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Algeria

Official Name: Algeria Last Updated: September 1, 2015

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Hague Adoption Convention Country? No

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  • Hague Convention Information

    Algeria is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention).  Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases.  The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider.  Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information.  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600.  However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

    Algerian family law is based on an interpretation of Islamic Shari'a law. Algerian courts appoint a legal guardian ("Kafil" - see Algerian statute No. 84/11, articles 116 through 125) for a child. Such legal guardianship (called a "kafala") is treated as the functional equivalent of adoption. If a child has a known parent, the guardian can only be selected from blood relatives of the child (i.e., the child's next of kin). Obviously, if a child's parents are unknown, that does not apply. The prospective adoptive parent can request that the child's name be changed when the biological father of the child is unknown. However, if the identity of the child's biological mother is known and the biological mother is living, a formal consent deed for the name change must be executed by the biological mother. The executed consent deed is then attached to the name change request file, and decided upon by the president of the relevant Algerian court at the referral of the prosecutor. Algeria is the only Muslim country which will authorize a name change for an orphan. Any prospective adoptive parent of an Algerian child should start the application for a kafala at the Algerian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

  • U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

    To bring an adopted child to the United States from Algeria, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

    Additionally, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

  • Who Can Adopt

    In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from Algeria must meet the following requirements:

    • Residency:  An adoptive parent must be an Algerian citizen, and can be living either in Algeria or overseas. If the adoptive parent is living overseas, s/he must attach to the application form (i) a social investigation duly completed and signed by the Algerian consulate authorities in the country where that adoptive parent lives and (ii) a copy of the registration card given to Algerian citizens when they register with the Algerian consulate abroad.
    • Age of Adopting Parents:  Men should not be over the age of 60, and women should not be over the age of 55. However, these criteria may be changed at the discretion of the commission reviewing the application file.
    • Marriage:  The same rules apply to single, divorced or widowed individuals.
    • Income:  A prospective adoptive parent must be able to prove sufficient income to support the child and provide decent accommodation. The prospective adoptive parent must have financial resources of at least the equivalent of 15,000 Algerian dinar per month. If the prospective adoptive parent is living overseas, the Algerian consulate may require a higher minimum income commensurate with income levels in that country.
    • Other:  The prospective legal guardian must be of the Muslim faith and Algerian nationality, and supply medical certificates showing s/he is in good physical and mental health. In addition, s/he has to be a person of integrity, capable of protecting and entertaining the child, and capable of providing decent and salubrious accommodation for the child.

  • Who Can Be Adopted

    In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Algeria:

    • Relinquishment:  A definitive agreement for the child's affiliation is given after the signature of the minute of abandonment by the mother.
    • Abandonment:  The child's parents are unknown.
    • Age of Adoptive Child:  Under nineteen (19) years old. Please note that for a child to meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who has immigrated or will immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)).
    • Sibling Adoptions:  None.
    • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  None.
    • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  Three months after the signing of the minute of abandonment by the biological mother and after the psychological interview of the prospective parents by the investigation team in the country of residence of the prospective adoptive parent.

    Caution:  Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption.  In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible.  In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

  • How To Adopt

    The Process

    Adopting a child from Algeria generally includes the following steps:

    1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
    2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-600A)
    3. Apply to Algeria’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child
    4. Adopt the Child in Algeria [or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption]
    5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan (Form I-600)
    6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

    1.  Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

    There are no adoption agencies operating in Algeria. Before taking steps to adopt a child from Algeria, you should select a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider to be the primary provider in your case.  As of July 14, 2014, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case under the UAA, unless an exception applies.  The primary provider is responsible for:

    • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided;
    • Supervising and being responsible for supervised providers where used (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
    • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

    For more information on primary providers and the UAA, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012

    2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

    In order to adopt a child from Algeria, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Algeria and U.S. immigration law. 

    To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also choose to file a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, with USCIS to be found suitable and eligible to adopt before you identify a child to adopt.  You may also choose to file the Form I-600 petition along with all the required Form I-600A application supporting documentation, including an approved home study, once you have been matched with a child and have obtained all the necessary documentation.  Please see the USCIS website for more information about filing options.  Regardless of which approach you take, the home study must meet the same requirements.  As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47.

