Syrian Adoption

Syrian Adoption

What is intercountry adoption? Intercountry adoption (this includes Syrian adoption) means making a home for a baby, child, or teenage orphan from a different country and bringing them to the United States to be adopted into a forever family. International adoption has become more normal than it used to be. It used to be impossible to adopt children internationally, but times have changed. It is a process that can be extremely long and drawn out, but if this seems like a step you and your family wish to take, there is an order that must be followed and it is listed below. 

Syria has been in crisis for many, many years. There are babies being born who are put in orphanages or taken away because either the parents cannot care for them or the mother dies due to improper health care throughout her pregnancy and childbirth. Children may also be put in orphanages if their parents or relatives cannot be located. Many times, families get split up as they take refuge in other countries. This step is what can take the longest when looking into adopting a Syrian child. The reason for that is because in order for an adoption to be complete, it has to be made certain that the child is actually an orphan. Most of the orphanages may not be equipped to handle all the young ones they care for. They may not have all the material such as food, water, clothing, diapers, and anything else they might need for growing children to reach the necessary milestones in their development. If children are not put in orphanages or have siblings to care for them, many are left to their own vices (usually on the streets). Here they must steal, pilfer, and beg for food, water, and clothing. With the crisis and war that surrounds Syria, children can die easily as they are not meant to or are not equipped to care for themselves. 

If you have ever thought about adopting internationally, there are many children and babies that need good, healthy homes. The steps are far from easy, but in the end, it can be worth much more than the many months and/or years you may have spent becoming eligible to adopt through Syrian adoption.

According to, when looking to adopt a non-U.S. citizen, one of the most important steps is to make certain that the child you want to bring to the states is, in fact, an orphan. This must be done before the United States will allow the adoption to take place. There are so many children that have been mistaken as orphans but are actually just displaced from their parents. With all the unrest that happens, this seems to be normal—children being separated from their families while fleeing the country.

Syrian adoption can be a difficuly process. As the United States claims, there are different cities/areas in Syria that may or may not allow adoption according to the Shari’ah Law which states that no Muslim child should be adopted by non-Muslims. This makes the steps that are mentioned below that much harder to go through because, even if you get the go-ahead to begin the process by the United States, Syria may not allow adoption to take place (that is the country’s right). It might not be the best thing for the children there, but every country has its own rules and regulations.

The first step to adopting a child from Syria is to find an adoption agency that specializes in international adoption. One agency that might be of some help is The Gladney Center for Adoption. Although Gladney is based in Texas, they assist in adoptions worldwide. If they are unable to assist you, they may be able to point you in the correct direction in finding an agency that can help. Another place that might be able to help you find an agency that can assist you in this endeavour is  the United States State Department. The hard part is not all agencies aid in this specific adoption process. Some assist in certain countries but not others so you want to make sure that the agency you choose is beneficial to you in Syrian adoption. You, as the prospective adoptive parents, want to make certain that you choose an agencythat you can trust and imagine working with long-term.Domestic adoption can take a while, but there are more than a few steps to adopting from Syria.

Your second step is to find an attorney that specializes in intercountry adoption. You want to find one that specifically specializes in Syrian adoption. They may have the ability to get through the red tape that you otherwise would have to fight hard to get through because they have the knowledge of what should take place in ways that you, the prospective adoptive parents, do not. 

The third step is filling out an application for adoption. When you fill this out, you should make sure you are as thorough as possible. These applications may include aspects of your family life, your marriage, your children, your parenting style, why you want to adopt a child from another country, and more. Should you need assistance filling these forms out, an agency and/or social worker that you have been working with should come in handy. ou can even speak to the attorney that you have chosen to help you through this long process. You must be as honest on this application as you can even if you think that an answer you give may lessen your chances of being able to adopt internationally.

Have you ever thought you would have to take a parenting class to become a prospective adoptive parent? If you have children already, you might think this a mundane task; but this is step four in the process to adopt a child from Syria. You, the prospective adoptive parent, must take and pass ten hours of classes learning the differences in the culture as well as different parenting styles the child you want to adopt might be used to.

Your next step, step number five, is to gather all the documentation you will need. Syrian, and many intercountry adoptions in general, typically require more paperwork than domestic adoptions. his may take you some time to get together. Not only do they require an extensive background check, more so than domestic adoption, but you might also need a notarized letter from your place of employment verifying your financial ability to take on such a huge responsibility. In fact, most paperwork used in intercountry adoptions must be notarized. This can be one of the things that takes the longest.

