Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Bangladesh Intercountry Adoption Information
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise increased caution in Bangladesh due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.
Country Summary: In Bangladesh the crime rate impacting foreigners is generally low. However, travelers should be aware of petty crimes such as pickpocketing in crowded areas. Crimes such as muggings, burglaries, assaults, and illegal drug trafficking constitute the majority of criminal activity in Bangladesh’s major cities, but there are no indications foreigners are being targeted because of their nationality. These crimes tend to be situational, based on time and location.
Terrorism events can happen with little or no warning, with terrorists targeting public areas such as tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship, school campuses, and government facilities.
Because of security concerns U.S. government employees in Bangladesh are subject to movement and travel restrictions. The U.S. government may have limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Bangladesh due to these travel restrictions, a lack of infrastructure, and limited host government emergency response resources.
Reconsider travel to southeast Bangladesh, including the Chittagong Hill Tracts, due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.
Travel is dangerous to the Khagrachari, Rangamati, and Bandarban Hill Tracts districts (collectively known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts) due to occasional communal violence and other security risks. Prior approval from the Government of Bangladesh Ministry of Home Affairs Office of Public Safety is required if you plan to travel to these areas. Please visit our website for information on Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Bangladesh.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Bangladesh has a low level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
If you decide to travel to Bangladesh:
Bangladesh is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F). 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. The intercountry adoption 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.
Bangladeshi law does not allow for full adoptions of Bangladeshi children in Bangladesh. Prospective adoptive parents considering adopting a Bangladeshi child must obtain guardianship from a Bangladeshi court and subsequently adopt the child in the United States. Please refer to information on our website about adoption of children in countries where Islamic Shari’a law is observed.
Only citizens of Bangladesh may obtain guardianship of Bangladeshi children. Since Bangladesh allows for dual citizenship, U.S. citizens who are also Bangladeshi citizens may be appointed guardians of Bangladeshi children.
There have been a number of instances in which U.S. citizens have been incorrectly advised by legal practitioners and have entered into fostering/adoption arrangements which, even though endorsed by local Bangladeshi courts, do not meet the requirements of Bangladeshi law. Legal guardianships that are not completed in accordance with Bangladeshi law will not meet the requirements for the issuance of a U.S. immigrant visa. Prospective adoptive parents who intend to adopt a Bangladeshi child should not attempt to circumvent the legal guardianship process.
U.S. citizens interested in adopting a child from Bangladesh are strongly encouraged to contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in New Delhi and the Consular Section in the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka before applying for guardianship. Obtaining legal guardianship under the Bangladeshi law does not guarantee that the child will qualify for a U.S. immigrant visa.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Bangladesh, 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 U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to obtain guardianship of a child from Bangladesh with the intention of adopting the child in the United States:
Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In Bangladesh, a child may be placed in an orphanage because his/her parents are unable to provide financial support. In such a case, the parents have not abandoned the child and they intend for the child to return home when the family’s financial circumstances improve.
Bangladesh’s Adoption Authority
There is no independent central government adoption authority in Bangladesh. The Family Court has sole jurisdiction over family matters.
The process for adopting a child from Bangladesh generally includes the following steps:
1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
Before taking steps to adopt a child from Bangladesh, 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
There are no adoption agencies in Bangladesh. However, there are numerous lawyers in Bangladesh who may initiate guardianship proceedings. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of attorneys with family law experience in Bangladesh. The Embassy can provide contact information for established local charitable orphanages.
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
File an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt. 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. Obtain Legal Custody of Child in Bangladesh
The process for gaining legal custody in Bangladesh includes the following:
4. Obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Home Affairs
Please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka, for information about how to obtain a No Objection Certificate.
5. Apply for the Child’s Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Bangladesh. For information about how to obtain a passport from the Government of Bangladesh, please visit the Bangladesh Passport Office website.
6. Apply to Classify the Orphan as an Immediate Relative
Prospective adoptive parents must have an approved Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, before the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka can issue an immigrant visa to the prospective adoptive child. Prospective adoptive parents who have a valid approved Form I-600A may submit their Form I-600 to USCIS domestically, in person at Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, or via email to DhakaAdoptions@state.gov. 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.
7. Apply for the Child’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 Dhaka. 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.
You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the U.S.Embassy Dhaka’s website. To schedule an interview, please email DhakaAdoptions@state.gov after you have completed steps 1 through 6.
Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that consular officers are required by law to complete Form I-604 Determination on Child for Adoption (sometimes informally referred to as the “orphan investigation”) to verify that the child is an orphan as defined by U.S. immigration law before an immigrant visa is issued. Depending on the circumstances of a case, this investigation may take up to several weeks to complete, even if the Form I-600 Petition is already approved.
Note: Visa issuance after the I-600 petition has been approved and after the visa interview generally takes at least 48 hours. 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 by contacting DhakaAdoptions@state.gov before making final travel arrangements.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.
*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.
Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. 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 a Visa to Travel to Bangladesh
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may 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 affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Bangladesh, 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 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 enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Bangladesh, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.
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.
Here are some places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
3510, International Drive, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 244-0183, (202) 244-7830
Fax: (202) 244-5366
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh also has consulates in New York and Los Angeles.
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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