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DominicaOfficial Name: Dominica Last Updated: May 4, 2017
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Hague Adoption Convention Country? No
Hague Convention Information
Dominica is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption ( Hague Adoption Convention ). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Dominica did not change.
Who Can Adopt
To bring an adopted child to United States from Dominica, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Dominica also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
- RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: The Dominica government has no specific residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents.
- AGE REQUIREMENTS: Adoptive parents should not be under the age of twenty-five (25) years old.
- INCOME REQUIREMENTS: The adopting parent(s) should be employed or have means of supporting the child. There is no specific income requirement.
Who Can Be Adopted
Dominica has no specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her back to the United States. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.
How To Adopt
Dominica's Adoption Authority
The Welfare Division is the adoption authority in Dominica. It is part of the Ministry of Community Development and Gender Affairs .
The process for adopting a child from Dominica generally includes the following steps:
- Choose an Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Adopt the Child in Dominica
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
- Bring Your Child Home
Choose an Adoption Service Provider
The first step in adopting a child from Dominica is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
To bring an adopted child from Dominica to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.
In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Dominica as described in the Who Can Adopt section.
Be Matched with a Child
If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Dominica will provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.
The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Dominica's requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.
Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Dominica:
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Dominica generally includes the following:
- ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: Parents are not matched to children. An adoption process begins when a child has been identified for adoption. Prospective adoptive parents must submit to the Welfare Division a copy of their home study report and W2 tax form.
- TIME FRAME: There is no specified period. A short hearing is required after all requirements are met and all documents are in order.
- ADOPTION FEES: Adoption fees vary from lawyer to lawyer but an adoptive parent can expect to pay at least US $700 to $1000 for an adoption, including stamp duty.
- Petition for Adoption (from country of adoptive parents)
- Affidavit of support (from country of adoptive parents)
- Consent of biological parents
- Birth certificate of child
- Application to appoint Guardian Ad Litem
- Guardian Ad Litem Report
- Home study report from prospective adoptive parents' country if not a citizen of Dominica and W2 tax forms to be submitted to the Welfare Division
- If married a marriage certificate and if one spouse is adopting the consent of the other spouse
- Application for Adoption and Draft
NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Dominica, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600). Learn how.
Bring Your Child Home
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he/she 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.
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Dominica.
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.
Note: The United States does not have an embassy in Dominica. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados covers Dominica and processes immigrant visa cases for residents of Dominica. The Embassy requests that prospective adoptive parents contact them directly as soon as they have received their approved I-600A or I-600 from the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Upon receipt of the approved I-600A, I-600, telegraphic or faxed approval from the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Embassy will send the prospective adoptive parent (also known as the "petitioner") instructions on how to apply for the child's U.S. immigrant visa. Once the petitioner has completed several forms, the U.S. Embassy will schedule an appointment and mail the petitioner a letter confirming the appointment. The petitioner can also call the U.S. Embassy at 246-431-0225 and request an appointment to coincide with their visit to the island to complete the adoption. Appointments may also be requested via e-mail at: ConsularBridge2@state.gov.
At the time of the visa interview, the prospective adoptive parents must present the following documents:
- The child's certified adoption certificate from Dominica;
- Court documents;
- Release documents from the biological parent(s), if any;
- Child's valid passport from Dominica;
- Four (4) full-face color photographs (2 x 2 on white background);
- Medical examination (instructions will be given to the adoptive parents); and
- Visa fee.
If the Embassy is not in possession of the approved I-600 petition or confirmation from USCIS, the petitioners must present a copy of their home study and evidence of support. If the petitioner has all the required documents and the applicant seems otherwise eligible under U.S. immigration law, the visa can be issued the day following the application.
Prospective adoptive parents should expect that they and their adoptive child will have to remain in Barbados for at least two days, as the visa process requires processing time.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.
For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.
* Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.
Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Dominica. 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 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 Your Visa
In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.
To find information about obtaining a visa for Dominica, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.
The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual 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 register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Dominica registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.
Registration is free and can be done online.
What does Dominica require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?
We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Dominica and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Dominica's history of positive experiences with American parents.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
U.S. Embassy in Barabdos
Wildey Business Park
St. Michael, BB 14006
P.O. Box 302
Bridgetown BB 11000
Dominica's Adoption Authority
Government Head Quarters
Telephone: 767-448-2401, extensions 3019, 3020, 3334 or 3254.
Embassy of Dominica
3216 New Mexico Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Telephone: (202) 364-6781
Fax: (202) 364-6791
*Dominica also has consulates in: New York
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)