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has become a ward of a competent authority in accordance with the laws of the foreign-sending country.

Disappearance of both parents means that both parents have unaccountably or inexplicably passed out of the child's life, their whereabouts are unknown, there is no reasonable hope of their reappearance, and there has been a reasonable effort to locate them as determined by a competent authority in accordance with the laws of the foreignsending country.

Foreign-sending country means the country of the orphan's citizenship, or if he or she is not permanently residing in the country of citizenship, the country of the orphan's habitual residence. This excludes a country to which the orphan travels temporarily, to which he or she travels either as a prelude to, or in conjunction with, his or her adoption and/or immigration to the United States.

Home study preparer means any party licensed or otherwise authorized under the law of the State of the orphan's proposed residence to conduct the research and preparation for a home study, including the required personal interview(s). This term includes a public agency with authority under that State's law in adoption matters, public or private adoption agencies licensed or otherwise authorized by the laws of that State to place children for adoption, and organizations or individuals licensed or otherwise authorized to conduct the research and preparation for a home study, including the required personal interview(s), under the laws of the State of the orphan's proposed residence. In the case of an orphan whose adoption has been finalized abroad and whose adoptive parents reside abroad, the home study preparer includes any party licensed or otherwise authorized to conduct home studies under the law of any State of the United States, or any party licensed or otherwise authorized by the foreign country's adoption authorities to conduct home studies under the laws of the foreign country.

Incapable of providing proper care means that a sole or surviving parent is unable to provide for the child's basic needs, consistent with the local standards of the foreign sending country.

Loss from both parents means the involuntary severance or detachment of the child from the parents in a permanent manner such as that caused by a natural disaster, civil unrest, or other calamitous event beyond the control of the parents, as verified by a competent authority in accordance with the laws of the foreign sending country.

Orphan petition means Form 1-600 (Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative). The petition must be completed in accordance with the form's instructions and submitted with the required supporting documentation and, if there is not an advanced processing application approved within the previous 18 months or pending, the fee as required in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1). The petition must be signed in accordance with the form's instructions by the married petitioner and spouse, or the unmarried petitioner.

Overseas site means the Department of State immigrant visa-issuing post having jurisdiction over the orphan's residence, or in foreign countries in which the Services has an office or offices, the Service office having jurisdiction over the orphan's residence.

Petition is synonymous with orphan petition.

Petitioner means a married United States citizen of any age, or an unmarried United States citizen who is at least 24 years old at the time he or she files the advanced processing application and at least 25 years old at the time he or she files the orphan petition. In the case of a married couple, both of whom are United States citizens, either party may be the petitioner.

Prospective adoptive parents means a married United States citizen of any age and his or her spouse of any age, or an unmarried United States citizen who is at least 24 years old at the time he or she files the advanced processing application and at least 25 years old at the time he or she files the orphan petition. The spouse of the United States citizen may be a citizen or an alien. An alien spouse must be in lawful immigration status if residing in the United States.

Separation from both parents means the involuntary severance of the child from his or her parents by action of a competent authority for good cause and in accordance with the laws of the foreign-sending country. The parents must have been properly notified and granted the opportunity to contest such action. The termination of all parental rights and obligations must be permanent and unconditional.

Sole parent means the mother when it is established that the child is illegitimate and has not acquired a parent within the meaning of section 101(b)(2) of the Act. An illegitimate child shall be considered to have a sole parent if his or her father has severed all parental ties, rights, duties, and obligations to the child, or if his or her father has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. This definition is not applicable to children born in countries which make no distinction between a child born in or out of wedlock, since all such children are considered to be legitimate. In all cases, a sole parent must be incapable of providing proper care as that term is defined in this section.

Surviving parent means the child's living parent when the child's other parent is dead, and the child has not acquired another parent within the meaning of section 101(b)(2) of the Act. In all cases, a surviving parent must be incapable of providing proper care that term is defined in this section.

(c) Supporting documentation for an advanced processing application. The prospective adoptive parents may file an advanced processing application before an orphan is identified in order to secure the necessary clearance to file the orphan petition. Any document not in the English language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

(1) Required supporting documentation that must accompany the advanced processing application. The following supporting documentation must accompany an advanced processing application at the time of filing:

(i) Evidence of the petitioner's United States citizenship as set forth in $ 204.1(g) and, if the petitioner is married and the married couple is residing in the United States, evidence of the spouse's United States citizenship or lawful immigration status;

(ii) A copy of the petitioner's marriage certificate to his or her spouse, if the petitioner is currently married;

(iii) Evidence of legal termination of all previous marriages for the petitioner and/or spouse, if previously married; and

(iv) Evidence of compliance with preadoption requirements, if any, of the State of the orphan's proposed residence in cases where it is known that there will be no adoption abroad, or that both members of the married prospective adoptive couple or the unmarried prospective adoptive parent will not personally see the child prior to, or during, the adoption abroad, and/or that the adoption abroad will not be full and final. Any preadoption requirements which cannot be met at the time the advanced processing application is filed because of operation of State law must be noted and explained when the application is filed. Preadoption requirements must be met at the time the petition is filed, except for those which cannot be met until the orphan arrives in the United States.

