How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Expert James Your Own Question
Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  Write FOR JAMES to get my help!
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
Expert James is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Can I adopt (I live in Hawaii) my undocumented niece (my sisters

This answer was rated:

Can I adopt (I live in Hawaii) my undocumented niece (my sister's daughter), age 17, who has lived with me in the US for 4 years? She originally entered the US on a tourist visa 4 years ago.
Hi there,

Thank you for using Just Answer/Pearl. I'll do my best to answer your questions as completely and honestly as I can. Please note that I earn my living by helping customers like you, so once you've received your answer, I ask that you give me a positive rating for my customer service, so that I get credit for my work. Also please understand that the rating you give is not based on the outcome of your question, for which the law sometimes does not have a satisfactory solution. If you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further.

Actually, she is not undocumented if she entered the US legally and was inspected by a CBP officer at a port of entry. But she is out of status.

Here is the information about adoptions and immigration: Adoption Related Immigration.

As you will notice, qualifying for immigration benefits through adoption requires that the parent adopted the child before the child's 16th birthday. Because your niece is 17 years old already, an adoption would not help her to get any immigration benefits through you.

Now we do expect there to be a change in immigration laws sometime very soon, and she very well may qualify for whatever changes would benefit those who currently are in the US unlawfully. But as of now, we simply don't have any sense as to what a new law will provide or look like. We do have some indications that some sort of forgiveness will be in place for people in her situation, including a path to lawful status. But until that is verified, and the law goes before congress and the president for passage and signature into law, everything I can say about the new law is pretty irrelevant.

I'm very sorry. I know this was not the answer you hoped or maybe even expected to hear. But again, my sole responsibility is to make sure that you are provided with honest, accurate information about the situation you describe. Again, I'm very sorry.

I hope I have answered your questions. Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. The bottom two negative ratings are reserved for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to always be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!
Expert James and 2 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Immigration Law Questions