Adoption Notice: Pursuing a UK Passport for an Adopted Child

The Office of Children’s Issues has recently received many requests for Hague Adoption Certificates from UK nationals and dual nationals who are pursuing UK passports for their adopted child(ren). 

We understand these adoptive families have received guidance that in order to apply for their adopted child’s UK passport, they must obtain a Hague Adoption Certificate even when the circumstances of their child’s adoption may not qualify for one.  In general, as the U.S. Central Authority, the Department of State issues a Hague Certificate for outgoing adoptions involving a child habitually resident in the United States who is adopted by individuals habitually resident in another Convention country and who will emigrate from the United States to that country after the completion of an adoption accomplished in accordance with the Hague Convention on Adoption and the Intercountry Adoption Act federal implementing regulations (22 CFR Parts 96 and 97).

Therefore, if a child is habitually resident in the United States and was adopted domestically in the United States by a UK national who is also habitually resident in the United States, and was not adopted in accordance with the Hague Convention on Adoption or Intercountry Adoption Act, the Department of State would not be able to issue a Hague Adoption Certificate.  Likewise, if a child was adopted from a country that was not a party to the Hague Convention at the time of adoption, or for cases in which the adoption happened between the U.S. and other Hague countries prior to April 1, 2008 when the Convention entered into force for the U.S., the Department of State would not be able to issue a Hague Adoption Certificate. To obtain a Hague Adoption Certificate, the applicant must show that they have satisfied each of the requirements of 22 CFR 97.3.

For families wishing to pursue a UK passport for their adopted child, they may wish to review the following guidance received from the UK Passport Authority:

If a child is adopted under the Hague convention, then the parents can apply for a British passport through the route on Gov.UK they will need to provide evidence of the Hague convention adoption and evidence of the parents being British citizens habitually resident in the UK.

If the child is adopted through a local adoption, the parents need to register the child before applying for a passport through the route on Gov.UK

Please send questions about this Notice or any other intercountry adoption matter to the Office of Children’s Issues at Adoption@state.gov.