From all the different legal processes that a Family Law Attorney handles there is nothing more rewarding than adoptions, especially step parent adoptions. Generally, it is a happy, especial day of unifying a family. However, adoption attorneys must be knowledgeable when it comes to the adoption of a child from a foreign country.
According to the USCIS policy for Determining Habitual Residence in the U.S. for Children from Hague Convention Countries the country where the child is considered to be habitually resident will determine what adoption process the adoptive parent must go through. If a child lives in the U.S. but is considered to be habitually resident of their country of citizenship, adoptive parents must generally go through the Hague process in order to adopt and obtain U.S. immigration status for their child. If the child is considered to be habitually resident in the U.S., the adoptive parents do not need to go through the Hague process and may file a Form I-130 for the child.
In order to establish that the child is a habitual resident of the U.S. three criteria must be met: (1) At the time the child entered the United States, the purpose of the entry were for reasons other than adoption; (2) Prior to the U.S. adoption, the child actually resided in the United Sates for a substantial period of time, establishing compelling ties in the United Sates; and (3) The Central Authority of the country of citizenship was notified of the adoption proceedings and the Central Authority did not object to the proceeding.