(2) Home study. The home study must comply with the requirements contained in paragraph (e) of this section. If the home study is not submitted when the advanced processing application is filed, it must be submitted within one year of the filing date of the advanced processing application, or the application will be denied pursuant to paragraph (h)(5) of this section.

(3) After receipt of a properly filed advanced processing application, the Service will fingerprint each member of the married prospective adoptive couple or the unmarried prospective adoptive parent, prescribed in $103.2(e) of this chapter. The Service will also fingerprint each additional adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household, as prescribed in § 103.2(e) of this chapter. The Service may waive the requirement that each additional adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household be fingerprinted when it determines that such adult is physically unable to be fingerprinted because of age or medical condition.

(d) Supporting documentation for a petition for an identified orphan. Any document not in the English language must

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be accompanied by a certified English translation. If an orphan has been identified for adoption and the advanced processing application is pending, the prospective adoptive parents may file the orphan petition at the Service office where the application is pending. The prospective adoptive parents who have an approved advanced processing application must file an orphan petition and all supporting documents within eighteen months of the date of the approval of the advanced processing application. If the prospective adoptive parents fail to file the orphan petition within the eighteen-month period, the advanced processing application shall be deemed abandoned pursuant to paragraph (h)(7) of this section. If the prospective adoptive parents file the orphan petition after the eighteenmonth period, the petition shall be denied pursuant to paragraph (h)(13) of this section. Prospective adoptive parents who do not have an advanced processing application approved or pending may file the application and petition concurrently on one Form I-600 if they have identified an orphan for adoption. An orphan petition must be accompanied by full documentation as follows:

(1) Filing an orphan petition after the advanced processing application has been approved. The following supporting documentation must accompany an phan petition filed after approval of the advanced processing application:

(i) Evidence of approval of the advanced processing application;

(ii) The orphan's birth certificate, or if such a certificate is not available, an explanation together with other proof of identity and age;

(iii) Evidence that the child is an orphan as appropriate to the case:

(A) Evidence that the orphan has been abandoned or deserted by, separated or lost from both parents, or that both parents have disappeared as those terms are defined in paragraph (b) of this section; or

(B) The death certificate(s) of the orphan's parent(s), if applicable;

(C) If the orphan has only a sole or surviving parent, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, evidence of this fact and evidence that the sole or surviving parent is incapable of pro

viding for the orphan's care and has irrevocably released the orphan for emigration and adoption; and

(iv) Evidence of adoption abroad or that the prospective adoptive parents have, or a person or entity working on their behalf has, custody of the orphan for emigration and adoption in accordance with the laws of the foreign-sending country:

(A) A legible, certified copy of the adoption decree, if the orphan has been the subject of a full and final adoption abroad, and evidence that the unmarried petitioner, or married petitioner and spouse, saw the orphan prior to or during the adoption proceeding abroad; or

(B) If the orphan is to be adopted in the United States because there was no adoption abroad, or the unmarried petitioner, or married petitioner and spouse, did not personally see the orphan prior to or during the adoption proceeding abroad, and/or the adoption abroad was not full and final:

(1) Evidence that the prospective adoptive parents have, or a person or entity working on their behalf has, secured custody of the orphan in accordance with the laws of the foreign-sending country;

(2) An irrevocable release of the orphan for emigration and adoption from the person, organization, or competent authority which had the immediately previous legal custody or control over the orphan if the adoption was not full and final under the laws of the foreignsending country;

(3) Evidence of compliance with all preadoption requirements, if any, of the State of the orphan's proposed residence. (Any such requirements that cannot be complied with prior to the orphan's arrival in the United States because of State law must be noted and explained); and

(4) Evidence that the State of the orphan's proposed residence allows readoption or provides for judicial recognition of the adoption abroad if there was an adoption abroad which does not meet statutory requirements pursuant to section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Act, because

the unmarried petitioner, or married petitioner and spouse, did not personally see the orphan prior to or during the adoption proceeding abroad,

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and/or the adoption abroad was not full and final.

(2) Filing an orphan petition while the advanced processing application is pending. An orphan petition filed while an advanced processing application is pending must be filed at the Service office where the application is pending. The following supporting documentation must accompany an orphan petition filed while the advanced processing application is pending:

(i) A photocopy of the fee receipt relating to the advanced processing application, or if not available, other evidence that the advanced processing application has been filed, such as statement including the date when the application was filed;

(ii) The home study, if not already submitted; and

(iii) The supporting documentation for an orphan petition required in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, except for paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section.

