I-864 Affidavit of Support Under Section 213 of the Act
Form N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship
Form N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322

U.S. Department of State

Form DS-11Application for U.S. Passport or Registration


What are the types of adoption?

The types of adoption are (1) domestic agency adoption, (2) domestic independent (non-agency) adoption, and (3) intercountry adoption. Within domestic agency adoptions, there are  public agency adoption and private agency adoption. Intercountry or International adoption can be either agency adoption or independent adoption.

Every case must be either an agency adoption or an independent (non-agency) adoption for legal purposes. In an agency case, there are two steps. First, the birth parents’ rights are relinquished to an agency. Second, the agency consents to an adoption by a adoptive parent or parents. In an independent adoption, there is only one step. The birth parents give consent directly to an adoptive parent or parents. 

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax

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