This section provides an overview of the intercountry adoption process. The process varies greatly, as it is governed by the laws of the countries where the adoptive parents and the child reside (which in the case of the United States means both federal and state law), and also in which of these locations the legal adoption is finalized. Both the United States and  Lesotho are party to the Hague Adoption Convention, therefore if the child’s home country is Lesotho, the Hague processes of both countries must be followed. Prospective adoptive parents should consider all of these factors when evaluating what to expect.

I Have Adopted a Child in Lesotho. Should I Apply for a CRBA?

A child’s derivative claim to U.S. citizenship depends on the existence of a legal and blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s). Therefore, adopted children do not acquire citizenship automatically upon adoption. However, adopted children, or some children born abroad to U.S. citizen parent who were found to have no derivative claim to citizenship, may be eligible for citizenship through naturalization under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.