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Bringing a child to the US? What you need to know

There are many men and women in the U.S. who are expanding or relocating their family in this country. For some people, this means international adoption. For others, this means moving their biological or step-children to America to live with them.

In either case, it can be crucial that parents understand what they need to do to make sure the process of bringing a child to this country as permanent residents goes as smoothly as possible.

To begin with, you must understand who is actually considered to be a "child" in the eyes of the federal government. A child is considered to be any unmarried person under the age of 21. The child can be the biological child of the parent petitioning, the step-child of a petitioning parent or a child adopted by the petitioning parent, however, there are specific exceptions and distinctions that must be observed for each of these relationships.

Only parents who are already living in the U.S. as a citizen or permanent resident may be eligible to petition for a child to come to the U.S. and become a permanent resident. Essentially, you will need to complete the proper forms and submit them with proof of your status and proof of your relationship to the child.

There can be complications that arise that can make this process much more challenging than people may expect. For instance, a step-parent who married a child's genetic parent less than two years ago may have to submit additional forms because the child's permanent residency status can be conditional. Genetic fathers can also face complications if they are not married to the child's mother, as legal proof of the genetic relationship may also have to be submitted.

Bringing a child to the U.S. can be extraordinarily important for families across Florida. Because the stakes can be so high, it can be wise to make sure you consult an immigration attorney who understands what needs to be done in order to avoid or minimize the devastation and frustration that can come with legal or logistical setbacks.

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