(3) Filing an orphan petition concurrently with the advanced processing application. A petition filed concurrently with the advanced processing application must be submitted on Form I-600, completed and signed in accordance with the form's instructions. (Under this concurrent procedure, Form I-600 serves as both the Forms I-600A and I600, and the prospective adoptive parents should not file a separate Form I600A). The following supporting documentation must accompany a petition filed concurrently with the application under this provision:

(i) The supporting documentation for an advanced processing application required in paragraph (c) of this section; and

(ii) The supporting documentation for an orphan petition required in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, except for paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section.

(e) Home study requirements. For immigration purposes, a home study is a process for screening and preparing prospective adoptive parents who are interested in adopting an orphan from another country. The home study should be tailored to the particular situation of the prospective adoptive parents: for example, a family which previously has adopted children will require different preparation than a fam

ily that has no adopted children. If there are any additional adult members of the prospective adoptive parents' household, the home study must address this fact. The home study preparer must interview any additional adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household and assess him or her in light of the requirements of paragraphs (e)(1), (e)(2)(i), (iii), (iv), and (v) of this section. A home study must be conducted by a home study preparer, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section. The home study, or the most recent update to the home study, must not be more than six months old at the time the home study is submitted to the Service. Only one copy of the home study must be submitted to the Service. Ordinarily, a home study (or a home study and update as discussed above) will not have to be updated after it has been submitted to the Service unless there is a significant change in the household of the prospective adoptive parents such as a change in residence, marital status, criminal history, financial resources, and/or the addition of one or more children or other dependents to the family prior to the orphan's immigration into the United States. In addition to meeting any State, professional, or agency requirements, a home study must include the following:

(1) Personal interview(s) and home visit(s). The home study preparer must conduct at least one interview in person, and at least one home visit, with the prospective adoptive couple or the unmarried prospective adoptive parent. Each additional adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household must also be interviewed in person at least once. The home study report must state the number of such interviews and visits, and must specify any other contacts with the prospective adoptive parents and any adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household.

(2) Assessment of the capabilities of the prospective adoptive parents to properly parent the orphan. The home study must include a discussion of the following areas:

(i) Assessment of the physical, mental, and emotional capabilities of the prospective adoptive parents to properly parent

the orphan. The home study preparer must make an initial assessment of how the physical, mental, and emotional health of the prospective adoptive parents would affect their ability to properly care for the prospective orphan. If the home study preparer determines that there are areas beyond his or her expertise which need to be addressed, he or she shall refer the prospective adoptive parents to an appropriate licensed professional, such as a physician, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker for an evaluation. Some problems may not necessarily disqualify applicants. For example, certain physical limitations may indicate which categories of children may be most appropriately placed with certain prospective adoptive parents. Certain mental and emotional health problems may be successfully treated. The home study must include the home study preparer's assessment of any such potential problem areas, a copy of any outside evaluation(s), and the home study preparer's ommended restrictions, if any, on the characteristics of the child to be placed in the home. Additionally, the home study preparer must apply the requirements of this paragraph to each adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household.

(ii) Assessment of the finances of the prospective adoptive parents. The financial assessment must include a description of the income, financial resources, debts, and expenses of the prospective adoptive parents. A statement concerning the evidence that was considered to verify the source and amount of income and financial resources must be included. Any income designated for the support of one or more children in the care and custody of the prospective adoptive parents, such as funds for foster care, or any income designated for the support of another member of the household must not be counted towards the financial resources available for the support of a prospective orphan. The Service will not routinely require a detailed financial statement or supporting financial documents. However, should the need arise, the Service reserves the right to ask for such detailed documentation.

(iii) History of abuse and/or violence.

(A) Screening for abuse and violence.

(1) Checking available child abuse registries. The home study preparer must ensure that a check of each prospective adoptive parent and each adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household has been made with available child abuse registries and must include in the home study the results of the checks including, if applicable, a report that no record was found to exist. Depending on the access allowed by the state of proposed residence of the orphan, the home study preparer must take one of the following courses of action:

(i) If the home study preparer is allowed access to information from the child abuse registries, he or she shall make the appropriate checks for each of the prospective adoptive parents and for each adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household;

(ii) If the State requires the home study preparer to secure permission from each of the prospective adoptive parents and for each adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household before gaining access to information in such registries, the home study preparer must secure such permission from those individuals, and make the appropriate checks;

(iii) If the State will only release information directly to each of the prospective adoptive parents and directly to the adult member of the prospective adoptive parents' household, those individuals must secure such information and provide it to the home study preparer. The home study preparer must include the results of these checks in the home study;

(iv) If the State will not release information to either the home study preparer or the prospective adoptive parents and the adult members of the prospective adoptive parents' household, this must be noted in the home study;

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(v) If the State does not have a child abuse registry, this must be noted in the home study.

(2) Inquiring about abuse and violence. The home study preparer must ask each prospective adoptive parent whether he or she has a history of substance abuse, sexual or child abuse, or

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