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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


Federal Republic of Germany
Exercise increased caution in Germany due to terrorism.

Reissued after periodic review with minor edits

Exercise increased caution in Germany due to terrorism.

Country Summary: Terrorist groups keep planning attacks in Germany. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning. They target tourist locations and transportation hubs. They also target markets/shopping malls and local government facilities. They target hotels, clubs, and restaurants. They also attack places of worship, parks, and major sporting and cultural events. They target schools, airports, and other public areas.

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

If you decide to travel to Germany:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Country Security Report for Germany.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Germany and from the United States to Germany are possible.

Hague Convention Information

Germany is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations; as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Germany.

Germany is generally not considered a country of origin in intercountry adoption. The information provided below is intended primarily to assist in rare adoption cases from Germany. This information may also be useful to U.S. citizens living in Germany considering adoptions from Germany or other countries.

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008, (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, identifying Germany as the country where you intended to adopt and the approval is still valid; 2) you filed a Form I-600,Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, on behalf of a child from Germany, or 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s adoption could continue to be processed as a non-Convention intercountry adoption, provided the child’s country of origin agrees. For more information, read about Hague Transition Cases. Please contact with the details of the case if this situation applies to you. 

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Germany, 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 a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child from Germany must meet the following requirements of Germany:                                       

  • Residency: There are no residency requirements to adopt a child from Germany. There is no restriction on the nationality or citizenship of the adopting parent. Germany allows non-Germans to adopt a German child. U.S. citizens who are resident in Germany may apply to adopt from other countries through the German intercountry adoption process. These prospective adoptive parents may contact the relevant central authority for the area of their residence in order to initiate the process.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: The minimum age for an adopting parent is 25 years old. However, in the case of an adoption of a stepchild, the lower age limit of the adopting parent is 21 years. In the case of a joint adoption by a married couple, one of the partners must be at least 25 years old and the other at least 21 years old. There is no legal upper age limit of an adopting parent. If a child is being adopted in Germany by foreign parents, the court has the right to take age restrictions in the laws of the parents’ home country into consideration. Although there is no statutory limit, pursuant to a recommendation by the Federal Working Group of the State Youth Welfare Offices, the age gap between the adopting parents and the child should be a "natural" one. As an adoption should above all be in the best interest of the child, the age of the prospective adoptive parents is considered only one factor among many. Nevertheless, the age may be applied as an indicator for other relevant criteria such as health, resilience or flexibility. In the end, every prospective adoptive parent has to be examined individually according to the specific circumstances.
  • Marriage: We have received the following information from the German Central Authority:  An adoption is open to a single person as well as to one partner in an unmarried couple or to one partner in a registered partnership of a same-sex couple. Married couples may in general only adopt jointly. Both same-sex and different-sex couples have the opportunity to marry and thus, to adopt a child together. If one partner intends to adopt the other partner’s (biological or adopted) child this is also exceptionally possible as a single adoption under the following conditions: If the couple is married, one spouse can adopt the other spouse’s child. In the case of an unmarried couple, one partner can adopt the other partner’s child if the relationship is lasting and both partners live like a married couple in one household. A relationship is regularly lasting if it lasts for at least four years or if the partners have a joint child/children. In any case of such an adoption, the ties between the child and the parent in a lasting relationship with/married to the adoptive parent are not severed; only the legal ties to the other parent are severed.
  • Income: There are no specific income requirements related to adoption. Nevertheless, it is necessary that the adoptive parent(s) is/are able to provide an economically stable situation for the child.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because Germany is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Germany must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Germany have determined that placement of the child within Germany has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.

