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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 109686
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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My daughter is volunteering in an orphanage in Ghana and is

Customer Question

My daughter is volunteering in an orphanage in Ghana and is very interested in bringing some children back to the states. The person running the orphanage believes it is possible. Is it?
JA: Have you filed any paperwork with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) yet?
Customer: We haven't done anything yet.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, nothing.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My daughter is 20 and is a college graduate. My husband and I are willing to take children in but we have no idea how it works or if it's even possible.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 15 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help. Also, please do NOT click on the Opt Out button because if you do, it would prevent me from communicating with you and then it could take a long time before another expert responds to you.

Please give me a few minutes to review your question and I will be right with you with an answer. Sorry for any delay. I may have to do some research and at the same time I read and type fast, but not that fast! Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Sorry for the delay. I just ask that if it is bad news that you not shoot the messenger. Shooting the messenger is either leaving a negative rating (usually reserved for rude or unprofessional experts) or not leaving a positive rating at all.

How old are the children? Are you willing to fully adopt them?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The youngest is 11. I believe from my daughter that even though they are in an orphanage, they are not all orphans. Their parents would be willing to sign over for legal guardianship but maybe not full adoption. We WOULD be willing to fully adopt, though.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She would like to bring FIVE children back.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The people running the orphanage said that taking any number would help because it will free up beds for other children in Ghana. Apparently there are many children waiting for beds there.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Unfortunately, that's probably what you would have to do since they are so young. It would not be cost effective to try to get them all into private schools in the U.S. because they could only do one year of public high school and would still have to pay for it anyway. So basically, you would have to adopt each one before each child turned 16. Here is an official link to information on that:

After you have legally adopted each, you would file an I-130 for each to do the immigrant process to enter the U.S. Here is a link to that:

I cannot tell you how long the adoption process would be, but the process to bring them after the adoption would be around 9 months or so.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! If you have no further questions (at this time) please leave a positive rating for my service. I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars or smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, you may have to scroll up to the top of the page or click on my name and they should come out. Also, your session does NOT close when leaving a positive rating, so you can continue to ask additional questions without additional charge. Thank you for your understanding.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The person at the orphanage said that she should start by bringing them here on a travel visa and then work on adoption/legal guardianship. Is that wrong? Also, I work at an independent high school and my children can attend for free so that might work in our favor in terms of them not being adopted, so long as I am their legal guardian. Maybe we should focus on those who are adoptable, though? So would it take at least 9 months to get them here? AFTER we were approved for adoption?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I meant my daughter when I said SHE should start by...
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

I doubt they would approve a tourist visa to come to the U.S. since a requirement is that they will go back after their visit and that is not likely. They could try for a Humanitarian Parole, however. Here is an official link:

Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget that positive rating. Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your kindness and respect. Good luck to you.