Kazakhstan

THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION:

Kazakhstan is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention). Therefore the entering into force of the Convention for the United States on April 1, 2008, will not change intercountry adoption processing for [name of foreign country].

PLEASE NOTE: Kazakhstani law requires that orphans be registered with the Ministry of Education Committee of Guardianship and Care for at least six months before they are eligible for adoption. It is difficult for foreigners to adopt two or more biologically unrelated children at the same time. Prospective adoptive parents wishing to adopt two or more non-siblings on the same trip are urged to question their adoption agencies carefully prior to visiting the children to ascertain whether this is possible in the city where they plan to adopt.

Kazakhstan has a requirement that all adopted children must have a Post Placement Report (PPR) filed for them each year until the adopted child turns 18. This is extremely important, and a failure by adoptive parents to comply with this requirement could have a negative effect on the ability of future families to adopt from Kazakhstan .

PATTERNS OF IMMIGRATION OF ADOPTED CHILDREN TO THE U.S. :

Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to children adopted from Kazakhstan :

Fiscal Year Number of Immigrant Visas Issued
FY 2007 540
FY 2006 587
FY 2005 755
FY 2004 826
FY 2003 825

ADOPTION AUTHORITY IN KAZAKHSTAN:

The Kazakhstani government agency that oversees intercountry adoptions is:

Ministry of Education
Committee on Guardianship and Care
83 Kenesary Street
Astana, Kazakhstan 010000
website:http://edu.gov.kz/

ELIGIBILITY TO ADOPT:

Officially, Kazakhstan allows both single and married people to adopt, and there are no age requirements other than that an unmarried prospective adoptive parent must be at least 16 years older than the child s/he intends to adopt. In practice, however, some unmarried prospective adoptive parents have found it difficult to adopt, as have prospective parents over age 60.

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents must reside with the child for a minimum of 14 days at the child’s habitual place of residence in Kazakhstan prior to the adoption (”the Bonding Period”). This pre-adoption bonding period cannot be waived. Kazakhstani law also provides for a 15-day waiting period (”the Appeal Period”) after the court hearing, before the adoption becomes final. A judge can waive this period at his or her discretion but this is a rare occurrence. The court decision, adoption certificate, post-adoption birth certificate and child’s Kazakhstani passport cannot be obtained until the judge finalizes the adoption.

TIME FRAME: Prospective adoptive parents should expect to stay in Kazakhstan a minimum of 60 days (sometimes longer) to complete Kazakhstani adoption requirements. This period includes those listed under the “Residence Requirements” section above as well as the completion of all post-adoption and U.S. immigration paperwork.

ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ATTORNEYS: Adoption agents are encouraged to contact the Ministry of Education to notify the Ministry of their intention to provide adoption services. However, under Kazakhstani law, adoptive parents may work with any agency or individuals they choose. Please note that adoption agencies are not recognized in Kazakhstan . The current Kazakhstani law does not assume any intermediaries that would represent the parents and act between prospective adoptive parents and children eligible for adoption. However, the regulation admits that adoptive parents as foreigners can have assistants, such as interpreters or lawyers, who would help them to go through the process of adoption.

Prospective adoptive parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services. For U.S.-based agencies, it is suggested that prospective adoptive parents contact the Better Business Bureau and/or the licensing office of the appropriate state government agency in the U.S. state where the agency is located or licensed.

Please see Important Notice Regarding Adoption Agents and Facilitators on the U.S. Department of State’s web site.

ADOPTION FEES IN KAZAKHSTAN: U.S. citizen parents who have successfully adopted from Kazakhstan have reported that the total cost of an adoption from Kazakhstan, including fees for services charged by U.S.-based agencies, averages approximately $18,000 to $25,000 per child. The amount includes the following official fees: application to court - $4; new birth certificate - $17; adoption certificate - $17; exit stamp from Migration Police of Kazakhstan - $8; registration of the child with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan - $84. Expedited passport issuance is optional but available for $80. Regular passport issuance takes one month.