In addition to qualifying as a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a child must meet the following requirements of Germany:

  • Relinquishment: The parents of the child must provide consent to the adoption; this consent cannot be accepted by the court if the child is less than eight weeks of age. If the child is over eight weeks old and under the age of 14, the child’s legal guardian (sometimes, but not always, the parents) must also consent to the adoption on the child’s behalf. If the child is over the age of 14, s/he must personally consent to the adoption, with the concurrence of his/her legal guardian. In the case of children born out of wedlock, the biological father can surrender parental rights and consent to the adoption any time after conception and prior to the child’s birth. In this case, the mother must still wait until the child is eight weeks old to consent to adoption.
    As an additional requirement in cases where the citizenship of the adopting parent and the child being adopted are different, this consent has to be approved by the family court. However, it does not apply in the case of a domestic adoption subject to German law.
  • Abandonment: Consent is not required from a parent whose whereabouts are unknown (the court will determine the whereabouts unknown after six months of searching unsuccessfully). In addition, the court may waive the need for parental consent in several circumstances, including those related to the parent’s treatment of the child and the parent’s mental capacity.
    Ultimately, the courts will look at each case individually to determine if consent of a biological parent is needed.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: A person can be adopted at any age. Parents must wait until the child is eight weeks of age before consenting to adoption. Adoption of a person who has reached age 18, the age of majority in Germany, must be justifiable. Please note that in order for a child to meet the definition of Convention adopteeunder U.S. immigration law, a Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee 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)). Please see the USCIS website for special rules on filing dates for children aged 15-16 or siblings aged 17-18.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Sibling relationships are given consideration in adoption proceedings, but are considered on a case-by-case basis, with particular emphasis given to the positive or negative nature of the relationship between the siblings.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: On a case-by-case basis, the court may require evidence that an adopting family is aware of and able to cope with a child’s special needs and may require families to submit to follow up assessment.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: Typically, the child must live with the prospective adoptive parents for a probationary period prior to the court issuing the adoption order.
  • Other: None.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are available 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 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

Warning:  Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Germany before:

  1. USCIS has approved your Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country,
  2. The Central Authority of Germany has determined the child is available for intercountry adoption,
  3. USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, and
  4. A U.S. consular officer has issued an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.

Germany’s Central Adoption Authority
There is no centralized court system governing adoption cases in Germany. However, adoptions are governed by federal law. The main point of contact is:

Bundesamt für Justiz
Bundeszentralstelle für Auslandsadoption
Adenauerallee 99-103
53113 Bonn
Tel: +49 22899 410-5414 or -5415
Fax: +49 22899 410-5402 

Note: Special transition provisions may apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Hague Transition Cases.

The Process

Because Germany is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from Germany must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is provided below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-800A)
  3. Apply to Germany’s Authorities to Adopt and Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee (Form I-800and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption (Art. 5/17 letter)
  5. Adopt the Child in Germany (or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption)
  6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Note: For residents of Germany who wish to adopt a child and remain in Germany, the process is different. Persons wishing to adopt a child in Germany should contact either one of the following institutions:

  • Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) of each district/major city
  • Youth Welfare Office (Landesjugendamt) of each German state (Bundesland)

In addition, there are also a few private non-profit adoption agencies arranging non-international adoptions. Youth Welfare Offices (Landesjugendämter) provide contact information. The details of the Youth Welfare Offices can be found on the website of the German Central Authority according to the 1993 Hague Convention on International Adoption (, section “Anschriften”).

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider

The first step in adopting a child from Germany is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case. Your primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations;
  • 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.

Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. You will need to submit a home study, fingerprints, and a background check as part of this application. Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements.

3. Apply to Germany’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority
After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Germany as part of your adoption application. Germany’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under Germany’s law.

Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority
If both the United States and Germany determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and Germany’s Central Authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Central Authority for Convention adoptions in Germany may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child. The adoption authority in Germany will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but family must decide for itself whether or not 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 submitted to USCIS for the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child Learn more about Health Considerations. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the central authority in Germany. Learn more about this critical decision.

4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility
After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States by filing the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adopteeand will likely be eligible to enter and remain in the United States.

Submit an Immigrant Visa Application
After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Germany.

You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number. Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (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. 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. A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advises you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.

