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Saint Lucia

Official Name: Saint Lucia Last Updated: May 1, 2008

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Hague Adoption Convention Country? No

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  • Hague Convention Information

    St. Lucia 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 St. Lucia did not change.

    In order to adopt St. Lucian children, persons who are not citizens of St. Lucia must reside in St. Lucia for at least six continuous months immediately prior to the adoption.

  • Who Can Adopt

    To bring an adopted child to United States from St. Lucia, 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, St. Lucia also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

    • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents who are not St. Lucian citizens must have resided in St. Lucia for at least six consecutive months prior to the date of the application for adoption.
    • AGE REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age and must be no less than 21 years older than the child to be adopted.
    • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Both married and single people may adopt St. Lucian children.
  • Who Can Be Adopted

    St. Lucia has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in St. Lucia unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

    In addition to the requirements set by St. Lucia, 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

    St. Lucian Adoption Authority

    The St. Lucian Ministry of Health oversees intercountry adoption matters.

    The Process

    The process for adopting a child from St. Lucia generally includes the following steps:

    1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
    2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
    3. Be Matched with a Child
    4. Adopt the Child in St. Lucia
    5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
    6. Bring Your Child Home
    1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

      The first step in adopting a child from St. Lucia 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.

    2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

      To bring an adopted child from St. Lucia 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 St. Lucia as described in the Who Can Adopt section.
    3. Be Matched with a Child

      If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in St. Lucia 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 St. Lucian 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.

    4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in St. Lucia

      The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in St. Lucia generally includes the following:

      • ROLE OF THE COURT: A judge in the high court makes adoption orders in St. Lucia. All adoptions in St. Lucia are governed by the Adoption Ordinance of 1954. An "infant" under the ordinance is a person under the age of 18 who has never been married. Applicants are required by St. Lucian law to retain an attorney for the adoption proceedings. An application will be made for a license to remove the child from St. Lucia for the purposes of overseas adoption.

        A home study report from a contracted Adoption Agency in the US will be required.
      • TIME FRAME: The adoption process takes approximately six months, but can take longer.
      • ADOPTION FEES: The U.S. Embassy in St. Lucia discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all future adoptions in St. Lucia at risk.
      • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Original documents will be required from all parties involved, that is, the original passports of all individuals involved in the adoption as well as original birth certificates and, when applicable, marriage/death/divorce certificates.

        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.
    5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

      After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in St. Lucia, 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.

    6. 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 or she can travel to the United States:
      • Birth Certificate
        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.

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

      • 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.

        The United States does not have an embassy in St. Lucia. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados covers St. Lucia and processes immigrant visa cases for residents of St. Lucia.

        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 Embassy will send the 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 Embassy will schedule an appointment and mail the petitioner a letter confirming the appointment. The petitioner can also call the 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 parents must present the following documents:

        • The child's certified St. Lucian adoption certificate;
        • Court documents;
        • Release documents from the biological parent(s), if any;
        • Valid St. Lucian passport;
        • 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.

      Note: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.

    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.

  • Traveling Abroad

    Applying for Your U.S. Passport

    A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave St. Lucia. 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 St. Lucia, 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 St. Lucia registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

    Registration is free and can be done online.

  • After Adoption

    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.

  • Contact Information

    U.S. Embassy accredited to St. Lucia
    U.S. Embassy
    P.O. Box 302
    Bridgetown BB 11000
    Bridgetown, Barbados
    Tel: 246-227-4000
    Fax: 246-431-0179

    St. Lucian Adoption Authority
    Ministry of Health
    Division of Human Services and Family Affairs
    Contact Clementia Eugene, Director at that office for more information
    Tel: (1) 758-452-7204

    Embassy of St. Lucia
    3216 New Mexico Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20016
    Tel: (202) 364-6792

    Office of Children's Issues
    U.S. Department of State  
    CA/OCS/CI  
    SA-17, 9th Floor  
    Washington, DC 20522-1709
    Tel: 1-888-407-4747
    E-mail: AskCI@state.gov or AdoptionUSCA@state.gov
    Website: http://adoption.state.gov

    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)