Adopting While Living Abroad
Q: My husband and I are both US Citizens but we currently live in Chile, S.A. We have been in Chile for almost 2 years and will most likely be here for another two. After this assignment, we do not know where we will be sent next. We could end up in Europe or even return to the US, but we will not know this for at least another year. Will we still be considered as candidates for international adoption, given that we do not have a current US residence? Can this still happen for us?
A: Creating a Family has done two radio shows about adopting as US citizens living abroad:
US law requires only that one of the prospective adoptive parents be a US citizen and it is possible for US citizens to adopt while living abroad. The main hassle is the home study. First, you have to find someone where you are living who meets the qualifications required by the placing country and the qualifications required by the US government. Not all countries specify the qualifications of the home study provider, but some do. Second, you need to find an adoption agency that will work with families living abroad. Because of the liability requirements in the Hague Treaty regulations, this may be a bit of a problem. This may sound like a bit of legal mumbo jumbo, but the main point is that it is indeed possible and the first step is to call a couple of reputable agencies and ask if they work with US citizens living abroad. The Child Welfare Information Gateway publishes a list of agencies that place children with U.S. Citizens living abroad. One business that provides home studies for expats is Adopt Abroad. First check with your placing adoption agency to make sure that they will accept a home study by this agency.
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