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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Adoptee’s Siblings May More Easily Be Adopted

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Department of State has amended regulations on adoptions in countries party to The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, to include new adoption provisions from the International Adoption Simplification Act.

This legislation provides for sibling adoption to include certain children who are under age 18 at the time the petition is filed on their behalf, and also certain children who reached age 18 on or after April 1, 2008 and who are the beneficiaries of a petition filed on or before Nov. 30, 2012.

On Nov. 30, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the International Adoption Simplification Act (IASA) into law, modifying the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as it regards adoptions from Convention countries.

Among other changes, the IASA creates a new INA provision that allows U.S. citizens to file an immediate relative petition for a child younger than 18 from a Convention country, provided that child is the natural sibling of a child concurrently or already adopted or being brought to the United States for adoption under INA Sections 101(b)(1)(E)(i), (F)(i), or (G)(i). To qualify as a child who is covered under the new INA provision, a child must be adopted abroad, or be coming to the United States for adoption, by the adoptive parent(s) or prospective adoptive parent(s) of his/her natural sibling. In addition, the child must be otherwise qualified as a Convention adoptee under INA Section 101(b)(1)(G)(i), except that the child is under 18 years of age rather than under 16 years of age, as is required for classification under INA Section 101(b)(1)(G)(i).

The IASA contains an exception at Section 4(b) necessitating a modification of the Department of State 22 CFR 42.24. Under 4(b), an alien who is older 18 nonetheless may be classified under the new INA provision if he/she turned 18 on or after April 1, 2008 and his/her immediate relative petition is filed not later than Nov. 30, 2012.

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