Orphan immigrants are children who enter the United States without a parent or guardian. They often face a unique set of challenges due to their lack of legal status and their limited English language proficiency. The Hague Convention is an international agreement that sets forth standards for how governments should handle cases concerning the welfare of orphan immigrants.
Unfortunately, many countries are not signatories to the Hague Convention, leaving orphan immigrants in those countries without the necessary protection. This article will discuss the impact of orphan immigrants in non-Hague Convention countries and their unique challenges. Additionally, this article will provide resources for orphan immigrants in non-Hague Convention countries and discuss Milwaukee’s response to their plight.
If you or someone you know is an orphan immigrant, call our Milwaukee Immigration Attorneys. We can ensure the protection of the child’s welfare.
What is the Hague Convention?
The Hague Convention is an international agreement created to protect the welfare of children involved in international adoption, custody, abduction, or other similar legal proceedings. The Convention sets forth standards for how governments should handle cases concerning the welfare of children. The Hague Convention also requires signatories to respect the court decisions of other signatory countries, thereby ensuring that children’s rights are respected across international borders.
The Convention was initially adopted in 1993 and has since been ratified by 87 countries, including the United States. Unfortunately, many countries have yet to sign the Convention, leaving the welfare of children in those countries unprotected.
What are Non-Hague Convention Countries?
Non-Hague Convention countries are countries that have not yet signed the Hague Convention. As of 2021, there are about 40 non-Hague Convention countries, including countries in Africa, Central and South America, and some Eastern European countries. Some of the most prominent countries that are not signatories of the Convention include Russia, China, Ethiopia, and Guatemala.
Orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries often face unique challenges due to the lack of protection offered by the Convention. Without the Convention in place to protect their rights, orphan immigrants in these countries are often vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and neglect.
The Impact of Orphan Immigrants in Non-Hague Convention Countries
Orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries often face a unique set of challenges due to their lack of legal status and their limited English language proficiency. As a result, they often cannot access basic resources such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Additionally, they are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and neglect.
Unfortunately, the situation is often exacerbated by the fact that the U.S. immigration system is often ill-equipped to handle the influx of orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries. The immigration system often lacks the resources, personnel, and knowledge to properly assess the needs of these children and provide the necessary services. As a result, many orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries are left without access to legal resources, healthcare, and other basic services.
The Challenges Faced by Orphan Immigrants in Non-Hague Convention Countries
Orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries often face various challenges, including language barriers, lack of legal status, and limited access to resources. Additionally, they often face discrimination and stigma due to their immigrant status. This can make it difficult for them to access the resources they need to thrive.
Language barriers are often a major challenge for orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries. Without the ability to communicate effectively, these children often struggle to access the needed services. Additionally, the lack of legal status can make it difficult for orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries to access basic resources such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Finally, the limited access to resources can make it difficult for orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries to find employment, pursue higher education, and otherwise build a successful life in the United States.
Resources for Orphan Immigrants in Non-Hague Convention Countries
Fortunately, many resources are available to orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries. Organizations such as the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, and the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) assist orphan immigrants through legal assistance, social services, and other resources. Additionally, many states, such as California, have established programs to assist orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries.
In addition to these services, orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries can also access legal assistance from immigration attorneys. At Miller and Miller Immigration Attorneys, our orphan adoption and immigration lawyers are knowledgeable about immigration laws and processes and can provide legal guidance and representation to orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries. Don’t hesitate to call us today!
Milwaukee’s Response to Orphan Immigrants in Non-Hague Convention Countries
Milwaukee has ensured that orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries receive the necessary services and resources. In 2017, the city established the Milwaukee Immigrant Rights Task Force, a group of community leaders and organizations working together to support immigrants’ rights in the city. The task force helps immigrants access legal assistance and resources and provides information and support to immigrants facing deportation.
Additionally, the city has established the Milwaukee Immigration Court Legal Assistance Program, which provides legal assistance to immigrants facing deportation proceedings. The program provides pro bono legal assistance to immigrants, helping them to understand their rights and navigate the immigration system.
How Does the Non-Convention Adoption Process Go?
The procedure for non-Hague nations typically consists of six main steps:
- Selecting a licensed provider of Adoption Services
- Requesting eligibility to adopt
- Getting a child’s case referred
- Adopting the child
- Requesting the child’s eligibility for immigration to the U.S. be determined.
- Getting the child’s Immigrant Visa
Selecting a licensed provider of Adoption Services
Choosing a U.S. adoption agency or lawyer to assist with your adoption is generally the initial step in adopting a child from a non-Convention nation. You will, at the very least, require the assistance of someone who is qualified to carry out a home study in your state of residency. A crucial step in the adoption process is picking a reputable adoption service provider. The U.S. state in which they conduct business must grant licenses to adoption service providers.
