Filing Form I-800A

Filing Form I-800A

Adoption has the power to change your life and the life of your future child. Through adoption, you can create and build your family. You may be interested in adopting from a Convention country when you adopt from another country. Doing so is different from adopting from a non-Convention country. Each has its distinct steps, so it’s important to use the correct immigration forms when proceeding with adoption. 

One of the primary forms to file when adopting from a Convention country is Form I-800A. On this page, you will find the information you need to file your Form I-800A.   

What Is Form I-800A?

Form I-800A is titled “Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.” When you send this form to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they will determine if you are eligible and suitable to adopt a child who “habitually resides” in a Convention Country. 

You must be eligible to adopt and bring  a child from a Convention country to the United States. Form I-800A comes with  a home study, that you must  submit to USCIS to help assess your eligibility. 

From an immigration standpoint, Form I-800A is used to initiate the process of adopting a child from a Convention country.  You must take steps before you file your form, such as adopting through an accredited or approved adoption service provider (ASP). The  ASP you choose will help you apply for Form I-800A. Submitting the form helps complete the second step in the Convention process, which is applying to be eligible to adopt. 

What Is the Hague Adoption Convention Process

A Hague Adoption Convention, also known as simply “Convention,”  is an agreement between a coalition of countries that vow to uphold international standards for the safety of intercountry adoptions. In 1994, the U.S. signed the Convention. On April 1, 2008, “the Convention entered into force for the United States,” according to the U.S. Department of State

The purpose of the Hague Adoption Convention is to protect children, families, and birth parents throughout the adoption process and beyond. It has been established as a means of preventing the human trafficking of children, including the abduction and selling of adoptees.  

Additionally, the Convention builds bonds between countries to prioritize the children, ensuring  the adopted children have safe, secure, and loving homes. The countries work together under a set of agreed-upon guidelines and rules.

If you are interested in adopting from a Convention country, talk to your immigration attorney today. The attorneys here at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. can help you every step of the way as you begin your path of adoption.

Find the list of participating Convention countries by clicking here

When to File Form I-800A

You must first choose a U.S. accredited or approved ASP through which you will adopt, one authorized in both the United States and the Convention countries from which you want to adopt. The agency will perform a home study, which is a review of you, your family, and your home. The home study will, in hopes, support your eligibility to provide  a safe and suitable home for a child. Home studies typically have different requirements depending on your state ; however, they all must follow U.S. federal regulations. Speak with your immigration attorney and ASP if you have questions about your home study. 

When your home study is completed, you can file Form I-800A. Note that your ASP must be accredited or approved. If you are unsure if they are, ask your immigration attorney for clarification.

Additionally, ask the ASP if they are authorized under 22 CFR Part 96, as that is the authorizing code to provide adoption services that are authorized to work with Convention countries.  

Adoption and Form I-800A Acceptance

USCIS warns not to accept an adoption placement before your Form I-800A approval. You cannot adopt until you have an approved Form I-800, which you can only file once your Form I-800A is approved and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has notified the  Convention country that the adoption can proceed. 

Eligibility for Form I-800A

To  file Form I-800A, you need to be a habitual resident in the United States and are either:

  • Unmarried and at least 24 years old
  • Are married with both you and your spouse planning to adopt
  • Are married to a person who is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR. Your spouse is also allowed to be legally in the U.S. and not a permanent resident, but that will be used as a factor in determining how stable your home environment is

Additionally, you should only file Form I-800A if you plan on adopting from a Convention country. If you plan on adopting from a non-Convention country, you will file another form instead. 

If your spouse is not a permanent resident, talk to an immigration lawyer at our law firm right away. We can discuss family sponsorship immigration and filing a Form I-130 petition for alien relatives. Doing so can help with your spouse’s residency and strengthen your case for eligibility in your adoption process. 

Form I-800A Instructions

Here are the instructions on how to file your application with USCIS. Form I-800A is composed of 5 sections. Make sure you write legibly and with a black pen when filling out your form. Your immigration attorney can ]assist  as well.

Part 1

In the first section, you will include information about yourself, including your:

  • Name 
  • Social security number
  • Date of Birth
  • Home and Mailing addresses
  • Convention country you plan on adopting from
  • Your U.S. citizenship status
  • Marital status and information
  • Any prior marriage and marriage termination information
  • Additional legal information 

Part 2

If you have a spouse, this second section is information about your spouse, including their:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Home address if they do not reside with you
  • Contact information
  • Information about previous marriages
  • Citizenship status 
  • Additional legal information

As you can see, this information is similar to the form’s first part. 

Part 3

The third part of this form asks for information about the completed home study and the Adoption Service Provider you are using.You must also include a description of any pre-adoption requirements you need to complete.

Other information in part 3 includes:

  • How do you plan on adopting the child (in the Convention country or the U.S.)
  • If you plan on adopting more than one child
  • If you have ever filed Form I-600A
  • Information about current children you have

Part 4

Here, you will provide your signature and certification. It’s of utmost importance that you, and your spouse, if applicable, sign the form.  

Part 5

Your  immigration attorney or another preparer will sign and give their information here. 

I-800A Required Evidence

Along with the form itself, you need to provide copies of the following documents as supporting evidence of your Form I-800A:

  • Home Study
  • Evidence showing you complied with your state’s pre-adoption requirements, if applicable
  • U.S. citizenship documentation
  • Proof of marriage, if applicable
  • Proof of divorce or other legal separation, if applicable
  • If you are married, proof that your spouse is a U.S. citizen or LPR or of their citizenship if they are not a resident.

Again, send in only copies of these documents with your USCIS form. All of the evidence must be written in English. 

Additional Forms You May File With Form I-800A

There are three forms that you may need or want to file along with or after completing your Form I-800A.

  1. Form I-800 A, Supplement 1

This form must be filled out for each adult household member, excluding you and your spouse. 

  1. Form I-800 A, Supplement 2

This form gives USCIS consent to disclose your immigration form information with your 

ASP and others involved in your adoption process. 

  1. Form I-800 A, Supplement 3

This form is used to either:

  • Request an extension on your Form I-800A approval expiration date
  • Change the Convention country you wish to adopt from 
  • For any other action taken place after your Form I-800A has been approved (and before filing Form I-800)

Filing Fee

The Form I-800A filing fee is $775. 

You will need to pay an additional $85 biometrics fee for yourself. If you are married, your spouse will also need a biometrics check, which is an additional $85. Furthermore, any person who is 18 years or older living in your household must have a biometrics appointment, each being $85. 

Contact an Immigration Attorney

The immigration attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. have over 30 years of experience helping families on their path to adoption and beyond. Adopting from a Convention country means establishing viable protection for your adopted child and  yourself before, during, and after the adoption process. 

Working with an immigration lawyer can help you better understand the rules and regulations of  the complex international adoption system. Talk to an immigration attorney at our law firm by calling 312.444.1940 or filling out an online contact form today. We look forward to hearing from you! 

We're looking forward to hearing from you!