KAZAKHSTANI ADOPTION PROCEDURES:

Prior to Traveling to Kazakhstan :

1. Once prospective adoptive parents are cleared for adoption in their home state and have completed the initial processing requirements of the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [see below for further details], the next step is to register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to indicate an intention to adopt a Kazakhstani orphan. A U.S. adoption agency normally assists with this registration by submitting the file of documents (”the dossier”) to the Embassy of Kazakhstan or Consulate of Kazakhstan in the United States . Married couples in which one person is not a U.S. citizen should read very carefully the special information below:

Special Note for Mixed-Citizenship Couples: When a married couple hopes to adopt in Kazakhstan and the couple is of mixed citizenship (i.e., one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other parent is a non-U.S. citizen even if s/he holds U.S. residency), the Kazakhstani government requires additional documentation from the non-U.S. citizen parent in the dossier. Such documentation may consist of approval from the non-U.S. citizen’s country of citizenship, similar to the I-600A from the U.S. , but precise information is not available. These additional dossier requirements for mixed citizenship couples have resulted in delays in dossier processing and ultimately many such couples decide not to adopt in Kazakhstan . Prospective adoptive parents in this situation should consult their U. S. adoption agency regarding dossier requirements.

All prospective adoptive parents should also visit the Embassy of Kazakhstan web site for more information on preparing a dossier to adopt from Kazakhstan : http://www.homestead.com/prosites-kazakhembus/Instructions_on_Preparation_of_Dossier_for_Adoption.doc. Kazakhstani consular officers are required to review dossiers for completeness, and translation accuracy. Dossiers that are missing documents or have other errors will be returned to the adoption agency to be corrected.

2. The Kazakhstani Embassy or Consulate then transfers the dossier to the MFA in Astana for processing, which in turn sends it to the Ministry of Education for review.

3. Next, the dossier is forwarded to the Guardianship Body in the town from where the prospective adoptive parents wish to adopt. The length of time of dossier-processing is unpredictable.

4. Once the dossier has cleared this stage, the Guardianship Body will then issue a letter inviting the parents to travel to Kazakhstan to apply for adoption. This letter is necessary for the parents to obtain a Kazakhstani visa. Some cities, such as Almaty and Pavlodar , delay issuance of the invitation letters for indefinite periods.

5. After obtaining the visas, the prospective adoptive parents are free to travel to Kazakhstan to select their child and proceed with their petition for adoption. Please make sure that you have been registered as a foreigner to Kazakhstan either by the Embassy of Kazakhstan or by a passport control officer upon entry to Kazakhstan . Otherwise, you need to get registered with a local Migration Police office within five calendar days starting from the date of entry.

Documents Required for Adoption in KAZAKHSTAN :

1. Selection of a Child: There is no such thing as a “referral” or “pre-identification” in Kazakhstan . Even though the prospective adoptive parents may wish to adopt a particular child, the Government of Kazakhstan does not match a child to the parents or in any way “assign” them a child until they arrive in Kazakhstan , select a child in person, and apply to the court to adopt the child. Information about medical histories of the children and other pertinent information will be available only at the orphanage during selection of the children. Kazakhstani law requires that orphans be registered with the Ministry of Education Committee of Guardianship and Care for at least six months before they are eligible for adoption. Prospective parents are required to have a minimum 14 days of personal contact with the orphan before formally submitting an adoption application. This means that prospective parents must stay in the town where the orphan is living and visit the orphan on a regular basis during this two-week period. Nearly all Kazakhstani jurisdictions require that in the case of married petitioners, both parents be present for the entire 14-day bonding period.

2. Filing in Court: Once all legal requirements are fulfilled, prospective adoptive parents may submit their adoption application to the civil court that will decide whether to grant the adoption. The adoption application to the Kazakhstani court should include (but is not necessarily limited to):

Letter of intent to adopt a child in the Republic of Kazakhstan . This letter should be addressed to the court and the local Department of Guardianship and Social Care. The form of this letter must be provided to you by your adoption facilitators. In the letter adoptive parents need to specify the region and/or city where they intend to adopt children, while on the dossier stage parents are required to express general intent to adopt in Kazakhstan .

Commitment from the Family to Kazakhstan Adoption Law. Prospective adoptive parents must commit to: (a) maintaining the child’s Kazakhstani citizenship until s/he turns 18, (b) submitting post-placement reports annually until the child turns 18, and (c) allowing Kazakhstani officials to visit the child up to twice a year until the child turns 18. For a sample letter, please see: http://www.kazakhembus.com/Parents_Commitment_Letter.doc

Home Study. A licensed home study agent/agency in the prospective parents’ U.S. state of residence must perform the home study. The report must be notarized and must include copies of the current (unexpired) licenses of both the home study agency and the family’s social worker.

