If you are a United States citizen seeking to adopt, you may have looked into adopting a child from the United Kingdom. Adoption is not an easy process whether it is right here in the United States or overseas. The United Kingdom is no different. It is not easy to adopt a child from the United Kingdom, but it is possible. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind as you embark on the process of adoption in the UK.
- The United Kingdom is a Hague Convention country meaning that any child placed for adoption is limited to first– or second–level, biological relatives. This means that children must be adopted by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Under the United Kingdom law, other adoptive placements are currently allowed. If you are a United States citizen seeking to adopt from the United Kingdom, you must be a biological relative of the child.
- Just like any other international adoption, you must travel to the country before you can adopt a child. As a pre-adoptive family, you will have to make an initial visit to the United Kingdom so that the social worker can verify the family commitment to the adoption. In the United Kingdom, a 10-week bonding period is required. Part of this will be spent in the United Kingdom and part of it will be spent in the United States. You may transport the child, or the child may be transported by the social worker. You will make a final visit to the United Kingdom to attend the court hearing to complete the adoption. Upon arrival, you will file the child’s paperwork at the United States embassy and obtain the child’s immigrant Visa. Once the child has arrived in the United States, he/she will automatically become a United States citizen. Your child will receive a certificate of United States citizenship a few weeks later.
- The total cost of an adoption in the United Kingdom is about $6,000; however, as the adoptive family, your costs are minimal. In most cases, the United Kingdom council will cover most of the expenses. You may have to pay for the cost of an agency if you choose to go through an agency. A great agency to work with is Nightlight Christian Adoptions. To learn more, visit www.nightlight.org