My sister passed away April. She left behind 2 children. One child, who is 14 years old, has never spent time with her biological father and he is willing to sign anything to allow me to adopt her or become her legal guardian. I am U.S. citizen, residing in U.S. They are in Colombia. My niece is scheduled to visit this June for vacation. Should I change her status during that visit? My sister’s other child who is 5 does have a father and he also wishes the same for his son. I wish to raise them and give them a better quality of life then they can have in Colombia. How may I approach this or go about this? Again, both my niece 14-year-old and my nephew 5-year-old will be here on a tourist visa June for a month. May I file paperwork for this and if so, what documents would I need? How can I become their legal guardian?
Since the biological father is willing to sign paperwork to give you legal guardianship of the children, that part should be rather easy once you start to file the proper paperwork in the correct jurisdiction. It could become tricky since they are currently residing out of the country. You most likely should try to extend their visa from a tourist visa to a more permanent one. You should first seek out an immigration attorney before consulting with a qualified family law attorney to cover all your bases. This is only general advice and should not be considered a specific legal assessment of your case or advice that would create an attorney-client relationship. For a consultation contact Mark E. Sawicki.