Home Study Agency post placement commitment prepared by a HS Agency Social Worker. The social worker must agree to conduct post-placement visits and file post-placement reports to the Kazakhstani government once a year until the child turns 18.

Home Study Agency letter of recommendation. The agent/agency that conducts the prospective adoptive parents’ home study should also provide a separate, notarized “Letter of Favorable Recommendation.” The same person who signed the home study should sign this letter, and the same notary who notarized the home study documents should notarize it.

Adoption Agency “Certificate of Approval”. The adoption agency assisting an American family with an adoption from Kazakhstan must provide a signed and notarized “certificate of approval” concurring with the home study report.

Adoption Agency License. Notarized true copy.

Commitment from the Family to Follow-Up Visits. The adoption agency can provide the prospective parents the appropriate form, on which the parents commit to allowing the Kazakhstani government to monitor the child’s living conditions and educational development.

Commitment from the Family on Post-Placement Reporting. The adoption agency can provide the prospective parents the appropriate form, on which the parents commit to providing the Kazakhstani government annual reports on the child’s development until the child turns 18.

Commitment from the Family to Register the Child. The adoption agency can provide the prospective parents the appropriate form, on which the parents commit to registering the child, immediately following the finalization of the adoption, with the Kazakhstani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (This must be done before the child leaves Kazakhstan .)

Notarized Copies of each Prospective Adoptive Parent’s Passport. Both copies may appear on a single sheet of paper, but the notarial seal MUST OVERLAP both passports.

Marriage Certificate. If the prospective adoptive parents are married, they must provide a notarized, certified copy of their marriage certificate, issued by the appropriate state office.

FBI Background Checks. Each prospective adoptive parent must obtain his/her own background check. The local police department in the prospective parents’ place of U.S. residence will be able to do take the fingerprints (one set per person). Mail the cards with a letter to the FBI requesting a clearance check for the purpose of intercountry adoption. Adoption agencies with experience working abroad are familiar with this process and will guide prospective parents on how to do this.

Medical Forms. Each prospective adoptive parent’s physician must copy the medical form (which may be found at http://kazakhembus.com/Medical_Form.doc) onto his/her letterhead and complete it.

Employment Letters. Each prospective adoptive parent must have his/her employer provide a typewritten letter, signed by a company officer (not a bookkeeper or secretary) and written on company letterhead, attesting to the prospective parent’s annual (not hourly) salary. Prospective adoptive parents who are self-employed should have his/her business accountant provide the letter, attesting to the business’s financial stability.

Financial Statements (Affidavits). Each prospective adoptive parent must complete and sign (notarized) a form attesting to his/her overall financial situation. Adoption agencies can provide this form.

Bank letter. Each prospective adoptive parent must provide a signed, notarized letter from his/her bank, attesting to the existence of bank accounts and noting that the parent(s) is/are customers in good standing.

Home Ownership. Prospective adoptive parents who own their own home should obtain from their U.S. adoption agency the appropriate form on which to have a banker, CPA or financial services firm provide a signed and notarized statement regarding the parents’ home ownership.

Notification from USCIS of Petition Approval. This will be either an “I-171H” or an “I-179C” form. Prospective adoptive parents must take the original of this form, along with a notarized true copy, with them when they travel to Kazakhstan .

Powers of Attorney. The U.S. adoption agency with which a prospective adoptive parent is working will provide a form(s) on which the parent(s) may consent to having someone act on his/her behalf in Kazakhstan . It may be necessary to complete multiple powers of attorney, depending on whether the same person will represent the interests of the parent(s) at all stages of the process.

Pictures of Prospective Adoptive Parents.

Additional Note on Documents for Divorced Parents: In addition to the documents listed above, any adoptive parent who was previously divorced must submit notarized copies of all divorce decrees. Prospective adoptive parents should note that Kazakhstan allows only two divorces.

Additional Notes on Documents for Single Parents: In addition to the documents listed above, unmarried adoptive parents must submit a notarized, certified copy of his/her birth certificate. Single parents must also prepare notarized letters identifying the name (s) of the person(s) who will be appointed guardian of the child/ren if the adoptive parent can no longer care for the child/ren. The designated guardians must also write a separate letter, with notarized signature, accepting this designation. Separate guardianship letters must be prepared for each child being adopted.

