Adoption

Intercountry adoption is the process by which you adopt a child from a different country than your own through permanent legal means and bring that child to your home country to live with you permanently.

Both Sweden and the United States are parties to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention), which is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions. Concluded on May 29, 1993 in The Hague, the Netherlands, the Convention establishes international standards of practices for intercountry adoptions. The United States signed the Convention in 1994, and the Convention entered into force for the United States in April 2008.

The Hague Adoption Convention applies to all adoptions between the United States and the other counties that have joined it. (View complete list of Convention countries.)

Office of Children’s Issues – Intercountry Adoption Unit

Department of State, Overseas Citizen Services

Tel: 1-888-407-4747; 202-501-4444
Fax: 202-736-9080
E-mail: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov

Central Authority in Sweden

Family Law and Parental Support Authority
Box 308
101 26 Stockholm
Tel: +46 (8) 54555680
Fax: +46 (8) 650 4110
Email: info@mfof.se

Biological or adopted children who regularly reside outside of the United States may qualify for naturalization under section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Child Citizenship Act (CCA). In general, to be eligible for citizenship under section 322 of the INA, a child must meet the following requirements:

  • At least one parent is a U.S. citizen or, if deceased, the parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of death.
  • The U.S. citizen parent or his or her U.S. citizen parent has (or at the time of death had) been physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for at least 5 years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of 14.
  • The child is under the age of 18 years.
  • The child is residing outside of the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent (or, if the citizen parent is deceased, an individual who does not object to the application).
  • The child is temporarily present in the United States after having entered lawfully and is maintaining lawful status in the United States.
  • An adopted child may be eligible for naturalization under section 322 of the INA if the child satisfies the  requirements applicable to adopted children under INA Section 101(b)(1); e.g., generally a child adopted while under the age of 16 if the child has been in the legal custody of, and has resided with, the adopting parent for at least two years; or who is an orphan on whose behalf an immediate relative petition has been filed while under the age of 16.

To qualify as a “child” for purposes of this section, the person must be unmarried.  Also, a person who was born out of wedlock (meaning that the parents were not married at the time of the person’s birth), must be “legitimated” while under the age of 16 and while in the legal custody of the legitimating parent. See section 101(c)(1) of the INA.  Finally, a stepchild who has not been adopted does not qualify as a child under this section.

An application on behalf of an eligible child must be filed on Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under section 322 of the INA. See the “Citizenship and Naturalization Based Forms” at the USCIS website.  The Form N-600K must be filed on behalf of the child by the U.S. citizen parent.  If the U.S. citizen parent of the child has died, a U.S. citizen grandparent or U.S. citizen legal guardian may apply on behalf of the child within 5 years of the parent’s death.