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Did the definition of Orphan just change?



I had to abandon my car on the side of the road on Tuesday night due to the (2 inches of) snow “storm” so I’m stuck in my house with time on my hands. I’ve read a few blogs over the past couple of days (some from very reputable sources) which state that the definition of orphan has changed. Oh no it hasn’t! 

Everyone who is adopting from a Non-Hague country knows that it is very important that the child they seek to adopt falls under the definition of orphan i.e. that the child was abandoned, deserted, the parents disappeared or there is only one parent who cannot care for the child.  This has not changed.

What has changed is the requirement that both parents see the child prior to the adoption proceeding if they want that child to enter as a United States citizen as opposed to as a lawful permanent resident.  The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 has changed the requirement as follows:

“PREADOPTION VISITATION REQUIREMENT - 16 SEC. 7083. Section 101(b)(1)(F)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)(F)(i)) is 18 amended by striking ‘‘at least twenty-five years of age, 19 who personally saw and observed the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings;’’ and inserting ‘‘who is at 21 least 25 years of age, at least 1 of whom personally saw and observed the child before or during the adoption proceedings;’’

This means that if only one parent travels overseas and meets the child prior to obtaining an adoption decree or during the adoption proceedings; then the child will receive a Certificate of Citizenship instead of just a green card when he or she comes to the United States.  Good news for adoptive parents who cannot both travel overseas due to work commitments, financial difficulties, (2 inches of) snow storms etc. 

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