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Jessica Lynne Gordon

Jessica Gordon’s Answers

59 total

  • Married for one year. I married a mexican resident.

    I want to adopt my step children. I also need to get citezenship for the wife and kids. Where do we start?

    Jessica’s Answer

    First, congratulations on your marriage. Your first step in trying to help you new family with obtaining their documents and looking into doing a step-parent adoption is to speak to an attorney who has both adoption and immigration experience. This is a complicated field, my office specializes in this and would be glad to set up a consultation for you. You can reach us at (770) 642-6075. Otherwise, you can find a list of other experienced immigration attorneys through http://www.ailalawyer.com/ and other experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org.

    Good luck!

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  • Can I adopt an adult who was previously adopted and abused? He is my cousin's son.

    He was adopted at birth by another cousin of his birth mom and me. The adoptive parents abused him horrifically, and he finally managed to "run away" at the age of 18. He tried to reunite with his birth mom, but she wants nothing to do with him. C...

    Jessica’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I am so sorry to hear about the trauma your cousin suffered as an adopted child. Adoption should have allowed him a safe and permanent home, which it sounds like was the opposite of what he received. It is perfectly natural to want to seek to legalize an emotional attachment to an family member in your life who you wish to support and to whom you want to play the role of parent, regardless if he is already over the age of 18. Therefore, an adult adoption does seem like a good legal solution. Most states have a provision in their statutes allowing for adoption of adults. The fact that your cousin was adopted before has no legal bearing on whether or not he can be adopted again by different adopting parents. In fact, in Georgia, an adult adoption does not require the consent of the legal parents, so if your state’s laws are similar, you would not have to involve the adoptive family at all in your decision to readopt your cousin as a loving adult. Additionally, adult adoption is usually a much easier and less expensive process than the adoption of a child. In your particular case, I think it would greatly help your cousin to be in a legal parent-child relationship with a person he can trust. I recommend that you speak with an experienced adoption attorney in your state. You can find a list of experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org. I also encourage your cousin to join a group for adults who were abused as children so that he can talk through some of these traumas that happened to him as child, if he has not already.

    Good luck!

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  • If an adult adoptee is wanting to be re-adopted by another person is that legal?

    Adoptive parents abusive/neglectful and have abandoned me, They haven't contacted me in a year,i have tried to reach out to them, to no avail, they have said not to contact them,I live in a homeless shelter, when I was adopted their son molested m...

    Jessica’s Answer

    I am so sorry to hear about the trauma you suffered as an adopted child. Adoption should have allowed you a safe and permanent home, which it sounds like was the opposite of what you received. It is perfectly natural to want to seek to legalize an emotional attachment to an adult in your life who is a support to you and who plays the role of parent to you, regardless if you are already over the age of 18. Therefore, an adult adoption does seem like a good legal solution. Most states have a provision in their statutes allowing for adoption of adults. The fact that you were adopted before usually has no legal bearing on whether or not you can be adopted again by different adopting parents. In fact, in Georgia, an adult adoption does not require the consent of the legal parents, so if your state’s laws are similar, you would not have to involve your adoptive family at all in your decision to be readopted by a different, loving, adult. Additionally, adult adoption is usually a much easier and less expensive process than the adoption of a child. In your particular case, I think it would greatly help you to be in a legal parent-child relationship with a person you can trust. I recommend that you speak with an experienced adoption attorney in your state. You can find a list of experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org. I also encourage you to join a group for adults who were abused as children so that you can talk through some of these traumas that happened to you as child, if you have not already.

    Good luck!

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  • Can I adopt my sister in law? her husband abandon her with three children that are USA citizens, the oldest needs special care?

    I am born and raised in USA and have no problems with the law

    Jessica’s Answer

    It sounds like what you are asking about is an adult adoption. Most states have a provision in their statutes allowing for adoption of adults. You want to be careful with going forward with seeking an adult adoption for the purposes of immigration because it is considered immigration fraud to complete an adoption for the purposes of obtaining immigration benefits. Furthermore, if you adopt a child past when the child turns 16, you will not be able to petition for immigration benefits for her based on the adoption. There is one exception to this rule, which is that if you are adopting a sibling group, and one is below 16 and the other is over 16 but under 18, then you would be able to petition for immigration benefits for both children. However, it sounds like your sister-in-law is over both those age limits already.

    If what you are really interested in is immigration benefits, I would recommend that you consult with an attorney that has immigration experience before proceeding with any legal action.

    I hope you found this answer helpful and if so, please let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

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  • IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET GREEN CARD BEING ADOPTED AS ADULT CHILD, HOW COMPLICATED IS THE PROCESS?

    I am an Serbian citizen aged 26 yrs and i have a very good relation with an american citizen that she want to adopt me as a dother. Her economic condition is very good.I am alreadyin USA. Is it possible to be adopted as a adult child and get a gre...

