USCIS recognizes that many U.S. citizens now wish to help and adopt Nepali children affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal. The agency, however, cautions that adoptions by a U.S. citizen does not make the child a U.S. citizen nor does it make him or her immediately eligible to immigrate to the United States.

According to USCIS, “Before a child may immigrate to the United States immediately as a result of an intercountry adoption or proposed intercountry adoption, USCIS must determine that the child qualifies as an “orphan” under the immigration laws of the United States, and that the adoptive parents are capable of providing proper care. The proper authorities in the child’s country of origin must also determine whether the child can be legally adopted under the country’s laws. USCIS considers specific facts in each case to make a determination.”

USCIS asserts that it is common in emergencies for children to be temporarily separated from their parents, other family members or legal guardians, and that efforts to reunite these children with their family or legal guardians is of prime importance