If your family has already started the process of adopting from Ukraine, or is thinking about adoption from this country, it would be helpful to learn about the immigration process and forms you will need to file during your adoption process from Ukraine.
It is very important to remember that you are required to use the services of an adoption services provider during your adoption process. It is always best to consult with your adoption agency if you have questions regarding your adoption process.
Below is a listing of the three immigration forms you will be required to complete during your adoption process from Ukraine:
1. Once you have completed your Home Study you will need to file your first Immigration Form which is referred to as the I-600A/Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition(You can find the form and instructions here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-600a. Submitting this form to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you request USCIS to determine whether your family is suitable and eligible to adopt an orphan child(ren) from Ukraine. With your application you will need to include the following:
- A copy of your Home Study;
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship (birth certificates/ U.S. passports/ Certificate of Naturalization);
- Proof of marriage;
- Proof of termination of any prior marriages if there were any;
- Filing fees/ payment.
The filing fee is currently $775. Additionally, you will need to submit a biometric services fee of $85 for every adult in your household.
These requirements may change, so it is important to go to the website and review the filing requirements, prior to mailing your I600A application.
2. Your next Immigration Form would be I-600/Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative(You can find the form here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-600. This application enables USCIS to determine your adopted child(ren) from Ukraine qualify as your immediate relative (daughter/son) and opens the possibility for a child(ren) to immigrate to the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv allows families to submit the I-600 in Ukraine after the Ukrainian court finalizes your adoption, however, you may also file this form with USCIS. It is important to remember that this form must be filed prior to the child’s 16th birthday. If you are adopting a child who has already turned 16 years old, or will soon turn 16 years old, please visit the above referenced website for filing instructions. It is important to remember you may file this form even if your adoption is not yet finalized. If you are adopting multiple children, you will need to file form I-600 for each adopted child.
You will need to include with the I600 application:
- Proof of the adopted child’s age and identity;
- A certified copy of the Court Adoption Decree and its certified translation;
- Copies of death certificates of the child’s biological parent(s), if applicable;
- Evidence that the adopted child qualifies for orphan status (before adoption) according to U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.
There is no fee for this form if you have a valid I-600A Approval (I-171H) for the first child, however please consult the website for applicable fees for additional children.
3. The final immigration form you will need to file during your adoption process is DS-260/ Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. You are required to file this application electronically. You can access it from the Consular Electronic Application Center website, or on the website of the U.S. embassy in Kyiv (Ukraine).
At the beginning of your adoption process all these immigration forms, fees and documentation sound quite confusing, but once you complete your adoption journey and look back you will realize it was definitely worth it.
If you are interested in adoption of a child or interested in learning more about Ukraine Program or other international programs that MLJ offers, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (317) 875-0058.