    3.  Apply to Algeria’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

    If you are found suitable and eligible to adopt under U.S. law, you must also submit an adoption application to the Commission of the Ministry of National Solidarity in Algeria to be found eligible to adopt by Algeria. 

    If a child is eligible for intercountry adoption, the Commission of the Ministry of National Solidarity entity in Algeria will review your adoption dossier and, if an appropriate match is found, will provide you with a referral.  We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but each family must decide for itself whether it will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for, a specific child, and must conform to the recommendations in the home study for the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child.  Learn more about Health Considerations.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Algeria’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section.  The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.

    4.  Adopt the Child in Algeria, or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption

    The process for finalizing the adoption, or obtaining legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption in Algeria generally includes the following:

    • Role of the Algerian Embassy:  First, a prospective adoptive parent must submit a request for kafala to the Algerian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Once the Algerian Embassy receives this request and accompanying information, its social services division will begin an investigation of the prospective parents. If the social services division provides a positive recommendation for adoption, the Algerian Embassy will forward the file to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Algeria, which will in turn forward the file to the Ministry of National Solidarity. The Commission of the Ministry of National Solidarity will ultimately make the decision of whether or not to grant kafala. The Commission of the Ministry of National Solidarity only meets every three months.
    • Role of the Court:  Issues the name change document, if any.
    • Role of Adoption Agencies:  Starting July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case. Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service means any one of the following  six services:
      • Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
      • Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
      • Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
      • Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
      • Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
      • When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement.  22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.

    • Adoption Application:  This consists of the request for kafala described above.
    • Time Frame:  The U.S Embassy cannot predict how long the process will take. The process of obtaining kafala is generally a long one.
    • Adoption Fees:  There are no fees for the process of obtaining kafala. The orphanages in Algiers (the "pouponnieres") do not require any payment. 

    Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by themselves directly or through their U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to U.S. law, or the law of Algeria, with your adoption service provider.  Please also refer to information concerning the Hague Complaint Registry. Improper payments may have the appearance of buying a child, violate applicable law, and could put all future adoptions in Algeria at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the UAA and IAA make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.

    • Documents Required:  When submitting a request for legal custody to the Algerian Embassy, the prospective parent should include: (1) a written request for kafala, including his or her reasons for desiring the kafala; (2) a birth certificate for each of the prospective adoptive parents; (3) the family form ('fiche familiale') for married prospective adoptive parents, (4) medical certificates; (5) a criminal records delivered by authorities of the country of residence; (6) work certificates; (7) pay stubs for the last three months, (8) a copy of the consular registration card(s); (9) citizenship certificate of the prospective adoptive parents, (10) recent photo ID of the prospective parents and (11) proof of title or the residential lease agreement for their home. All documents should be translated into French, and dollar amounts should be converted into Euros. 

    Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

    • Authentication of Documents:  You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. The U.S Department of State’s Authentications Office has information on the subject.

    5.  Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States as an Orphan

    After you finalize the adoption/kafala, or gain legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption in Algeria, USCIS must determine whether the child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order for the child to immigrate to the United States.  You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.  At the time you file your Form I-600 petition, the adjudicating officer will determine whether the UAA applies or if your case is UAA grandfathered. For more information on UAA grandfathering and transition cases, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.  Unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider in your case and the adjudicating officer may ask for the name and contact information of the primary provider if not provided in your Form I-600 petition. This information is required and, without it, your Form I-600 petition cannot be approved. 

    If you have an approved, valid Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, you may file your Form I-600 petition either in the United States with USCIS or in person at the U.S.Embassy in Algiers, Algeria.

    When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by USCIS in the United States, the consular section in Algiers, Algeria must complete a Form I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption (sometimes informally referred to as an orphan determination), to verify the child’s orphan status.  When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by an international USCIS office, USCIS generally completes the Form I-604 determination.

