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Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative


The I-600 form is a part of the international adoption process for non-Hague Convention Countries. It classifies an orphan that has been or will be adopted by a U.S. citizen as an immediate relative to that citizen. The I-600 allows the child to enter the United States.

Do NOT confuse with the I-600A.

Guidelines Per the I-600 Form


  • The child must be classified as an orphan due to the death, abandonment, or desertion of parents. The child may also classify as an orphan if one parent is unable to properly care for the child and has written a release for emigration and adoption.

    This petition MUST be filed BEFORE the child is 16 years old.

  • This form must be filed by a married U.S. citizen and spouse or unmarried U.S. citizen who is at least 25 years old. If the spouse is not a U.S. citizen, the spouse must be on lawful immigration status.
  • IF adopting the child abroad, the petitioner(s) must establish that they personally seen and observed the child before or during the adoption proceedings.
  • IF NOT adopting abroad and the petitioner(s) did not see the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings, they must prepare a statement indicating their willingness and intent to readopt the child in the United States.
  • If the child was noted adopted abroad, it must be established that the child will be adopted in the U.S. and that the preadoption requirements, if any, of the State the orphan will reside have been met.

Documents Needed to Show Proof

The following must be sent with the completed I-600 form:

  • A birth certificate to show proof of citizenship. If unable to obtain a birth certificate; a copy of the baptismal certificate under the seal of the church showing place of birth. The baptism must have taken place within two months of the birth. If this is not possible, affidavits of two U.S. citizens who have knowledge of the applicants birth in the United States. Naturalization papers or a valid U.S. passport will also work.
  • Proof of marriage and the proof of ended previous marriages. Photocopies of divorce decrees, death certificates, and the marriage license will fulfill this requirement.
  • Proof of age of orphan. The orphan's birth certificate if possible; if not, submit an explanation with the best evidence of the child's birth.
  • The child's parent(s) death certificates if applicable.
  • If the orphan was adopted abroad, a certified copy of the adoption decree with certified translation.
  • If the child has only one parent, provide evidence that the surviving or sole parent is incapable of caring for the child. Submit a written statement from the parent releasing the child for immigration and adoption.
  • If the orphan was left in an orphanage by his parent or parents, provide evidence that the child was abandoned.
  • If the orphan is to be adopted in the United States, evidence that any preadoption requirements of the State that the orphan will be living has been met.
  • Completed adoption home study with a recommendation by the state agency. Be sure to use a social worker or agency that understands the guidelines needed to be met with international adoptions. Different information is needed with an international adoption than with a domestic adoption.

Where to File

If the petitioner is residing within the United States, the I-600 form must be sent to the USCIS office having jurisdiction over the petitioner's place of residence. If residing outside the U.S. the petitioner must consult the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate designated to act on the petition.

More Information

See the USCIS Web site for up-to-date information on filing fees and to download Form I-600 and the complete, detailed instructions.

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