Can I adopt my nephew and bring him to the US?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can I adopt my nephew and bring him to the US? We will talk about the requirements and legal regulations for adopting a child in the USA, but also the conventions regarding international adoptions.

Can I adopt my nephew and bring him to the US?

You can adopt your nephew, who isn’t a US citizen, and bring him to the US, but there will be many rules and protocols to follow. Immigration law stipulates that a citizen or permanent resident of the United States can adopt a foreign child. The process is extremely complex with very specific requirements from the federal government.

The Citizenship and Immigration Service is responsible for determining the eligibility of individuals who wish to adopt a foreign child and whether the foreign child can immigrate to the United States.

There are different processes to adopt a child abroad. How the procedure is carried out will depend on the country where the child is and if the minor is an orphan. Under certain circumstances, it may also require a different process if the adoptive parents are citizens or permanent residents.

The age of the child will be key in determining the minor’s eligibility to obtain permanent residence.

For immigration purposes, the law requires that the adoption process be finalized before a minor turns 16. There are some exceptions, under which the child’s adoption age could be extended for two more years, but before they turn 18.

The adoption of a foreign child requires the hiring of a family attorney in the minor’s country of origin, in addition to a United States immigration attorney. Both specialist attorneys must work together to ensure that the case is approved.

If the minor is already in the United States, the minor’s situation must be analyzed to determine what is the best legal route to carry out the adoption.

It is of the utmost importance that you consult with an immigration attorney before beginning any immigration procedure to adopt a foreign child.

I would suggest that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney near you to discuss further what can be done to get your nephew a visa or otherwise qualify him for lawful permanent residence.

Legal regulations for adoption in the USA

The legal requirements for adopting a baby vary from country to country. If you are thinking about adoption to increase the family, there are legal aspects that you should know depending on where you live. In the US there are different possibilities of adopting a baby and the legal regulations are governed by each state.

Compared to adoption procedures in other countries, the rules in the US are more flexible. You can opt for domestic adoption or within your own country or international adoption and there are several intermediaries through which the baby can be found, thereby increasing the chances of adoption.

First steps to adopt a baby in the USA

In the US, adoption is surrounded by multiple possibilities. You can traditionally adopt a baby, but you can also take in the child for a certain time. In many cases, adoption also includes some contact with the baby’s biological family, especially if you have siblings who have not been adopted by the same family.

There is no single place to start the procedures to adopt. There are National Public Agencies that are more oriented to the adoption of children with problems. In these cases, the adoption process does not require much time and economically the outlay is about $ 2,500.

Both time and money change if you opt for a Private Adoption Agency, a place where biological mothers who want to give their children for adoption can choose the most suitable family for their baby. Families must pass an eligibility test and are placed on a waiting list. You can also go to an Independent Adoption Agency, in which case it is necessary to have a lawyer so that all the procedures are done legally.

Requirements to adopt in the US

In the United States, the rules for adopting the adoptive family are less strict than elsewhere. Anyone can adopt, including couples, married couples or single people who present psychological and material guarantees for the baby to enjoy a good quality of life. However, the procedures to determine if a family or a person who wants to adopt is suitable are more relative than in other countries.

The minimum age to adopt a baby is considerably reduced compared to other countries, with the minimum age for adopting in the US being 18 years old. This age can vary in each state and the same happens with the years of difference that must exist between the person who adopts and the adopted minor, which is only 10 years. 

In most states, adoption by same-sex couples is prohibited, but this impediment can be easily remedied by allowing adoption by only one person.

Requirements for the international adoption process

More and more couples choose to adopt minors of foreign origin since in most cases the waiting periods are shorter than if they were to do so in their country.

To know if you are suitable or not to carry out the procedures of international adoption, you must bear in mind the common requirements:

  • Be over 25 years old. In the adoption by both spouses, it is enough that one of them has reached the mentioned age.
  • Be at least 14 years older than the person adopted. 
  • Having been declared suitable for the exercise of parental authority by the competent public entity.

As for advice, if you are considering international adoption, it is recommended that you contact a family lawyer in your city, who will give you all the necessary details to begin the procedure and will guide you through it.

On the path of adoption you have to be patient but above all to have a lot of enthusiasm since it is a long process and sometimes there are unexpected delays. There is a significant disproportion between the number of international adoptions that are finalized and the number of applications made.

What children can be adopted internationally? 

  • Children with an average age of 7 years.
  • Groups of siblings.
  • Children under 5 years of age with physical health problems or members of a group of siblings.
  • Victims of serious rights violations.
  • Victims of progressive abandonment and long institutionalization time.
  • With disorders in the behavioural and socio-affective field (with or without drug treatment).
  • With attachment disorders.
  • With morbid family antecedents such as intellectual limitations, psychiatric or personality disorders, drug and/or alcohol consumption, among others.

The adoption process for a married couple living abroad

The application process for a married couple living abroad begins when the public Central Authority or the accredited foreign body sends the application form and documents that the legal regulations require.

The documentation contained in the file is reviewed and analyzed by a psychosocial and legal team, to determine its suitability. If there are no legal and/or technical objections, they are entered into a Foreign Marriage Registry, remaining on the waiting list for the assignment of a child, according to their expectations and parental skills.

If any objection is found in the documentation, the applicants are informed through a letter addressed to the body that represents them, waiting for it to be corrected to proceed to enter them into the registry.

If the application is rejected, it is communicated through a letter addressed to the institution that sponsors the application of the marriage, informing in detail the legal and/or technical reasons that make the application unfeasible.

After selecting a family that meets the appropriate profile to assume the adoptive parenting of a child who hopes to be adopted by a family residing abroad, an assignment proposal is made, through which the sponsoring foreign body is formally notified. For this purpose, the most relevant background of the child is attached to this assignment, which allows the family to decide if they have the capacities to assume it or not.

If the assignment is accepted, the Central Authority of the offering country issues a document confirming their consent and, subsequently, the marriage documentation and the child’s background are sent to the region where the child resides, to start the adoption process.


In this article, we answered the following question: Can I adopt my nephew and bring him to the US? We talked about the requirements and legal regulations for adopting a child in the USA, but also the conventions regarding international adoptions.

Adopting your nephew and bringing him to the USA is possible, but it is a case that depends on a series of factors. If the child is an orphan, you will need to start the adoption princess, then the immigration process. If the child’s parents are still alive, there are other legal requirements in place, 

I remind you that in this article we gave you general information. Please consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any paperwork.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.

FAQ Can I adopt my nephew and bring him to the US?

Can a non-US citizen adopt a child in the US?

A non-US citizen can adopt a child in the US only if they are found eligible to adopt by the US State Department. 

Can immigrants adopt a child in the US?

Immigrants who are also U.S. lawful permanent residents can adopt a child in the US. However, this will not automatically convey any U.S. immigration status to a child. 

Can you get a green card through adoption?

You can get a green card through adoption only if you have lived with your adoptive parents for at least two years before applying for US citizenship. 

How do I adopt my nephew?

You can adopt your nephew if a court decides that his parents can no longer take care of him and only if the court decides that you are legally qualified and competent do adopt the child. 

How much does it cost to adopt a child from a foreign country?

The costs of adopting a child from a foreign country are in between  $20,000 and $40,000. Travel expenses, medical and psychological assessments are included in this price. 


Leave a Comment