    Jessica’s Answer

    It sounds like what you are asking about is an adult adoption. Most states have a provision in their statutes allowing for adoption of adults. It is perfectly natural to want to seek to legalize an emotional attachment to an adult in your life. In your particular case, however, you want to be careful with going forward with seeking an adult adoption for the purposes of immigration because it is considered immigration fraud to complete an adoption for the purposes of immigration. Furthermore, if you are adopted past the age of16, your adoptive parent will not be able to petition for immigration benefits for you based on the adoption. There is one exception to this rule, which is that if you are adopted in a sibling group, and your sibling is below 16 and you are over 16 but under 18, then the adoptive parent would be able to petition for immigration benefits for both siblings. However, it sounds like you are already well past those age limits. Therefore, if what you are really interested in is immigration benefits, I would recommend that you consult with an attorney that has immigration experience before proceeding with any legal action. You are welcome to contact my office for a consultation or you can find a list of other experienced immigration attorneys through http://www.ailalawyer.com/.

    I hope you found this answer helpful and if so, please let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

    Good luck!

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  • My ex wife and I never re-adopted our daughter after bringing her home from China. Are we still able to now that we are divorced

    I want her to be able to have a US birth certificate to make we life easier. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Jessica’s Answer

    First, let me start by saying that an adoption that was completed in China was full and final if your daughter entered on an IR-3 or IH-3 visa. Having a full and final adoption means that every state in the U.S. should recognize it as a full legal adoption. Additionally, when your daughter came into the United States, she became a citizen of the U.S. under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Therefore, re adoption or domestication is not required in your situation and also will not give her a better or more solid adoption. That being said, I completely agree that there are good reasons to domesticate an adoption, even though it is not necessary for obtaining citizenship.

    The following are the main reasons people choose to domesticate their adoptions in the United States. (1) if you wish to change your child’s name, (2) if you want a Certificate of Foreign Birth – looks like a State Birth Certificate – it is in English and you have an infinite number of copies available, or (3) if you think you may move to a state that does not have a domestication statute, such as Florida and others, then you should domesticate in your current state if it does have a re adoption statute, because it will be far more expensive if you wait to do it in a state whose laws do not provide for domestication. It sounds like you are interested in the re-adoption because of the second reason: i.e. to get your daughter a birth certificate that looks like the one all other people have who were actually born in your state. I agree with you that, again though it is not necessary, it will help her to have this new birth certificate.

    You do have a unique situation though, because you are your ex-wife are no longer married. This is a question that you will want to talk over with an adoption attorney in Texas. You will need to find out whether, under Texas law, you will be able to file with your ex-wife so that you can both petition to domesticate the adoption and get both your names on the new birth certificate following the domestication. I would think that the Judges and courts would be willing to entertain this petition because it would be for your daughter’s benefit, but I would highly caution you not to move forward on your own, and again recommend that you hire local counsel to make sure that both you and your ex-wife retain full parental rights in this process.

    You can find a list of experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org or you can contact the Texas Bar and ask them for recommendations of adoption attorneys.

    Good luck!

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  • CAN YOU BRING A CHILD IN USA WHILE THE ADOPTION IS STILL ON GOING (RESOLUTION FOR ADOPTION FOR PROCESSING)...

    IMMIGRANT TO USA

    Jessica’s Answer

    International adoption is a very complicated field, and I recommend you contact an attorney with both immigration and adoption experience. My office specializes in this and would be glad to set up a consultation for you. Otherwise, you can find a list of other experienced immigration attorneys through http://www.ailalawyer.com/ and other experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org.

    There are three routes to legally bring in an adopted child to the U.S. for whom you wish to gain immigration benefits from the adoption: The Hague Route, The Family Route or the Orphan Route. All of these routes are complicated and have very strict regulations and requirements for gaining immigration benefits for the adopted child. Again, I would highly recommend that you contact an attorney with experience in this field before moving the child or taking any further steps.

    Good luck!

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  • Adaption

    My name is Tofik Mohamed. I am usa citizen. Last year 2012, I traveled to Ethiopia and adapt one of my closet relative. The son mother and my father are brothers. The son has no father .He is 8 years old, I had a couple picture with him as ev...

    Jessica’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague that this is a very complicated field. When you are doing an international adoption you are dealing with three separate sets of laws: the immigration laws of the U.S., the adoption laws from the sending country and the adoption laws from your state if you want to domesticate your adoption. I highly recommend you contact an attorney with both immigration and adoption experience before you go any further in this process. My office specializes in this and would be glad to set up a consultation for you. Otherwise, you can find a list of other experienced immigration attorneys through http://www.ailalawyer.com/ and other experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org.

    I will just give you a bit of background. After April 1, 2008, when the United States ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children & Cooperation in Respect to Intercountry Adoptions, most international adoptions coming into the U.S. are now required to go through very specific regulations governed by that treaty. Because you are adopting from Ethiopia, however, The Hague Convention does not apply, because The Hague only applies to adoptions between two countries that have ratified The Hague, and Ethiopia has not yet ratified. Therefore, an international adoption from Ethiopia would most likely need to go through the Orphan route, sometimes also called the F route, in order for you to bring your child into America legally as your adopted child. This route has a lot of strict requirements as well. You can go the the following link on the state department’s website to read abou the steps involved in the Non-Hague process: http://adoption.state.gov/adoption_process/how_to_adopt/nonhague.php. You will see there that one of the requirements is that the child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Children being adopted from non-Convention countries must meet the definition of an orphan as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) before they can immigrate to the United States. USCIS determines whether a particular child meets the definition of an orphan. According to the INA, a child must meet the following two conditions in order to be considered an orphan (1) The child must have no parents; or (2) The child has a sole or surviving parent who is unable to care for the child and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. Under U.S. law, children may not be abandoned, relinquished, or released to a specific prospective adoptive parent for adoption. Instead, if there are two living parents, the child must be relinquished to an entity that is authorized by Jamaica, the sending Country, to place children for international adoption.

