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Among the tens of thousands of comments posted in response to the video were some that appeared to come from teenagers excited or amused by the prospect of high school friends adopting one another once one of them turns In reality, the restrictions and protocols implemented by adoption agencies make it unlikely that one teenager could adopt another one, except in rare and tragic circumstances.

However, on a purely legal, hypothetical basis, most U. Adoption regulations vary from country to country, but the TikTok user who posted the claim lives in the United States, so our assessment will focus on the legal status quo there, which also varies between states. According to a January report published by the U.

Department of Health and Human Services, Colorado, Delaware, Oklahoma, and American Samoa explicitly prohibit adoption by anyone under 21 years old; and Georgia and Idaho set the minimum age at In seven states California, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Utah as well as the Northern Mariana Islands, the adopting parent must be at least 10 years older than the adoptive child, while in Puerto Rico that minimum age gap is 14 years, and in Idaho, it is 15 years.

But — all other things being equal — only 10 states have age-specific limitations that would in almost all cases prohibit the arrangement in question. In practice, adoption agencies typically impose restrictions, or give preference to certain would-be adoptive parents, based on considerations such as financial stability.

This alone would likely rule out the vast majority of year-olds, who are only very rarely independently wealthy or have reliable, sustainable employment which they can balance with a college education and so on.

Another highly relevant consideration here is the time it can take to complete the rigorous procedures required for adopting a child.

 
 

– Can you adopt a child under 18

 

Adoption Process. About Adoption Service Providers. Post Adoption. Adoptions from the United States. For Adoption Professionals.

Country Information. Adoption Reference. Before You Adopt. Why Adoption. Who Can Adopt. Eligibility to Adopt. Adoption by Non-U. Citizens Living in the United States. Who Can Be Adopted. Health Considerations. Deciding Where to Adopt. Understanding the Hague Convention. Convention Countries. How to Adopt. Adoption Forms. Home Study Requirements. Convention Adoption Process. Non-Convention Adoption Process. Transition Cases. Medical Examination. Documenting U.

Citizenship for your Child Adopted Abroad. Adopting a Relative for Immigration to the United States. Immigrant Visa Process. Convention Visa Process. Immigration Flow Chart – Convention Adoptions. Non-Convention Visa Process. Filing the Form DS To adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States, you must first be found eligible to adopt under U. You may not bring an adopted child or a child for whom you have gained legal custody for the purpose of immigration and adoption into the United States until USCIS determines that you are eligible to adopt from another country.

You must meet certain requirements to bring a foreign-born child whom you’ve adopted to the United States. Some of the basic requirements include the following:. In addition to qualifying to adopt under U. Learn more about individual state requirements on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website. Each country has its own requirements for adopting parents.

These are explained in the Country Information section of this website. You are about to leave travel. Department of State. Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. If you wish to remain on travel. Cancel GO. Russia Travel Advisory. Skip to main content. Gov Travel. Passports International Travel U. Stay Connected. Law Enforcement.

Intercountry Adoption. Y Z All. Requirements under U. Some of the basic requirements include the following: You must be a U. If you are unmarried, you must be at least 25 years old. If you are married, you must jointly adopt the child even if you are separated but not divorced , and your spouse must also be either a U. You must meet certain requirements that will determine your suitability as a prospective adoptive parent, including criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and a home study.

Requirements Under U. State Laws In addition to qualifying to adopt under U. Requirements in Foreign Countries Each country has its own requirements for adopting parents. Last Updated: September 12, Read all adoption news and notices.

Contact us. Learn about a country. You are about to visit:. Popular Links.

 

Adoption Requirements – How to Get Started with Adoption | Considering Adoption

 

Adoption Process. About Adoption Service Providers. Post Adoption. Adoptions from the United States. For Adoption Professionals. Country Information. Adoption Reference. Before You Adopt. Why Adoption. Who Can Adopt. Eligibility to Adopt. Adoption by Non-U. Citizens Living in the United States. Who Can Be Adopted. Health Considerations. Deciding Where to Adopt. Understanding the Hague Convention. Convention Countries.