Requesting eligibility to adopt
You must be deemed qualified to adopt a child from another nation under U.S. law and relocate that child to reside in the United States. Until USCIS certifies that you can give the kid a suitable and stable home, you will not be permitted to bring an adoptive family (or a child for whom you have obtained legal custody for the purpose of emigration and adoption) into the country.
You may submit your application by filling out Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, with the U.S. Services for Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS). You will also send a home study to USCIS along with this form, which has extensive details on your background, residence, finances, health, and other factors. If you are planning to travel abroad to find a kid for adoption or have not yet found a child, Form I-600A must be submitted.
Getting a child’s case referred
In accordance with the rules and legislation governing intercountry adoption in the child’s country of residency, you may be matched with a particular child if you are qualified to adopt. To be eligible for intercountry adoption, a child must fulfill the requirements of the adoptive nation. Additionally, the child must be an orphan as defined by U.S. immigration law.
Adopting the child
A child who is put up for adoption must first be legally recognized as an orphan, or if a parent is still alive, must be legally and permanently released for adoption in accordance with local law before any judicial action can be taken. Adoption procedures differ from nation to country. In addition, most nations’ adoption laws demand that the kid be fully adopted in a foreign court after being declared an orphan or given away by the biological parents to the proper foreign authorities. Simple adoption is permitted in some nations, meaning the adopting parent(s) may be given guardianship of the kid by the foreign court. As a result, it might be possible for the child to travel to the US to be adopted. A few nations let potential adoptive parents adopt through a third-party provider without physically visiting that nation.
Requesting the child’s eligibility for immigration to the U.S. be determined.
The DHS Officer or Consular Officer will carefully analyze information regarding the orphan and his or her personal situation before deciding whether to approve an I-600 and immigrant visa. The DHS or consular officer records this review on an I-604 Orphan Investigation form. Any hint or accusation of fraud, child buying, or other improper actions will be looked into as part of the I-604 examination to protect adopting parents, the kid, and biological parents (or at any time that such concerns arise before visa issuance). Most I-604 reviews will involve an analysis of the papers that are already available, but other circumstances will call for additional interviews, documentation, or a field investigation, all of which could cause the processing of the application to be delayed.
Make sure to call an orphan immigration lawyer from Miller and Miller Immigration Attorneys to ensure you are filing the correct documents for steady processing.
Getting the child’s Immigrant Visa
Make an application for an immigrant visa in the United States Embassy once USCIS or the consulate has determined that the kid is eligible for adoption. Having an immigration lawyer on your side ensures there are no legal barriers to visa issuance. Don’t hesitate to call Miller and Miller Immigration Attorneys today for swift visa approval.
What are the Types of Visa for Orphan Adoption from Non-Hague Convention Countries?
Adopted children from non-Convention nations are granted an IR-3 or IR-4 immigration visa.
- IR-3 Visas. Both adopting parents must physically see the child before or during local adoption processes for the IR-3 visa to be granted. Additionally, the country where the child resides must not demand a second adoption in the United States. When children under 18 enter the country on IR-3 visas, they automatically become citizens of the United States. In these circumstances, the USCIS automatically sends Certificates of Citizenship without needing further paperwork or payment.
- IR-4 Visas. Children who will be adopted completely and permanently in the US are given IR-4 visas. This category is used when a foreign country only allows prospective adoptive parents to gain guardianship of a kid, as opposed to permitting a full and legal adoption, and/or when the prospective adoptive parent(s) haven’t actually met the child before the adoption procedure. Orphans who enter the country on IR-4 visas are automatically processed to become legal permanent residents and acquire an Alien Registration Card (“green card”). For additional details, visit our webpage on the Child Citizenship Act.
Call Us Today For Assistance on Orphan Immigration
Orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries often face unique challenges due to their lack of legal status and limited English language proficiency. Without the necessary protection of the Hague Convention, these immigrants are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and neglect. Fortunately, resources are available to orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries, including legal assistance from immigration attorneys and organizations such as the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, and the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).
The city of Milwaukee has taken steps to ensure that orphan immigrants from non-Hague Convention countries receive the necessary services and resources. The Milwaukee Immigrant Rights Task Force and the Milwaukee Immigration Court Legal Assistance Program provide these immigrants with legal assistance and other resources.
If you are an orphan immigrant from a non-Hague Convention country or a parent looking into adopting an orphan, it is important to seek legal assistance from an experienced immigration attorney. Miller & Miller Immigration Attorneys have the experience and knowledge to help you understand your rights and navigate the immigration system.
Need help with another immigration matter? We also help the following groups:
- Special immigrant juveniles
- Special Immigrants
- Those seeking TPS
- Those who are illegally residing in the US
- Foreign nationals needing advance parole
- Families who want to immigrate to the US
Call Miller & Miller Immigration Attorneys today for legal assistance on immigration concerns!