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May 17, 2024

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May 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

Intercountry Adoption


Country Information


Argentine Republic
Exercise normal precautions in Argentina. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reissued with updates to crime information.

Exercise normal precautions in Argentina. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in:

  • City of Rosario (Santa Fe province) due to crime.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Argentina.

If you decide to travel to Argentina: 

City of Rosario – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal and narcotics trafficking elements are active in Rosario (Santa Fe province) resulting in increased crime and violence.

U.S. Embassy personnel are required to give advance notice before traveling to Rosario.


Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Argentina and the United States.

Hague Convention Information

Argentina 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 Argentina did not change.

Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Argentina and the United States. Argentina is not considered a country of origin in intercountry adoption.  While intercountry adoptions are legally possible, Argentine children eligible for adoptions are placed with Argentina’s residents. No children from Argentina eligible for adoption have received U.S. immigrant visas based on a Convention adoption in the past five fiscal years. The information provided is intended primarily to assist in extremely rare adoption cases from Argentina, including adoptions of Argentine children by relatives in the United States, as well as adoptions from third countries by U.S. citizens living in Argentina.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Argentina, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to 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

  • Residency: Applicants must be Argentine nationals or permanent resident aliens of Argentina and must have resided in Argentina for at least the five years immediately preceding the application for guardianship (first step in the adoption process).
  • Age of Adopting Parents: If single, the prospective adoptive parent must be at least 30 25 years of age. A petitioner may be under 25 years of age if his or her married/unmarried partner is at least 25 years of age. 
  • Marriage: Married and unmarried couples, either same sex or not, single and divorced individuals as well as widows/widowers, all may be considered as prospective adoptive parents.
  • Income: Prospective adoptive parents must prove financial ability.
  • Other Requirements: Petitioners are unable to adopt if the petitioner is a sibling or step-sibling of the adoptee.

Who Can Be Adopted

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

  • Relinquishment: Biological parents may relinquish their children for adoption only through the courts. The court must determine that the child is suitable for adoption and parental rights have been terminated. 
  • 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: Six months.

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

Argentina’s Adoption Authority

While there is no official adoption authority, prospective adoptive parents must apply to Consejo Nacionalde Niñez, Adolescencia y Familia.

The Process

Because Argentina does not currently allow intercountry adoption, and adoption is restricted to Argentine citizens and permanent resident aliens residing in Argentina, the following information is meant to be a general overview of the process for those who are qualified to adopt.

The process for adopting a child from Argentina 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 Argentina’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child in Argentina
  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  

Note: By Argentine law, the adoptive parents must inform the child of his/her adoption before the age of 18. According to the laws of Argentina, adopted children have the right to know their true biological identity and will have access to their adoption file once they have reached the age of 18. This is a commitment that the adopting parents must sign at the court at the time the adoption is granted.

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

Before taking steps to adopt a child from Argentina, 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 Argentina, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Argentina 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 Argentina’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 court having jurisdiction over their domicile in Argentina to be found eligible to adopt by Argentina. In that application, they may indicate their preference for the child's gender and age, and whether they consider themselves capable to adopt a child with health problems or other special needs.

The prospective adoptive parents' names will be placed on a single nationwide list by filing date and be made public. The Consejo de la Ninez, Adolenscencia y Familia will inform them when their turn is reached. Adoptive parents may check their name status by contacting the Consejo at the address included in the Contact Information Section.

If a child is eligible for intercountry adoption, the competent adoption authority or other authorized entity in Argentina 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.

Once matched with a child, the court will release a child in guardianship to the prospective adoptive parents. The child will remain under the jurisdiction of the court for the full period of guardianship. In no case will the child be permitted to depart Argentina.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Argentina’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 Argentina

Application for adoption can only be filed after the guardianship period of no less than six months and not more than twelve months has elapsed. Birth parents will lose all rights and obligations after that time and these rights will be transferred to the prospective adoptive parents.

The process for finalizing the adoption in Argentina generally includes the following:

  • Role of the Court: The Argentine court releases a child in guardianship to the prospective adoptive parents when a suitable match has been determined.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: 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:
    1. Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
    2. Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
    3. Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
    4. Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
    5. Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
    6. 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: Adoption application can be filed after the guardianship period of 6-12 months has elapsed. After this guardianship period, birth parents lose all rights and obligations to the child.
  • Time Frame: Once guardianship has been awarded by the court, it takes between six months to a year to obtain the final adoption decree.
  • Adoption Fees: There are no fixed adoption fees to conclude an adoption in Argentina. Filing the petition for guardianship (to lead to adoption) is free. Prospective adoptive parents are responsible for attorney fees although some courts do provide free legal assistance. The judge may set fees for other services rendered.

    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 Argentina, with your adoption service provider. Please also refer to information concerning the Hague Complaint Registry. Improper payments may have the appearance of buying achild, violate applicable law, and could put all future adoptions in Argentina 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: 
    • Proof of Argentine citizenship or legal permanent residence in Argentina for the last five years
    • Copy of the prospective adoptive parents' marriage certificate (if applicable)
    • Evidence of good conduct
    • Evidence of financial ability

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, 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 Buenos Aires, Argentina.

When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by USCIS in the United States, the consular section in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 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:

  • 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.

    Once the adoption is complete, the adoptive parents may request the issuance of a new birth certificate.
  • Argentina Passport: Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Argentina.

    After the adoption is finalized, the parents may apply to the Argentine Federal Police for the issuance of a passport. See for more information. To travel outside of Argentina, the child must carry signed, written permission from both parents, or from the non-traveling parent (if traveling with only one parent).
  • 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 Buenos Aires. 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 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 Buenos Aires 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 Argentina

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 Argentina, 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 Argentina, 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

By Argentine law, adoptive parents must inform the child of his/her adoption before the child turns 18 years of age. Parents must sign this commitment at the court at the time the adoption is granted. According to the laws in Argentina, adopted children have the right to know their true biological identity and will have access to their adoption file once they have reached the age of 18.

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Argentina 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 that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.

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.


If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Buenos AIres, 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 Argentina
4300 Avenida Colombia
1425 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: (011)(54)(11) 5777-4533
Fax: (54)(11) 5777-4448

Argentina’s Adoption Authority
Secretaria National de la Ninez, Adolescencia y Familia
Av. Peron 524 piso 1 (for adoptions)
Tel: (54)(11) 4338-5800 into. 6012

Embassy of Argentina
1600 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
Tel: (202) 939-6400

Argentina also has consulates in: Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Houston.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1- 913-214-5808

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Last Updated: February 15, 2024

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Buenos Aires
Av. Colombia 4300
(C1425GMN) Buenos Aires
+(54)(11) 5777-4533
+(54)(11) 5777-4354
+(54)(11) 5777-4240

Argentina Map