Anne Bentley | Monday, January 14, 2013
With Russia closing we are hearing from many, many families who are looking to switch their adoptions to one of our Hague programs (Hungary, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria or Colombia; click here for a full list of Hague countries). Families with approval from USCIS for Russia, or any other non-Hague country, must revise their home studies and get a new approval in order to move forward.
For all country changes the first step is to revise your home study to reflect the new country. Be sure you know the protocols in your new country for age range of children, gender requests, health expectations of children and any particular information the country requires in the home study and revise the home study accordingly. A Hague home study varies slightly in format and content from a non-Hague home study so discuss the Hague home study requirements with your social worker. Most home study agencies will charge a fee for revising your home study. You will need a full, revised home study for the new program, as opposed to using your previous home study with a one-page update.
To go from a non-Hague country to a Hague country
An approval in a non-Hague country (for example Ethiopia, Russia, Congo, Uganda, South Korea, Ukraine and Taiwan) can not be transferred directly to a Hague country. If you filled out the I-600A for your adoption then you are adopting from a non-Hague country. If you have I-600A approval, in addition to revising your home study you will need to file the I-800A form with USCIS and pay the fee of $720. If your fingerprints from the I-600A have not expired CIS will transfer those to your new process at no charge. You will send USCIS the completed I-800A form, a copy of your revised home study, the fees and copies of proof of citizenship.
To go from a Hague country to a different Hague country
If you already have an approved I-800A for a Hague Convention country you can use I-800A Supplement 3 (Request for Action on Approved Form I-800A) to change to another Hague country. You will check Part 2(d) and enter your new country in item 3: “Indicate Change of Country.” You might also need to check the box in item 3 indicating an update in the number of children, age of children, etc. if that information has changed in your home study.
You should send in your revised home study along with Supplement 3 to USCIS. The first request for a change between Hague countries is free. If you have a change in any other parts of the document, other than country, the fee is $360.
To go from a non-Hague country to a different non-Hague country
If you already have an approved I-600A for a non-Hague country you can use the I-824 form to move to another non-Hague country. Check Part 2(b) and write in the embassy or consulate location that should receive the approval of your application. You should send in your revised home study along with the I-824 form to USCIS. The first request for a change between non-Hague countries is free.