For U.S. immigration agencies, an orphan is a foreign-born child who:

  • Does not have any parents (because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents); or
  • Has a sole or surviving parent who is unable to care for the child (consistent with the local standards of the foreign sending country) and who has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption.