Many adoption, foster care and child welfare vocabulary are subject to interpretation. This glossary identifies commonly held definitions for terminology that can be found in the field. It defines common acronyms and provides comprehensive definitions for a broad range of terms. The glossary will be updated as new terminology emerges in the field and as new legislation is enacted.
A-Z Glossary – Choose a Letter
There are 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter V.
Submit a name Verified Schedule
A court petition listing the facts within an agency adoption.
A document issued by the country (for a fee) allowing a person to enter its borders for a specific time and reason. In order to enter the U.S., the child will require an immigrant visa. This may be a piece of paper or a stamp in the child’s passport by the Embassy. Prior to issuing an immigrant visa for the child, a Department of State Consular Officer must conduct an investigation, called an I-604 Orphan Investigation. The purpose is: (1) to verify the orphan status of the child and (2) to ensure that the child does not have a medical condition that the adoptive parents don’t know about. As a part of the immigrant visa application process and I-604 Orphan Investigation, a U.S. approved foreign physician will examine the child. The child will enter the US on one of two kinds of IR ("Immediate Relative") Immigrant Visas:
IR-3: The child was adopted overseas and (1) the adoptive parent (if single parent) or both parents (if married couple) saw/observed the child prior to the adoption and (2) the foreign adoption grants both adoptive parents and child the same rights, responsibilities, & privileges as would an adoption in the US. Children issued IR/HR-3 immigrant visas do not require re-adoption in the US under federal laws.
IR-4: The child is coming to the United States for adoption. An IR/HR-4 is issued to a child when (1) the foreign country’s laws only permit the adoptive parents to obtain guardianship of the child rather than to fully adopt the child in that country and/or (2) the prospective adoptive parent(s) did not see/observe the child prior to the foreign adoption. Children issued IR/HR-4 immigrant visas must be adopted or readopted after they enter the U.S. (Also see Re-Adopt.) Or…
IH-3 and IH-4 visas: The visas are similar to the respective function of the IR-3 and IR-4 visa noted above. However, the “IH” is a classification of immediate relative under section 201(b) to a child who has been adopted in a foreign state, or a child who is emigrating from a foreign state to be adopted in t he United States, when the foreign state is a party to the Convention.
Visual impairment may mean very poor vision or any severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses. Legal blindness (which is actually a severe visual impairment) refers to a best-corrected central vision of 20/200 or worse in the better eye or a visual acuity of better than 20/200 but with a visual field no greater than 20°. Total blindness is the inability to tell light from dark, or the total inability to see.
Voluntary Adoption Registry
A reunion registry system which allows adoptees, birth parents and biological siblings to locate each other if they wish by maintaining a voluntary list of adoptees and birth relatives.
Voluntary Termination of Rights
Situation where birth parents have chosen to legally relinquish their parental rights.
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