3. Waiting Period. After the court makes its decision, there is a 15-day waiting period before the decision is final. In some cases, a judge can waive this waiting period (”the Appeal Period”), but such waivers are rare and prospective adoptive parents should assume that the 15-day waiting period will not be waived. In some cases, it may be possible for one or both prospective parents to leave Kazakhstan and return for the child or have someone else complete processing and escort the child to the U.S. (see below for requirements).

4. Obtain New Birth Certificate and Passport. After the court’s decision is finalized, the parents may apply for the adoption certificate, the child’s new Kazakhstani birth certificate the Kazakhstani passport based on the court decree. All these documents will include the child’s new name.

5. Obtain Kazakhstani Exit Visa. In addition to the passport, the child will need a permanent exit visa from the local Migration Police Office (formerly OVIR) where the child resides.

6.Register Child with Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An adopted child must be registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Astana prior to departing Kazakhstan . Adoptive parents are not required to apply in person. Usually it is done by adoption coordinators upon a power of attorney issued by adoptive parents. The MFA will stamp the child’s passport as proof of registration. Due to processing time for the birth certificate, passport, Migration Police permanent exit stamp, and MFA registration (all of which must occur consecutively), parents should allocate at least 5-7 days after the adoption is final before applying for the U.S. immigrant visa with the U. S. Embassy in Almaty.

POST PLACEMENT REPORTS: Kazakhstan has a requirement that all adopted children must have a Post Placement Report (PPR) filed for them each year until the adopted child turns 18. It is important to adhere to the exact requirements of the PPR, as failure to do so could jeopardize future adoption processing in Kazakhstan . The PPR should be done in the U.S. state where the child and family reside, preferably by a licensed social worker and include up to 5 photos of the child. The PPR should be translated into Russian or Kazakh and sent to the Department of Education of the city or region from where the child was adopted.

AUTHENTICATING U.S. DOCUMENTS TO BE USED ABROAD: The language describing the process of authenticating U.S. documents to be used abroad is currently under review. Please click on the following link for more information until the new language is finalized: http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/.

KAZAKHSTANI EMBASSY AND CONSULATE IN THE UNITED STATES:

Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
1401 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-232-5488
Fax: 202-232-5845
http://www.Kazakhembus.com
Kazakh.consul@verizon.net
Consulate of the Republic of Kazakhstan in New York
866 UN Plaza, Suite 586 A
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-888-3024
Fax: 212-888-3025
http://www.kazconsulny.org/English/index.htm
kzconsulny@un.int

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS:

Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions.

Before completing an adoption abroad, adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to read the flyer the requirements for filing I-600 petitions for orphans adopted by U.S. citizens. Please see the flyer How Can Adopted Children Come to the United States?” at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs web site http://travel.state.gov/.

APPLYING FOR AN IMMIGRANT VISA AT THE EMBASSY BRANCH OFFICE IN ALMATY:

Coordinators or parents must bring originals and one copy of the following documents and their English translations to the U.S. Embassy Almaty Consular Section by 12:00 p.m. at least one business day prior to the immigrant visa interview. Only cases that are in order by this time will be seen the following day at 3:00 p.m. for the immigrant visa interview. On Fridays the interview is conducted at 2.00 p.m.

Documents Required at the U.S. Immigrant Visa:

1. The child’s Kazakhstani passport. A photocopy should be submitted a day before the interview, but the original passport must be shown at the immigrant visa interview.

2. Two full-faced photos of the child, 5 x 5 cm.

3. Copies of the parents’ U.S. passports. The originals should be brought to the interview.

4. The medical examination form in a sealed envelope from the Panel Physician. The panel physician will need an additional photograph to attach to the medical examination form. If all vaccination requirements are not met and the child is age 10 or under, an Affidavit Regarding Vaccinations of Adopted Child (Form DS-1981) signed by either parent and notarized by a U.S. notary must also be submitted.

