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Friday, July 04, 2008

Can H1B's and Green Card holders in the US adopt?

I have three questions:

Can H1B couples actually go about the adoption process especially if they are based in the US H1 visa? My understanding is NO. Although Indian adoption laws allow them to apply but US embassy would not grant visa to the child since none of the parents are US citizens. Is this true?

This one is for US Green Card holders. It seems couple holding Green Card can adopt from India but the child needs to stay for at least 2 years with them in India before they can apply for US visa. Is this true?

I also heard that for Green Card to be valid, the couple should not be out of US for more then 6 months. In that case isn't the US visa regulation contradictory wherein it expects the child to stay for 2 years in India.

Answer:
Your understanding on these questions is correct. H1B's in the US cannot adopt. To adopt a child while living in the US, at least one of the parents must be US Citizens. For H1B's it takes minimum of 5 years to get US citizenship.

About people adopting a child outside of the US then taking them to the US: Anyone can adopt (green card holders and citizens) but to apply for an American visa for an adoptive child, again, one of the parents must be US citizens. If both are green card holders, they cannot expect to get the visa.

In my personal opinion, this rule of two years is made for two reasons. First it is to enable American citizens (like military personnel, diplomats, and businessmen/ women etc) to be able to adopt while living abroad. Second it is to prevent child trafficking. When there is a timeline of two years before applying for visa, embassy is placing lot of burden on the adoptive families to prove that their actions are clean and sincere.

Taking the adopted child (with legal adoption documents) to the US after two years of living in the country of child’s birth (with a valid American visa) makes the American citizenship automatic.

Green card timelines that you have mentioned are correct but since green card holders are not allowed to adopt in the US, they are irrelevant.

Ruby

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