Alhamdulillah: All praise is for God, used to express gratitude
Allah: God, creator of the universe.
dh: darling husband
Hague Treaty & Process: The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) is an international treaty that provides important safeguards to protect the best interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents who are involved in intercountry adoptions. A country that is a party to the Convention must have an officially designated Central Authority to ensure that the adoption process is safeguarded. The U.S. Central Authority is the Department of State (DOS). Countries not part of the Hague Treaty follow the Orphan Process (see below). Source: USCIS: Hague Process
Home Study: A required document that must be submitted to USCIS for all Orphan and Hague adoption cases. The primary purpose of the home study is to help USCIS determine whether the prospective adoptive parents are suitable and eligible to adopt a child, based on the criteria that have been established by law. Source: USCIS: home study. What’s in a home study?
hs: home study
I-171H: I600-A approval notice prospective adoptive parents receive
I-600: To classify an alien orphan who either is, or will be, adopted by a U.S. citizen as an immediate relative of the U.S. citizen to allow the child to enter the United States. The petition is filed by the U.S. citizen who is adopting the child. Source: USCIS: I-600
Step 2 of 3 in the process to obtain an immigrant visa for an adopted child. This form is filed with supporting documentation at the US Embassy in the child’s country.
I600-A: Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition: For adjudicating the qualifications of the applicant(s) as prospective adoptive parents. Filing this form will generally speed up the part of the processing relating to the qualifications of the prospective adoptive parent petitioner(s). Source: USCIS: I600-A
In plain English: Step 1 of 3 in the process to obtain an immigrant visa for an adopted child. An approved I600-A lets the US Embassy in your adoptive country know that you intend to adopt a child from there. Once you receive your approval (know as the I171-H) and you have a referral from your orphanage, you can then travel to the country. Once the child is in your custody and you have a passport for them, you file your I600 (step 2 of 3) along with the child’s documents at the US Embassy. Once the form and documents are approved, you get an IR3 or IR4 visa (step 3 of 3) for your child to immigrate to the US.
InshaAllah: God willing, used when you hope something will happen.
IR-3/IR-4 Visa: an immigrant visa to enter the United States issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) at the Embassy or Consulate in the foreign country where the child resides. Step 3 of 3 to obtain an immigrant visa for your child. Source: USCIS: Visa types
- IR-3 visa: Issued when a full and final adoption is completed abroad.
- Requires that the parent(s) physically see the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings.
- IR-4 visa: Issued to a child that…
- is coming to the United States to be adopted.
- was adopted abroad by only one parent (if married).
- was not seen by the parent(s) prior to or during the adoption.
ISS-USA: International Social Services-USA Branch. Because our home study was conducted overseas by a US licensed social worker, we needed a US adoption agency to certify it. Basically, that means that the organization needs to be a licensed child-placing agency and that they looked over the home study to make sure it was complete and correctly written. None of the agencies I called would touch our home study because their employee did not write it. ISS-US saved the day! ISS-USA website
Letter of Certification: Certification by a US licensed child-placing agency that a home study conducted overseas by a US licensed social worker is complete and correctly written.
loc: Letter of Certification
MashaAllah: what God wills, used when you’re happy about something that has happened.
MOI: Ministry of Interior, Qatar
Orphan Process: Morocco is not part of the Hague Treaty, therefore we follow USCIS rules for the Orphan Process as opposed to the Hague Process. USCIS: Orphan Process
Referral: Being ‘matched’ with a child in the orphanage. Usually a referral includes a photograph, health report, background information and status (abandoned or not) on the child. You can choose to accept a referral (which means that you intend to adopt that child) but you may also refuse. More info on referrals
SubhanAllah: All glory is for God, used when you’re amazed or to marvel at something God has made possible.
USCIS: United States Citizen and Immigration Services. USCIS is responsible for:
- Determining the eligibility and suitability of the Prospective Adoptive Parents (Individuals) looking to adopt.
- Determining the eligibility of the child to immigrate to the United States.
Source: USCIS: Adoption
USCIS Athens: Because we are US citizens living abroad, we don’t send our I600-A to a USCIS office in the US. Instead, we send it to a field office which handles immigration matters for our country of residence, Qatar. The USCIS office in Athens, Greece handles our I600-A filing. USCIS District Field Offices
Visas 37: I600-A approval notice that is forwarded internally to the US Embassy in the adopted child’s country. The expiration date of the FBI fingerprint check should be noted on it.