5. Form I-600 (the “blue” form) completed and signed by the petitioner and, in the case of a married petitioner, the petitioner’s spouse. The I-600 MUST BE SIGNED BY BOTH PARENTS in the case of a married couple. Under 8 CFR 204.3(g)(2)(ii) the I-600 petition must be filed overseas in person by the petitioner, so at least one U.S. citizen adoptive parent must attend the interview or otherwise file the I-600 in person at the Consular Section prior to departing Kazakhstan. The I-600 can NOT be filed by an escort via power of attorney. If one U.S. citizen parent can not file the I-600 in person at the Consular Section, the I-600 must be filed at the USCIS office having jurisdiction over the petitioner’s place of residence and, after the Kazakhstani adoption is completed, the USCIS office will forward the approved petition to the Consular Section. (Note: It is usually faster for the petitioner to file the I-600 in person at the Consular Section than to file it domestically in the U.S. ). There is no fee for the first child’s I-600 if an I-600A has already been filed. However, if adopting two or more non-sibling orphans, there will be a $545.00 fee for each additional child.

6. Form DS-230 (the “white” form) - Application for Immigrant Visa. This form should be completed from the perspective of the adopted child, not the adoptive parents. One adoptive parent (or an escort holding a power of attorney) will sign the last page in front of the consular officer at the interview.

7. Form I-604 (investigation form) and Orphan Investigation supporting documents as described below. This investigation reviews information about the child before adoption, most specifically how the child came to be an orphan. Please provide the following documents for the I-604 investigation.

To determine the age and identity of the child:

1. The original or an official copy of the child’s original birth certificate (showing biological parents). “Official” means a copy of the known authentic original birth certificate with a city official’s seal certifying its authenticity. The local Office of Registration of Acts of Citizenship and Marriage (the Russian abbreviation is ZAGS) can execute the official copy. A copy certified by a notary is acceptable as well.

2. The original new Kazakhstani birth certificate for the child (showing adoptive parents).

3. The child’s Kazakhstani passport.

To determine that that child has been legally adopted in Kazakhstan :

1. The original adoption approval decree from a local or regional civil court. This court decision must bear original signatures and court seals.

2. The original adoption certificate showing that the child was adopted by the American parents.

To determine that the child is an orphan as defined by U.S. immigration law:

1. The original certificate or letter signed by the sole or surviving biological parent irrevocably and unconditionally relinquishing all parental rights to the child. If the Court or the Ministry of Education holds the original certificate, the U.S. Embassy will accept a copy with the seal of the court or a copy certified by a notary.

2. If the father’s name appears on the birth certificate, but the child was registered by the mother only, you are required to provide the Certification (Spravka) from ZAGS saying that the father’s name was written according to the mother’s words.

3. If no parental relinquishment letter exists (No. 6), an original written explanation from the maternity hospital or local police station describing how and when the child was abandoned and a certification from the police or the Address Bureau that the mother could not be located is required. If the hospital statement or other document provides an address for the mother, there must also be a statement from the adoption agency representative indicating that s/he has visited the address and the mother is not residing there.

4. An original letter from the organization or person last having custody of the child granting permission for the adoption. This letter should also provide information as to whether the biological parents or relatives have ever tried to contact the child.

5. If parental rights were taken away by means of court decree, the original or an official copy of that decree/certificate must be submitted.

6. If either parent is deceased, the original or an official copy of the death certificate and a cause of death should be included.

7. Original or an official copy of police report if the child is a foundling. The report should contain a statement showing that police attempted to find out who the parents were by questioning witnesses or by checking any information found with the child. If the police, the Guardianship Committee or hospital officials put the child’s and parents’ names on the birth certificate, then either a ZAGS spravka showing this chain of events or an address bureau statement, or a statement from hospital are necessary.

To determine the health history of the child:

1. FOR IR-4 CASES ONLY (i.e., if one of the parents did not see the child in person prior to the completion of the Kazakhstani adoption): I-864-Affidavit of Support, a certified copy of the most recent income tax return (Form 1040 and W-s). If you are adopting more than one child and one parent did not see the child in person prior to adoption, you must submit a separate I-864 and set of financial documents for each child.

2. IF ONLY ONE MARRIED ADOPTIVE PARENT will attend the immigrant visa interview, that parent should present photographs of the other parent with the child in order to establish that the other parent personally saw the child prior to completion of the Kazakhstani adoption. The I-600 MUST be signed by both parents in the case of a married couple. If the other married parent never saw the child prior to the completion of the Kazakhstani adoption (a rare situation), the child will receive an IR4 category visa (see subparagraph H immediately above).

