The Hague Adoption Convention (Convention) entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008. The Convention governs all adoptions between the United States and other countries party to the Convention. If a prospective adoptive parent began his/her adoption from a Convention country before the Convention entered into force for either the United States or the other Convention country, but the adoption has not been completed, the case may be considered to be a transition case.
FAQ: Transition Cases and the Hague Adoption Convention
- Adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008: If a prospective adoptive parent filed Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, or Form I-600, Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative, before April 1, 2008, or completed the adoption prior to April 1, 2008, the Convention procedures may not apply to the adoption, as long as the Form I-600A remains valid until the Form I-600 is filed.
- Adoptions initiated after April 1, 2008, but before the Convention entered into force for the other Convention country: A number of countries became parties to the Convention after the Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008. If a prospective adoptive parent filed Form I-600A identifying the other Convention country as the country of origin, filed Form I-600, or completed the adoption before the Convention entered into force for the other country, the case may be considered a transition case.
- Once approved, the Form I-600A application’s validity may be extended, which lengthens the time during which a transition case may be completed. USCIS permits prospective adoptive parents with transition cases to extend the validity of a Form I-600A approval under certain circumstances. When a family requests an extension of their approval to adopt, they need to meet certain update requirements, including providing any new or changed information affecting the home study, and in some cases fingerprints for an updated criminal background check.
- Transition cases will generally continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations and procedures for non-Convention adoptions in effect at the time the case was filed.
- If a prospective adoptive parent wants to change a transition case to a Convention case, he or she must start the Convention application and petition process anew. Convention cases have different processing requirements, and a Form I-600A or Form I-600 cannot be converted into a Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, or a Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, which are required for a Convention case.
- Each Convention country has different requirements for transition cases. If you have questions about whether your adoption qualifies as a transition case, please contact our office.