International Adoptions and COVID-19, provided by USCIS

  • USCIS recognizes that prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) may have concerns about potential delays in completing certain requirements to allow for adjudication of their adoption applications or petitions because of COVID-19 restrictions and closures. 
  • At this time, there are no changes to eligibility requirements for adoption applications and petitions, which includes suitability determinations. Certain home study requirements do afford some flexibility. As a reminder:
    • Unless the family has moved or it is otherwise required, a home study update does not require the home study preparer to conduct another home visit or in-person interview. Instead, the home study preparer may opt to conduct the update by Skype, FaceTime, phone, email, etc.
    • We understand that PAPs may be experiencing changes because of COVID-19. As a reminder, USCIS does not require PAPs to notify USCIS or their home study preparer of a change unless it’s a Significant Change. For more information, see our Guidance on Determining Suitability of Prospective Adoptive Parents for Intercountry Adoption (PDF, 302.16 KB).
    • If a significant change occurs in the adoptive parents’ household, the PAPs must provide notification and submit an updated home study that reflects the significant change. The time frame for this notification depends on the type of significant change and at what point in the process the significant change occurs.
    • For most significant changes, PAPs may generally wait until the next suitability determination point to provide notification, even if it’s been more than 30 days since the significant change occurred.
    • However, PAPs need to provide immediate notification to USCIS and their home study provider if the significant change is:
  1. Related to arrest, conviction or a history of substance abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse and/or family violence, or any other criminal history as an offender; or
  2. Any significant change that occurs after Form I-600 or Form I-800 petition approval, but before the child immigrates to the United States.
  • USCIS provides a dedicated public inquiry channel for PAPs who have a question about a pending orphan or Hague application or petition. PAPs may contact the National Benefits Center (NBC) at nbc.adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov or call 877-424-8374 (domestic callers), TTY 800-877-8339, or 913-275-5480 (international callers). This call center for adoptive parents is staffed Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central).
  • For any matters pending with the Department of State (DOS), including matters related to the issuance of visas, please see the latest information on the DOS Intercountry Adoption webpage.