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Not sure where to put this - want to adopt but about to move to the USA...

(4 Posts)
arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 19:22:56


I hope someone can help me! I know I should talk to a specialist lawyer but really want an idea of whether its possible before I do so.

DH and I have been talking about adoption for a long time and have decided it's the path we want to take to build our family. At 32 and 37 though we'd like to do it sooner rather than later.

However DH was just offered a job in the USA - a 3 year contract.

Would it be possible to adopt from (or in), the USA as non-citizens? Will we have to wait until we return to the UK? If we could adopt in the USA (from abroad is something we'd consider), would the adoption be recognised in the UK?

Any help much appreciated.

Lilka Fri 30-Sep-11 20:57:05

Hi arrive smile

Hope I can explain this right. This is correct to the best of my knowledge (I'm a member of a US based adoption board and I've picked this up, but have no personal experience)

You can only adopt in the UK if you live here, are a legal resident at least, and plan to continue living here for some time afterwards. So if you are going to take this contract UK adoption is out. This includes international adoption into the UK as well as domestic adotion

In the US, you cannot do an international adoption, unless at least one of you is a full citizen. I believe Kaz requires both to be citizens but the rest only one parent. This is the rule of the US government/immigration department that handles foreign adoptions

For a domestic adoption within the US (through foster care or a private agency to seek a newborn baby) you don't need to be a citizen necessarily. To the best of my knowledge, you need to be green card holders (permanent residents). However any individual adoption agency could make a rule that at least one parent be a citizen, even if it isn't legally required by the state

Even if you were already legal residents in the US, 3 years may not be long enough to complete an adoption anyway, owing to the length of time adoption can take. First homestudy ,and you'd have to get clearance from UK crb check as well as US. If domestic infant, you have to be picked by an expectant mum, and there is no timeline to that. Could be a couple of weeks, could be 4+ years. And with the foster care system, you have to be a foster parent to stand a good chance of adopting a child under 7/8 without serious emotional needs. System is designed so FPs can take in a child, and then adopt them if reunion can't happen. Not like the UK, where adotion and foster care are kept mostly seperate. If you wanted to adopt and not be a FP, you have to be open to children with moderate-severe needs, and most likely aged 7/8+

I think honestly, your only option is to go for three years, come back and settle in the UK again before beginning adoption here. You don't have the time over there you may need

arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 21:53:27

Lilka thankyou very much for that post. It confirms what I'd feared after a quick google but is very clear indeed where google wasn't, many thanks for that.

I think perhaps we need to think about not taking the US role. So your post is so helpful because it would've been awful to take the role and then discover that we'd have to put everything on hold entirely for three years.

snail1973 Thu 06-Oct-11 22:19:52

I have good friends in washington state who are from the uk but moved there for his work and are in the middle of the adoption process. They went the foster to adopt route and (fingers crossed) it is working for them. They got a baby almost immediately they were approved (and the home study was MUCH quicker than in the UK). He was 8 wks old when he moved in with them. He is now 15 months and has just been 'freed' for adoption by the court. They now have to wait for 3-6 months for the next court date to finalise the adoption. In total I think it will have taken them about 2.5 yrs, from first phone call to him being legally theirs.

They tell me that the system varies from state to state though, so it may be different where you are thinking of going. And I would say that the foster to adopt route is great in one way (you are likely to have a child from very young unlike here where they can be 'waiting' in foster care for months/years) but it is obviously more risky. Hope that helps

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