The US adoption process starts with an application to the USCIS. Your application for adoption will have a completed a USCIS form as well as the home study, an application fee and all other supporting documents as needed. The form you will be using depends on the foreign country from which you are adopting from. For a Hague Convention country, file Form I-800A. For a country not party to the Hague Adoption Convention, use Form I-600A.
Hague Convention on inter-country adoption
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
The following fees are applicable to Americans and these do change so you will need to check the USCIS website for the latest fees. USCIS charges a filing fee of $720 USD as of December 2017. An additional is applicable for the fingerprint fees of $85 USD which must be paid for each person residing in your household who is 18 years of age or older. There is a time limit on the application and approval so you will need to ensure that you are doing everything correctly.
Where to file the application
Form I-800A – File with the USCIS Lewisville, Texas Lockbox facility at the following address:
P.O. Box 299008
Lewisville, TX 75029
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business, Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
Form I-600A or I-600 – File at local USCIS office in the United States
Note that USCIS evaluates your suitability and eligibility to be adoptive parents. This is part of the screening process so they will check that you dont have a criminal record and also check if you can support the child or children that you are wishing to adopt. There is a time limit much like any police clearance. For the USCIS the time limits are for Form I-800A, the period of approval is 15 months and for Form I-600A approval lasts 18 months from the date of your fingerprint results.