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Process of Adopting from Bangladesh
Note: At least one prospective adoptive parent must be a dual citizen of the U.S. and Bangladesh in order to adopt from Bangladesh.
IN COUNTRY PROVIDER: Hope International works with a local licensed attorney in Dhaka, Bangladesh who works with two main orphanages. He has facilitated guardianships in Bangladesh for over 20 years.
TIME FRAME: Depending on many different factors, including the number of eligible children at the time of your availability to travel to Bangladesh, the time frame to prepare your initial paperwork and be matched with a child can take 6-12 months.
THE CHILDREN: Children available for adoption in Bangladesh are usually orphaned due to poverty or the stigma of being an unwed mother. The youngest children available for international adoption from Bangladesh are 1-2 months old. There are also older children, sibling groups, and children with special needs living in government orphanages.
Process of Adopting from Bangladesh
As with all of our adoption programs, you must first participate in a general information meeting prior to contracting with the agency. This can be done via telephone for families who reside outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Once this meeting has taken place, and you have signed our contracts and paid the initial agency fees, we immediately begin working on your home study, foreign dossier, and USCIS approval. Our agency strives to offer the fullest level of support and services possible – even sending for apostilles and document authentications on your behalf in order to complete your adoption dossier in the quickest manner possible. While there are many aspects outside of our control with adoption and foreign adoptions in particular, we have found during our years of experience that our hard work on things we can control – paperwork, preparing and authenticating dossiers, etc. – usually quickens your overall adoption process.
1. Completion of an international home study – For families that live in Texas, Hope International will conduct the home study. If you live outside of Texas then we will assist you to find an Agency to conduct your home study. Hope International must supervise this agency which must meet the standards for a Hague approved supervised provider. Your final USCIS approval is contingent upon the recommendation for approval given by your home study agent. Your completed home study is valid for 12 months; an update will be necessary annually until a child is placed in your home and is also required if your living circumstances change prior to your adoption; such as change in employment or residence. You are also required to obtain at least ten hours of pre-adoptive training. We will assist you with referrals for this training.
2. Apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – USCIS must pre-approve you as potential adoptive parents in regards to an international adoption. Hope will assist you by submitting an I-600A application to USCIS on your behalf once your home study is completed. USCIS has to approve your ability to provide proper parental care for a child. Your USCIS approval will be valid for 18 months, and your fingerprints will be valid for 15 months.
3. Completion of a dossier – Once you have completed the home study and submitted your petition to USCIS then you are ready to work on the remainder of your dossier documents. Your dossier consists of all the documents necessary for processing your adoption in the foreign country. Hope will assist you as you gather all the necessary documents. We will go over the preparation of your dossier in detail and will send all your documents for authentication as needed. Most dossier documents require authentication through notarization and some of them need an apostille. Once you receive USCIS approval then your dossier is ready to go to Bangladesh for translation.
4. Child referral – Once your dossier is complete and you have received notification of your USCIS approval; you are ready for a child referral. During the home study process you will have clarified the type of child you feel most equipped to parent. It is important to be honest with identifying the child you would like to adopt. It is helpful to take an inventory of your child preferences and to prioritize the most important characteristics (i.e. – sex, age, health status, etc.) Please be advised that if your list of criteria is too restrictive, you may significantly narrow your referral options.
You will visit the orphanage and be shown a child that is legally free for adoption. You can review the medical and social information that the orphanage director has collected on the child. Information regarding birth parents is minimal, if available at all.
We will strongly encourage you to have the child’s information evaluated by a doctor skilled in evaluating international adoption referrals. While in Bangladesh, you can email and fax medical information to doctors in the U.S., and you can take the child to a local doctor in Dhaka for evaluation as well. All social and medical documents will need to be translated into English for the U.S. doctors as well as for the U.S. Embassy. In addition to the translated documents, you will be given the un-translated documents so you can obtain your own translation if you desire. Once your doctor has given you their evaluation of the child’s referral information you will notify the orphanage if you are comfortable proceeding with an adoption of this particular child. Barring extenuating circumstances and based on the child’s need for a more immediate response, you will have at least two weeks to consider the referral information.
Once you have accepted the referral of a child, your translated dossier will be submitted to the court for review. You and your spouse must attend the court hearing.
5. Acceptance of a referral and travel
Trip One: If married, both parents must travel. Once you have met and accepted a child referral, your paperwork will be submitted to the local court for that child.
At this time, you can decide if you will remain in Bangladesh throughout the remainder of the progress or if you will return to the United States. If you remain in Bangladesh, once the court has granted guardianship to you, then you can take possession of your child to be the primary caretaker. If you choose to return to the U.S. once guardianship is granted, then you can name a relative to be the child’s caretaker until you return.
Trip Two: Trip two is to obtain the child’s visa from the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka. The time between trip one and trip two will vary depending on a variety of circumstances. You can tentatively expect 2-4 months between the two trips. Only one parent is required to make this second trip –the non-traveling parent must authorize him/her with notarized Power of Attorney to represent both of them in all procedures during the contact, signing documents, and immigration procedures for visa.
Before you request a Visa appointment with the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, there is a lot of paperwork to be gathered. You first must obtain the child’s new birth certificate and passport with your name as guardians. Next you will obtain a No Objection Certificate. Then you complete the I600 petition and submit it to the Embassy in Dhaka. Once approved, you complete the DS-260 Visa form and submit it along with all required documents to the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka requestin an interview. Once you have a scheduled appointment, but prior to the visa appointment, the child must obtain a visa medical exam at an approved clinic. The Embassy must receive the full package with medical information from the clinic prior to the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy.
6. Preparing to Travel – If one parent is not a Bangladeshi citizen, that parent must have a valid U.S. Passport and a Visa to travel to Bangladesh. Some immunizations are recommended by the CDC to travel to Bangladesh. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a guide and led through each step of the adoption process.
Upon Returning Home
When you return home, Hope International or your home study agency will provide post-placement supervision as required by the State of Texas (or your state of residence) so that your adoption can be finalized. At the completion of the initial six-month post-placement period, you will be ready to proceed with your Adoption. Hope International will help facilitate this process for Texas families. If you reside outside of Texas, we recommend that you contact a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) regarding the completion of a registration or re-adoption in your state. You must finalize the adoption so that you can apply for your child’s Certificate of Citizenship.
Adopting from Bangladesh
You must be a U.S. citizen. If you are married, your spouse must also be either a U.S. citizen or have legal status in the United States.
If you are unmarried, you must be at least 25 years old
Citizenship: At least one prospective adoptive parent must provide proof of Bangladeshi citizenship.
Age: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 18 years old; Bangladeshi law does not specify a maximum age for adopting parents.
Marital Status: Both married and single persons may adopt. Bangladesh does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Income: Bangladesh law does not establish a minimum income requirement for guardians. However, a prospective guardian must prove to the Family Court judge that he/she is able to feed, shelter, and educate the child.
Guardianship: Bangladeshi law does not allow for final adoptions of Bangladeshi children in Bangladesh. Prospective adoptive parents considering adopting a Bangladeshi child must obtain guardianship from a Bangladeshi court and subsequently adopt the child in the United States.