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Practice Note
USCIS Gives Advice About Children Affected by the Earthquake in Nepal

USCIS recognizes that many U.S. citizens wish to help and adopt Nepali children affected by the recent earthquake. USCIS cautions that adoption by a U.S. citizen, by itself, does not make the child a U.S. citizen or immediately eligible to immigrate to the United States.

Before a child may immigrate to the United States immediately as a result of an intercountry adoption or proposed intercountry adoption, USCIS must determine that the child qualifies as an “orphan” under the immigration laws of the United States, and that the adoptive parents are capable of providing proper care. The proper authorities in the child’s country of origin must also determine whether the child can be legally adopted under the country’s laws. USCIS considers specific facts in each case to make a determination.

It is not uncommon in an emergency for children to be temporarily separated from their parents, other family members or legal guardians. Efforts to reunite such children with family or legal guardians must be given priority.

For more information about adoptions in Nepal visit our Adoption Information: Nepal Web page. You can also visit the Department of State’s Intercountry Adoption Web page on Nepal for information on how to provide support to Nepali children in this time of crisis.

Source: USCIS

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