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Do I need an adoption or immigration attorney for independent (international) adoption?

Newton, MA |

I am filing for the adoption of a (foreign) child already legally in my care for over 3 years. I will enter the US with an Immigration visa (I-600 already filed). As I already have the child, I do not think I will need an adoption agency (homestudy completed) but wish to know whether I need to get an ADOPTION or IMMIGRATION Attorney for petitioning the court for the final adoption.
Thank you,

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Attorney answers 2


Is the child in the US in your custody?

How did the child enter the US?

Have you already adopted the child? If so where is the country of adoption.

Depends on the fact pattern.

If you are adopting the child in the US you will need an adoption lawyer in your state.

If the child is in a foreign country you must ensure there is a full and final adoption in that country especially with cases of child abduction so rampant worldwide.

You will find useful information on the state department website and also information depending on whether the country is a signatory to the convention

Some states now require immigration papers of the child prior to adoption.

You are welcome to use the link provided below.



For information about immigration and adoption, please see

Irene Arfaras Steffas

Irene Arfaras Steffas


If your child enters with am IR/3 visa you may not even need an attorney. It will be necessary to have an attorney if you need to change the child's name or need a new certificate of foreign birth. If the child enters with an IR-4 visa you must go to court. After the adoption proceeding in state court you will need to obtain a certificate of citizenship