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Orphan is defined in section 101(b)(1)(F) of the [Immigration & Nationality] Act as “a child, under the age of sixteen at the time a petition is filed in his behalf to accord a classification as an immediate relative under section 201(b), who is an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from both parents, or for whom the sole or surviving parent is incapable of providing the proper care and has in writing irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption; who has been adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried U.S. citizen at least twenty-five years of age, who personally saw and observed the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings; or who is coming to the United States for adoption by a U.S. citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried U.S. citizen at least twenty-five years of age, who have or has complied with the preadoption requirements, if any, of the child’s proposed residence: Provided, That the Attorney General is satisfied that proper care will be furnished the child if admitted to the United States: Provided further, That no natural parent or prior adoptive parent of any such child shall thereafter, by virtue of such parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under this Act.”

Public Law 106-139, signed by the President on December 7, 1999, amended section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Act to include the natural sibling of a previously adopted child, when the sibling has been adopted abroad or is coming to the United States for adoption by the same United States citizen parent(s) or prospective parent(s), if the child is under the age of 18 when the petition to accord a classification as an immediate relative under section 201(b) of the Act is filed on his or her behal


Credits: Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

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