    According to the information you posted, it seems like having your son identified as an orphan might pose problems for you under the U.S. definition. There are potentially ways to rectify this, and you could consider a different route for immigration such as the Family route, or the E route, but that would require you living in Ethiopia for 2 years with the child. Again, I highly recommend that you speak with an adoption and immigration attorney to help you through this process.

    I hope you found this answer helpful and if so, please let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

    Good luck!

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  • What is the process of adopting my 13 year old niece from a Non Hague Convention Country?

    My husband and I are USC. We would like to adopt our niece. She's from a Non Hague Convention Country. We don't know where to start. Our questions are : Does she have to be an orphan in order for us to adopt her? Do we start the adoption in her na...

    Jessica’s Answer

    If the country from which you are seeking to adopt is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children & Cooperation in Respect to Intercountry Adoptions you can go through the non-Hague international adoption process. The process for adopting a child from a non-Hague country generally includes the following steps:

    1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider - select a licensed agency or entity in the United States that can help with your adoption.
    2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt – I-600a
    3. Be Matched with a Child - The child must be eligible to be adopted according to the other countries’ requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Children being adopted from non-Convention countries must meet the definition of an orphan as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) before they can immigrate to the United States. USCIS determines whether a particular child meets the definition of an orphan. According to the INA, a child must meet the following two conditions in order to be considered an orphan (1) The child must have no parents; or (2) The child has a sole or surviving parent who is unable to care for the child and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. Under U.S. law, children may not be abandoned, relinquished, or released to a specific prospective adoptive parent for adoption. Instead, if there are two living parents, the child must be relinquished to an entity that is authorized by the sending Country, to place children for international adoption
    4. Adopt the Child in that country – depending on the country you may only be able to get a guardianship with permission to finalize the adoptions before the appropriate US Court having jurisdiction over you in the U.S. These countries include but are not limited to Jamaica, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Korea, Pakistan, and Trinidad Tobago. In other words, depending on the country you may receive an Adoption License, which is akin to guardianship, rather than completing the adoption in that country. Once you have the child here in the United States you can domesticate the adoption.
    5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption - submit an I-600 to USCIS for them to determine if she is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted. USCIS will make sure that she is under the age of 16 at the time an I-600 petition was filed on her behalf with USCIS or a consular officer, and the child will be adopted by a married U.S. citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried U.S. citizen at least 25 years of age, with the intent of forming a bona fide parent/child relationship.
    6. Bring Your Child Home - She should then come in on either an IR-3 or IR-4 VISA, which will be evidence of her lawful status in the United States as legal permanent resident based on the parent-child relationship established by the adoption or LICENSE. The number 4 indicates that she will not be a US Citizen until her adoption is finalized in the United States.
    You can go to http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php? to learn more about the specifics of each of these steps.

    Again, this is a complicated field, and I recommend you contact an attorney with both immigration and adoption experience. My office specializes in this and would be glad to set up a consultation for you. Otherwise, you can find a list of other experienced immigration attorneys through http://www.ailalawyer.com/ and other experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org.

    I hope you found this answer helpful and if so, please let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

    Good luck!

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  • How can I adjust my adopted son?

    I have an adopted son from nigeria. He was 17 when I adopted him. He arrived in the United States on an f1 visa and was abandoned. My family took him in and later did the proper adoption. My question is what do I need to file now in order to give ...

    Jessica’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague’s answer that you need to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. This is a complicated field, and I recommend you contact an attorney with both immigration and adoption experience. My office specializes in this and would be glad to set up a consultation for you. Otherwise, you can find a list of other experienced immigration attorneys through http://www.ailalawyer.com/ and other experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org.

    Here are the basics. If you adopted a child past when the child turned 16, you will not be able to petition for immigration benefits for him based on the adoption. There is one exception to this rule, which is that if you adopted a sibling group, and one was below 16 and the other was over 16 but under 18, then you would be able to petition for immigration benefits for both children based on the adoption. Additionally, you should be careful in going forward with this because adoption for the purposes of immigration is considered fraud. That being said, though, from your question, it does not seem like immigration benefits was the only reason you wanted to adopt your child. It sounds like you have bonded with this child and would like him to stay a part of your family. If it is true that your goal if family unity, there are potentially other routes to immigration benefits that you can try for based on his abandonment. Again, if you would like to discuss the process in detail, my office would be happy to talk with you. We regularly give guidance on this type of case.

    Good luck!

    I hope you found this answer helpful and if so, please let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

    See question