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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28998
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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Im trying to adopt my nephew, who is 15 years and 2 months

Customer Question

Hello im trying to adopt my nephew, who is 15 years and 2 months old. Me and my Husband are US citizens, but my nephew is Mexican. what are my options? would it be easier if he were an illegal alien within the US, or would it be better if he remained in MX which is part of the hague convention?
JA: Have you filed any paperwork with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) yet?
Customer: not yet
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: we talked to an attorney who couldn't tell us much about this case. she just recommended a different attorney
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 10 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions. I am reviewing it and will post your answer momentarily.

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 10 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

First you only have 10 months to finalize the adoption in order to complete any adoption in time to be able to have him derive US citizenship through the adoption.

If you do not then you have to have legal physical custody of him for 2 years before you can petition him.

Under the Hague convention you have to go through the very complicated process of him being place up for adoption through the accredited adoption service providers authorized by the Mexican Central Authority. That means that the Mexican government has to attempt to place him with a family living in Mexico before you can attempt to seek to adopt him.

Currently new regulations are being put in place and those are causing delays in the process.

You need to read everything in this link to understand how to proceed with adoption through the Hague Convention

As a lawyer I cannot tell you to have him enter the US illegally and for you to proceed to go through the adoption process here. If he did that you would have to have him living with you under a US adoption court order for 2 years before you could apply for his permanent resident status. He does not automatically get US citizenship but would be eligible if he had resident status for 2 years before he turned 18. I don't see how that can happen given his age of 15 years 2 months already.

Lawyers cannot tell people to break the law. A lawyer can loose their license giving that advice.

I have to tell you that you need to adopt him through the Hague convention in Mexico and then proceed to seek permanent resident status for him as an immediate relative before he turns 18.

Since the adoption will have become final in Mexico after he turns 18 either you or your husband would have to go and live with him in Mexico for 2 years before you can file the petition for him as the adopted child of a US citizen, he would then come here as a permanent resident and could then apply for his citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act upon entry.

This is going to be a hardship for you and your husband to do this because it means living there in Mexico with him for 2 years.

That is the only legal way to do it.

I know it is not the answer you want but I have to be honest and truthful with you. I owe that to you. There are many notorios who will tell you to do this illegally but eventually it you will get caught and perhaps loose all opportunity for him to ever come here. They are only interested in making money off you and not in doing things legally and the right way.

I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
in actuality he crossed the border a few days ago and is staying with one of my brothers in California. I just have no idea how to proceed and thought it might be easier if he returned, but in reality i have no clue!
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 10 months ago.

Please tell me what was unclear about my answer. I spent a great deal of thought and time in writing out my answer and generally customers find them clear and detailed.

The fact the child crossed the border does not change my answer.

Everyone likes to believe their time and knowledge has some value. When a customer does not rate an answer the expert has worked for free to give you their professional expertise. It is damaging to an expert's position with the site when they fail to be rated.