3. IF NO ADOPTIVE PARENT will attend the immigrant visa interview, please read item E carefully and consult the Consular Section early in the process if the requirements regarding I-600 filing are not clear. In addition in order to apply for the immigrant visa after the I-600 has been properly filed, the parents should provide a power of attorney (”POA”) notarized by a U.S. notary or consular officer to the person who will complete the immigrant visa processing and escort the child back to the U.S. The escort should present the POA and pictures of both parents with the child. If an I-600 has not been properly filed, an escort can NOT file an I-600 overseas on the petitioner’s behalf. The petitioner must file the I-600 in person overseas or file it domestically with USCIS. The I-600 MUST be signed by both parents in the case of a married couple. Note: When selecting an escort, please bear in mind that a Kazakhstani citizen must hold a current U.S. visa and, if he/she does not currently hold one, there is no guarantee that he/she will qualify for one.

4. FEES: $380 per child for immigrant visa application. An additional $545.00 I-600 filing fee if more than one unrelated children are being processed under the same I-600A approval. The medical examination requires an additional fee of $75 to $100 per child, paid directly to the Panel Physician, and additional fees if vaccinations or additional laboratory tests are required. All adoption-related fees payable to the U.S. Embassy Almaty Consular Section must be paid in U.S. dollars cash or by credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, Novus/Discover, Diners, and “logoed” debit cards displaying the Visa or Master Card logo).

The U.S. Embassy in Almaty is unable to begin processing a case until the file is complete. To ensure that the Embassy is able to issue the visa for the adopted child as quickly as possible, parents must be sure that their documents are well organized and that forms DS-230, I-604, and I-600 are completed prior to submitting them to the Embassy.

U.S. EMBASSY IN KAZAKHSTAN : U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, http://travelregistration.state.gov/ and to obtain updated information on travel and security through the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Consular Section is located at:

Consular Section, Adoptions
Embassy of the United States of America
97 Zholdasbekov Street, Samal - 2
Almaty, Kazakhstan 050059
Tel: 7-3272-50-48-02
Fax: 7-3272-50-48-84
http://www.usembassy.kz
Adoption E-Mail: AdoptionsAlmaty@state.gov
General Consular E-mail: ConsularAlmaty@state.gov

APPLYING FOR A VISA AT THE U.S. EMBASSY IN KAZAKHSTAN :

The U.S. Embassy in Almaty is unable to begin processing a case until the file is complete. To ensure that the Embassy is able to issue the visa for the adopted child as quickly as possible, parents must be sure that their documents are well organized and that forms DS-230, I-604, and I-600 are completed prior to submitting them to the Embassy.

Note: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.

ACQUIRING U.S. CITIZENSHIP: see the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 for further information on acquisition of U.S. citizenship for adopted children.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Citizens Services - For information on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction, and security information for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, call Toll Free 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST/EDT, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444.
  • U.S. Department of State Visa Office - For information on immigrant visas for adopted orphans, call (202) 663-1225. Press 1 for additional information on visas, and press 0 to speak to a Visa Information Officer, available 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST/EDT, Monday through Friday (except Wednesdays 11 a.m. - 12:00 noon)
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) - recorded information for requesting immigrant visa application forms, 1-800-870-FORM (3676).
  • National Visa Center (NVC) Public Inquiries (603) 334-0700, Email: nvcinquiry@state.gov.
  • Country Specific Information - The State Department has general information about hiring a foreign attorney and authenticating documents that may supplement the country-specific information provided in this flyer. In addition, the State Department publishes Country Specific Information for every country in the world, providing information such as location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, political situations, and crime reports. If the situation in a country poses a specific threat to the safety and security of American citizens that is not addressed in the CSI for that country, the State Department may issue a Travel Alert alerting U.S. citizens to local security situations. If conditions in a country are sufficiently serious, the State Department may issue a Travel Warning recommending that U.S. citizens avoid traveling to that country. These documents are available on the Internet at travel.state.gov or by calling the State Department’s Office of Overseas Citizen Services Toll Free at 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours.
  • USCIS web site
Disclaimer: The preceding is intended as a very general guide to assist U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a child from a foreign country and apply for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the United States . Two sets of laws are particularly relevant: 1) the laws of the child’s country of birth govern all activity in that country including the adoptability of individual children as well as the adoption of children in country in general; and 2) U.S. immigration law governs the immigration of the child to the United States .
The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual state of the laws of a child’s country of birth and is provided for general information only. Moreover, U.S. immigration law, including regulations and interpretation, changes from time to time. This flyer reflects our current understanding of the law as of this date and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.
Credits: U.S. Department of State - April 2008