Just like in domestic adoption, in a Syrian adoption, there still needs to be a home study completed. This is step six in the process. During a home study, a social worker comes to your home and evaluates every aspect of your life. This process can be intrusive and arduous but must be done before moving to the next step. As with your application, you want to be as honest as you can with the social worker even if you think it may negatively impact your chances of passing the home study. 

After passing the home study, step number seven is to file an I-600A form with the United States. Without completing this step, you will not be allowed to adopt a child from Syria. This form can take a long time to be approved. With the assistance of your attorney or agency, you may want to get to this one right away. 

Step eight in a Syrian adoption is obtaining approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They will do their own home study; this could take several months. This step needs to be completed before you can find a Syrian child to adopt.

The next step, number nine, is that you must get acceptance from Syria from those who oversee the adoption process in Amman, Jordan. This is the last step before you can begin your search for a child but, as with the other steps, it can also take many months to complete. 

After all paperwork is completed and approved, step ten is to begin looking for a child to become a part of your family. The agency you have chosen to work with should start the task of obtaining files on orphaned Syrian children. Many times, they will have these files readily available. This part of the process should not be taken lightly. As you peruse through each file, think about your family and how that child might fit. Also, you may want to ponder your own children’s reactions, if you have any.

Step eleven is requesting an investigation into whether the child you want to adopt is, in fact, an orphan. USCIS will not allow you to consider the adoption of your chosen child until they have vetted whether that child is truly an orphan. 

The subsequent step, number thirteen is making arrangements to travel to wherever the child may be located. Remember that as refugees, children are unlikely to still be in Syria at the time of adoption. Most of the time, you will travel to Jordan. If you want, you can finalize the adoption in Jordan.

Step fourteen is to obtain a visa for your child to enter the United States. Your adoption may be finalized overseas or you can complete it once your adopted child arrives in the United States. The adoption agency you have been working with will know more about this process and which way is better for you, the prospective adoptive parents, and the child. At this point, most prospective adoptive parents have hired an attorney that specializes in this type of adoption.If you have not, it is recommended to hire one as anattorney can get through the visa process easier than the agency can,  An adoption professional can most likely ensure that the adoption is legal both in Syria and the United States. 

For step number fourteen, you will want to file a petition to classify the child as an orphan and you, the prospective adoptive parent, as an immediate relative— this is the I-600 and must be filed with the USCIS. Doing this allows you to go get your child from Syria or wherever they took refuge and bring him/her home.There are no fees when filing this document because it is part of the I-600A you already filed. 

The difficult task of obtaining and knowing the difference between the two types of visa is number fifteen. If you decide to finish the adoption where the child is, you must obtain an IR-3 visa. Doing this, the child automatically acquires U.S. citizenship once they reach the United States. On the other hand, if you decide to finalize the adoption in the United States, a child you have only seen in pictures requires an IR-4 visa so that when they arrive in the U.S., they are automatically residents and once the adoption goes through, they become citizens of the United States. The difference between resident and citizen is that a resident still claims ties to their former country; a citizen is a member of the new country only. Remember, an IR-3 is for when you travel to the child, an IR-4 is when the child travels to you.

Adopting from another country is not for the faint of heart. There are many time-consuming steps and stacks of paperwork as you do what needs to be accomplished to adopt a Syrian child. Many have lost his or her parents. Being able to love a child that is not biologically yours may be difficult, but in the end, the child can be with his or her forever family through Syrian adoption. Learn more about international adoptions and the many different resources available to you at It is never too late to start working on an adoption plan.

Considering adoption? Choose a family to adopt your child. Visit Parent Profiles on or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.

Jenn Martin-Wright

Jenn Martin-Wright is a cowboy, jean wearing, country music, and rock lovin’ cowgirl who loves books and jewelry. She was born three months too early with a disability that should’ve taken any semblance of a normal life from her. Her mom made sure Jenn did everything she was capable of.

Coming from a big family, it was either keep up or get left in the dust. Jenn graduated high school, then on to getting married, having kids, and receiving a BS in Social Work.

Jenn lives in Idaho with her kids and a Maltese named Oakley who has become her writing ‘helper’ as she writes novels under an alias of different genres.