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Alert: IBESR Advises that Haitian Intercountry Adoptions Must be Full (Plenary)

The Department of State (Department) and the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) wish to advise U.S. prospective adoptive parents, adoptive parents, and adoption service providers (ASPs) of new information provided by the Haitian Central Authority, L’Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR).  IBESR advised that its 2013 law reforming adoptions requires that all intercountry adoptions completed after November 2013 must be completed as plenary (full) adoptions.  The Department and USCIS are seeking clarification with IBESR and the appropriate courts to determine if simple adoptions already completed by U.S. citizens after November 2013 may be sufficient for U.S. immigration purposes.

According to IBESR, under Haiti’s 2013 adoption law, simple adoptions may not terminate all of the birth parents’ legal rights and might be subject to revocation at the request of the birth family at any point before the child turns 18.  Pursuant to information from IBESR, simple adoptions completed in Haiti may need to be converted to a plenary adoption through the Haitian conversion process in order to be sufficient for intercountry adoption.  The Department and USCIS have requested additional information from IBESR.

We recognize that any delays may cause hardship and we are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.  Once we have additional guidance from the Haitian authorities, the Department and USCIS will publish information for impacted families, if any additional steps become necessary.

For further information regarding this notice, please contact the Department’s Office of Children’s Issues via email at  For case specific inquiries, please contact the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince Adoption Unit at  Please continue to monitor our website for updates on adoptions in Haiti.