Tuesday, October 14, 2008


It looks like the petition worked!!! I received a phone call today from a friend who delivered the good news while I was at work. I was so happy that I cried! This is a huge relief on so many levels for our family. Thank you (again!) to all of our friends and family who signed the petition!!! Here's the email we received from our agency today. I keep reading it over and over again to make sure that it is real-

Dear Great Wall Family,

After advocating on behalf of adoptive families for the past 6 months, Great Wall and Joint Council are very pleased to confirm that USCIS has formally announced on their website a very positive ruling concerning the I-600A process.

In summary, it is our understanding that, effective immediately, families who filed Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, prior to April 1, 2008 and whose USCIS approval of that petition (aka the I-171H/I-797C) has not expired, will be able to proceed with their adoption under the I-600A process if they take certain steps while their approval remains valid. This means that families with valid Form I-600A approvals will not be required to transition to The Hague process via the Form I-800A. In order to maintain their status as ‘grandfathered’ cases, families with non-expired Form I-600A approvals must request a one-time free extension. Then, prior to the expiration of the one-time free extension, families must file a new Form I-600A and pay the appropriate fee.

Therefore, under these guidelines the following steps apply:

Families who filed the I-600a prior to April 1, 2008 will receive an I-171H/I-797C approval that is valid for 18 months.
Families are eligible for one free extension of their I-171H/I-797C if they file the request for this extension prior to the expiration of their original I-171H approval. This extension is valid for another 18 months.
Should the family need to extend their I-171H/I-797C approval a third time, they will be able to submit a new Form I-600A and pay the appropriate fee. Their approval will then be valid for another 18 months.

If the adoption from a Hague convention country is not completed after the third filing of the I-600A, the family would then be subject to the guidelines of the Hague Adoption Convention and would then need to file the I-800A. Families with a Form I-600A approval that has expired and who have not obtained an extension or filed a new Form I-600A, will also need to undertake the Hague process

We offer our collective congratulations to everyone who participated in the Joint Council Call-To-Action. Our collective voice is definitely stronger than any singular organization or individual.

If you wish to read the full text of the announcements issued by USCIS, they can be found at USCIS Announcement and USCIS Q&A.

Thank you again for your support and participation.


Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I am soooo glad.. this was HUGE for us.. we would not have qualified under the new rules.. now lets just hope we have Isabella before 2014..
Have a Great Day..

Shannon said...

I am so relieved for all of us! This was the right thing for them to do and I am so happy that they did it! One more hurdle completed! :)

Ava's family said...

I'm so happy that you're not going to have to mess with that 1800A form!! What a relief for so many waiting families!!!!!!

Debbie said...

It's been a while since we have heard from you?? Is everthing alright?? Just checking!!!