U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that any U.S. citizen seeking to adopt a Nepali child, whose case is not affected by the suspension of processing of adoption cases involving Nepali children claimed to have been found abandoned, should file the Form I 600, Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative, with the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal.
This change in the filing location for the Form I-600 petitions applies to two groups of prospective adoptive parents who are not affected by the suspension. The first group is those who received a referral letter from the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare before Aug. 6, 2010, informing them of a proposed match of an abandoned child. The second group is those who seek to adopt Nepali children who were relinquished by known parent(s) and whose identity and relationship can be confirmed.
USCIS strongly encourages prospective adoptive parents to follow this procedure for their own benefit, based on growing concerns about unreliable documents, irregularities in the methods used to identify children for adoption in Nepal, and the resulting difficulties in classifying those children as orphans under U.S. immigration law. Please see the Aug. 6, 2010 announcement online regarding the suspension.
To file the Form I-600 petition with the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, prospective adoptive parents should complete and sign the Form I-600 and send the Form I-600 with all required supporting documents and evidence, other than the adoption or custody decree, to their respective local agency representatives in Nepal. The local agency representatives may then deliver the documents directly to the American Citizen Services Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu. Based on this filing, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu will then complete the required orphan determination before prospective adoptive parents travel to, or adopt a child in, Nepal.
Following this procedure will protect the interests of the prospective adoptive parents and the children by ensuring that the adoptive children will be eligible to immigrate to the United States before the prospective adoptive parents travel to Nepal and complete the Nepali adoption process.
If, after completing its investigation of the case, the Embassy finds that the child qualifies as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the prospective adoptive parents will be notified in writing that they may travel to Nepal to complete the adoption process.
For addition information about filing a Form I-600 petition at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, please visit www.adoption.state.gov. Guidance for prospective adoptive parents of Nepali children is available online at www.uscis.gov.
For more information on USCIS and its adoption programs, visit http://www.uscis.gov/adoption.