    For Form I-600 petitions filed with the Embassy’s consular section, the consular officer must complete the Form I-604 determination after you file your Form I-600 petition. Conducting the Form I-604 determination is a critical part of the orphan adoption process. It can take weeks to complete, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Consular officers appreciate that families are eager to bring their adopted child home as quickly as possible.  Some of the factors that may contribute to the length of the process include prevailing fraud patterns in the country of origin, civil unrest or security concerns that restrict travel to certain areas of the country, and the number of determinations performed by available staff.  Consular officers make every effort to conduct them as quickly and thoroughly as possible.  You are advised to keep your travel plans flexible while awaiting the results.

    6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

    Now that your adoption is complete, or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, and the Form I-604 determination has been completed finding that your child meets the legal definition of an orphan for immigration purposes, there are a few more steps to take before you and your child can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

    • Birth Certificate: The birth certificate is delivered by the relevant orphanage, which will have the birth certificate of each child placed under their care. After obtaining the kafala, the adoptive parent may ask for a new birth certificate at the city hall (mairie) of the child's birthplace as listed in the original birth certificate obtained from the orphanage.

      If you have been granted legal custody for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

    • Algeria Passport: Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Algeria.

      To obtain an Algerian passport for the child, the adoptive parent will have to supply on his or her behalf the following:
    1. Birth certificate;
    2. Citizenship certificate (for someone born in Algeria, the birth certificate IS the citizenship certificate);
    3. Residency certificate;
    4. 4 photos; and
    5. Tax stamp.

      The application for the passport is made through the passport office at "La Daria."
    • U.S. Immigrant Visa: After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. [Embassy/Consulate] in [City].  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child. As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.

      Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). If you filed a Form I-600 petition in the United States, you should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number.  You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child.  An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name.  Answer every item on the form.  If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block.  Print and bring the DS-260 form confirmation page to the visa interview.  Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

      Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes 24 hours.  It is not usually possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview.  Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Algiers before making final travel arrangements.

    Child Citizenship Act

    For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States:  An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically upon entry into the United States if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including the child is under the age of eighteen.

    For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States:  You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s entry into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

    Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000

  • Traveling Abroad

    Applying for Your U.S. Passport

    U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Once your child has acquired U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for any international travel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

    Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

    Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Algeria

    In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Algeria, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

    Staying Safe on Your Trip

    Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

    Staying in Touch on Your Trip

    When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country.  Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy in Algeria to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

    Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

  • After Adoption

     

    Post-Adoption Resources

    Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.  Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.

    Here are some places to start your support group search:

    Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

    COMPLAINTS

    If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Algiers, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case.  The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously.  Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-600 petition process.

    The Hague Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers.  If you think your provider's conduct may have been out of substantial compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider.  If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Hague Complaint Registry.

     

  • Contact Information

    U.S. Embassy in Algeria

    Address: 5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, 16000, Alger, Algerie
    Tel: +213 021 98 20 00
    Fax: +213 021 60 73 35
    Email: Algiers__webmaster@state.gov
    Internet: http://algiers.usembassy.gov/

    Algeria’s Adoption Authority

    Ministry of National Solidarity
    Address: Route Nationale No. 1 les vergers BP No. 31 Bir khadem, Alger, Algerie
    Tel.: +213 021 44 99 46
    +213 021 44 99 47
    Fax: +213 021 44 97 26

    Embassy of Algeria
    Address: 2118 Kalorama Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
    Tel: (202) 265-2800
    Fax: (202) 667-2174
    Email: mail@algeria-us.org
    Internet: http://www.algeria-us.org/

    Consulate General of Algeria in New York
    15 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017
    Tel: (212) 486-6930
    Fax: (212) 486-6934
    Email: info@algeria-cgny.org
    Internet: http://algeria-cgny.org/ 

    Office of Children’s Issues
    U.S. Department of State
    CA/OCS/CI
    SA-17, 9th Floor
    Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
    Email:  Adoption@state.gov
    Internet:  adoption.state.gov

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
    For questions about immigration procedures: USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
    Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
    Internet:  uscis.gov

    For questions about filing a Form I-600A application or I-600 petition:
    USCIS National Benefits Center
    Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
    Email:  NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov