Email sent successfully!
Thank you for sending a link to the adoption.state.gov page to the following email(s):
BarbadosOfficial Name: Barbados Last Updated: September 3, 2015
Alerts & Notices
No Current Alerts or Notices
Hague Adoption Convention Country? No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between Barbados and the United States possible? Both adoptions to the United States from Barbados and from the United States to Barbados are possible.
Hague Convention Information
Barbados 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.
Only citizens of countries with which Barbados has diplomatic or consular relations may adopt Barbadian children. The United States has diplomatic relations with Barbados.
U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Barbados, 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
Who Can Adopt
In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from Barbados must meet the following requirements:
- Residency: The adoption of a Barbadian child can take place in Barbados or in the applicants' country of residence. Applicants wishing to adopt a child in Barbados will be required to reside on the island for a period of at least 18 months. If applicants wish the adoption to take place in their country of residence, the applicants are required to come to Barbados for at least a few weeks in order to receive the child into their care and must attend the High Court hearing for the license to take the child out of Barbados for the purpose of adoption.
- Age of Adopting Parents: Prospective adoptive parents who are already related to the child they plan to adopt must be at least 18 years old. Otherwise, at least one prospective adoptive parent must be 25 years old and at least 18 years older than the child.
- Marriage: Both married and single people may adopt.
- Income: None.
- Other: None.
Who Can Be Adopted
In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Barbados:
- Relinquishment: None.
- Abandonment: None.
- Age of Adoptive Child: None. 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: None.
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
Barbados’s Adoption Authority
Child Care Board
The process for adopting a child from Barbados generally includes the following steps:
- Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-600A)
- Apply to Barbados’ Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child
- Adopt the Child in Barbados
- Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan (Form I-600)
- 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
Before taking steps to adopt a child from Barbados, 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 Barbados, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Barbados 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 Barbados’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 Child Care Board of Barbados to be found eligible to adopt by Barbados.
If a child is eligible for intercountry adoption, the competent adoption authority or other authorized entity in Barbados 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 Barbados’ 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 Barbados
The process for finalizing the adoption in Barbados generally includes the following:
- Role of Adoption Authority: The laws that govern adoptions in Barbados are the Child Care Act and the Adoption Act. The Child Care Board administers these laws. Upon being notified of a prospective parent's intent to adopt, the Child Care Board will contract a social welfare agency abroad to do a home study. The home study conducted for U.S. immigration procedures (form I-600A) is acceptable. Upon completion of the home study, the adoptive parents should submit it to the Child Care Board for review. After the Child Care Board approves the home study, the Child Care Board will identify a child based on the adoptive parents' requests.
- Role of the Court: The adoptive parents (using an attorney) will need to obtain an order from a Barbadian court authorizing the care and custody of the minor after they have been matched with a child by the Child Care Board. The adoptive parents are required to come to Barbados to attend the High Court hearing for the license and to receive the child into their care.
- Role of Adoption Agencies: There are no private adoption agencies operating in Barbados.
As of 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.
- Time Frame: It will typically take non-Barbadians, including U.S. citizens, between six months and a year to adopt a Barbadian child, but it can take longer due to sometimes-lengthy Barbadian court procedures.
- Adoption Fees: Average adoption attorney fees in Barbados are approximately U.S. $3000, which includes court fees. However, fees may vary depending on the attorney. It is necessary for the applicants to use an attorney in Barbados who will apply for the license on their behalf. There are no fees for filing adoption paperwork with the Child Care Board.
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 Barbados, 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 Barbados 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: A completed home study and supporting documents:
- Birth certificate of each prospective adoptive parent;
- Marriage certificate and divorce documents (if applicable);
- Medical report of each prospective adoptive parent, to be conducted in the parent's country of residence;
- Police reference;
- Three (3) personal references known for a period of at least five (5) years and not family members;
- Statement of applicant(s) income.
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 in Barbados, 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 Bridgetown, Barbados.
When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by USCIS in the United States, the consular section in Bridgetown, Barbados 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 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:
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
If the adoption is completed in Barbados, the adoptive parents should apply to the Office of the Registrar for a new birth certificate. If the adoption is to take place in the adoptive parents' country of residence, the child must have a passport issued by Barbados Immigration in order to apply for an immigrant visa.
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Barbados.
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 in Bridgetown. 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 Bridgetown 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
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 Barbados
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 Barbados, 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 or Consulate in Barbados, 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).
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:
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- North American Council on Adoptable Children
- Adoption Services Support Groups for Adopting Persons
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Bridgetown, 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.
U.S. Embassy in Barbados
Wildey Business Park
St. Michael, Barbados
Tel: (246) 227-4000
Fax: (246) 431-0179
Barbados Adoption Authority
Child Care Board
The Fred Edghill Building
Cheapside, Fontabelle, Barbados
Tel: 1 (246) 426-2577
Embassy of Barbados
2144 Wyoming Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 939-9200
Fax: (202) 332-7467
Barbados also has consulates in: Los Angeles, Miami, and New York
Office of Children’s Issues
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)
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)