Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Argentina Intercountry Adoption Information
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:
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.
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.
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.
In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from Argentina must meet the following requirements:
In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Argentina:
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).
Argentina’s Adoption Authority
While there is no official adoption authority, prospective adoptive parents must apply to Consejo Nacionalde Niñez, Adolescencia y Familia.
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:
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:
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:
Note: Additional documents may be requested.
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:
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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)
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