How to Adopt. Adoption Forms. Home Study Requirements. Convention Adoption Process. Non-Convention Adoption Process. Transition Cases. Medical Examination. Documenting U. Citizenship for your Child Adopted Abroad. Adopting a Relative for Immigration to the United States. Immigrant Visa Process. Convention Visa Process. Immigration Flow Chart – Convention Adoptions. Non-Convention Visa Process. Filing the Form DS Intercountry adoptions are governed by three different sets of laws: U. You can learn more about specific countries’ eligibility requirements for children in our Country Information pages.

The federal agency responsible for adjudicating immigration petitions filed on behalf of a child intending to immigrate to the United States through adoption is U.

For more information about filing Form IA, including suitability and eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents, see our eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents webpage and the Form IA instructions available on the USCIS website. There are five primary elements to the Convention adoptee classification. In addition to other applicable country-specific requirements, all of the following must be true for a child to be eligible for the Convention adoptee classification:.

This letter states that the parents are suitable and eligible to adopt, that the child appears eligible to enter and reside permanently in the United States, and allows the court to grant a full and final adoption or custody order.

After the adoption is completed, the U. Embassy or Consulate will complete the final adjudication of the petition. Children being adopted from non-Convention countries must meet the definition of orphan under the Immigration and Nationality Act INA before they can immigrate to the United States. Like Convention adoptions, to immigrate a child as an orphan , USCIS must also find the prospective adoptive parent s eligible to adopt. Alternatively, in certain circumstances, you may file a Form I petition without an approved, valid Form IA at the time you file; in this scenario, USCIS will require the necessary Form IA supporting documentation to assess your eligibility and suitability to adopt before adjudicating the Form I petition.

Note: Petitioners residing in the United States who plan to file a Form I overseas must have a valid approved Form IA on record before they can file a Form I petition abroad. To qualify as an orphan under the INA, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U. In addition to other applicable requirements, all of the following must be true for a child to be eligible for the orphan classification:.

Such participation may affect the order in which the adoption and immigration processes occur for intercountry adoption from those jurisdictions. Please refer to our Country Information Sheets for more information. Important: Parents are urged to seek advice about the possibility that an adopted child might not qualify as an orphan under U. Adoption service providers involved in intercountry adoption, USCIS and the Department of State have information that may assist you in addressing this serious concern.

In some countries, it is advisable to have the child examined by a physician of your choice before accepting a referral. A number of medical universities and hospitals have international adoption clinics that can be found online. This examination, along with its report, supporting documents, tests, and videos, can be reviewed by a U. Such an exam is separate from the routine medical examination required after completion of the adoption for visa purposes. The Department of State receives inquiries from U.

Our office shares this concern for children in conflict areas and we understand that some U. It can be extremely difficult in such circumstances to determine whether children who appear to be orphans truly are eligible for adoption and immigration under U.

Children may be temporarily separated from their parents or other family members during a conflict or natural disaster and their parents may be looking for them.

It is not uncommon in dangerous situations for parents to send their children out of the area, for safety reasons, or for families to become separated during an evacuation. During times of crisis, it can also be exceptionally difficult to fulfill the legal requirements for intercountry adoption of both the U.

This is especially true when civil authority breaks down. It can be very difficult to gather documents necessary to establish that the child meets the requirements of U. This program operates in various locations throughout the United States.

You are about to leave travel. Department of State. Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. If you wish to remain on travel. Cancel GO. Russia Travel Advisory. Skip to main content. Gov Travel. Passports International Travel U. Stay Connected. Law Enforcement. Intercountry Adoption.

Y Z All. In addition to other applicable country-specific requirements, all of the following must be true for a child to be eligible for the Convention adoptee classification: The child is under the age of 16 at the time Form I is filed on his or her behalf taking into account special rules on filing dates for children aged , or the child is under the age of 18 and is a sibling of a child under the age of 16 who has been or will be adopted by the same adoptive parents; The child will be adopted by a married U.

Last Updated: September 19, Read all adoption news and notices. Contact us. Learn about a country. You are about to visit:. Popular Links.

 
 

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