Want to know if the government can help with international adoptions?

Here are simple answers to frequently asked questions.

We know: All About International Adoption

Who is in charge of international adoption?

International adoption is essentially a private legal matter between a private individual (or couple) who wishes to adopt, and a foreign court, which operates under that country's laws and regulations.

Most international adoptions are handled by an adoption agency or an attorney.

Can the U.S. government help me find out about adoption in a foreign country?

The Department of State does provide extensive information about the adoption processes in various countries and the U.S. legal requirements to bring a child adopted abroad to the United States. The Office of Children's Issues in the Bureau of Consular Affairs provides brochures describing the adoption process in numerous countries.

Can the U.S. government intervene and help me with an international adoption?

U.S. authorities cannot intervene on behalf of prospective parents with the courts in the country where the adoption takes place.

What else can the U.S. government help me with in an international adoption?

The State Department CAN:

  • Provide information about international adoption in foreign countries
  • Provide general information about U.S. visa requirements for international adoption
  • Make inquiries of the U.S. consular section abroad regarding the status of a specific adoption case and clarify documentation or other requirements
  • Ensure that U.S. citizens are not discriminated against by foreign authorities or courts

What can't the U.S. government do to help?

The State Department CANNOT:

  1. Locate a child or children available for adoption
  2. Become directly involved in the adoption process in another country
  3. Act as an attorney or represent adoptive parents in court
  4. Order that an adoption take place or that a visa be issued

Whose requirements must I meet for an international adoption?

To complete an international adoption and bring a child to the United States, prospective adoptive parent(s) must fulfill the requirements set by:

  1. the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (BCIS)
  2. the foreign country in which the child resides and,
  3. sometimes the state of residence of the adoptive parent(s).

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