The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5/17 Letter”) to Germany’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Germany if all Convention requirements are met and the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Germany’s Central Authority that the parents are suitable and eligible to adopt, that the child appears eligible to enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Warning: Do not attempt to adopt (or obtain custody) of a child in Germany before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5. Adopt the Child in Germany (or Obtain Legal Custody of Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption of the Child)

Remember: Before you adopt (or obtain legal custody of) a child in Germany, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps can you proceed to finalize the adoption (or a grant of legal custody by Germany for the purposes of emigration and adoption).

The process for finalizing the adoption (or obtaining legal custody) in Germany generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority: Each of Germany’s 16 Federal States has a central adoption agency that oversees intercountry adoptions.
  • Role of the Court: The Family Court (Familiengericht) hears an application for an order to change the legal status to that of parent and child and, if appropriate, issues such an order. The court must investigate and review all relevant facts, including information from the adoption agency or public authority involved and the child (as permitted by age).
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: Adoption services are provided by public youth welfare agencies as well as private, nonprofit agencies that have been qualified to provide adoption services in international adoptions under Germany’s Adoption Placement Act. The adoption agency is responsible for key aspects of the adoption process, including providing information to the family court on the prospective adoptive parents.
  • Time Frame: After an investigation and interview, the Jugendamt issues an initial approval valid for two years. There is no specific time frame for the adoption process. It varies from case to case and primarily depends upon the duration of the qualifying process and/or the difficulty of identifying a child for adoption. The paperwork and investigation process generally takes between four and nine months. A foster period is required to adopt a German child. By law the foster period should be “adequate in length.” The court will decide in each case individually whether a parent-child-relationship between the adopting parent and the child to be adopted has been developed.
  • Adoption Application: For both domestic and intercountry adoption, the prospective adoptive parent(s) must first approach one of four sources for an initial consultation: 1) either one of the youth offices listed above, 2) the German Central Authority for intercountry adoption, 3) the Central Authority in the country of the child’s habitual abode, or 4) an intercountry adoption agency. After a favorable evaluation, the parents will be subject to a home study by their local youth welfare office. The translated home study will be sent to the adoption authority office. When a child has been identified, the adopting parent(s) and the child’s legal guardian sign an agreement before a German court or notary public. Before the family court decides if the adoption may take place and issues the final decree, the adopting parent(s) have to prove that the child will be lawfully admitted into their home country.
  • Adoption Fees: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

    Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either directly or through your U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of Germany with your adoption service provider. Please also refer to information concerning the Hague Complaint Registry. Improper payments may have the appearance of buying a child, violate applicable law, and could put all future adoptions in Germany at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the IAA makes 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.

    In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
  • Documents Required: Both the German Youth Welfare Department (Jugendamt) and the adoption agencies require the following documents at the start of the adoption process:
    • An application for adoption;
    • Birth certificates;
    • Proof of citizenship;
    • Resume/curriculum vitae for both parents;
    • Police certificate for both parents;
    • Identification (passport, photo identification, etc.);
    • Marriage certificate (if applicable);
    • Termination of previous marriage(s) (death certificate, divorce decree, etc. if applicable);
    • Medical attestation;
    • Proof of parents’ income (including bank statements); and
    • Character references. 

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. If so, the Department of State, Authentications Office has information on the subject.

    Note: The United States and Germany are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before your child can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
If you have finalized the adoption in Germany, you will first need to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

If you have been granted custody for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

Birth certificates are issued by the Standesamt (City Registrar) in the locality where the child was born. Adopting parents need to present the final adoption decree, their marriage certificate, and both of their birth certificates with the application. For any documents not originating in Germany, the document must bear an Apostille from Hague convention countries or an authentication from non-Hague countries. In all cases of unmarried couples, single parents or same-sex relationships documents requirements vary and should be verified with the local authorities prior to application.

German Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Germany.

German passports are issued by the Passstelle (Passport Branch) at the local Standesamt (City Registrar). To obtain a German passport, the adopting parents must present the final adoption decree, the child’s German birth certificate in his/her adoptive name, one biometric photograph of the child, and valid proof of identity for both parents. Both parents must provide written consent to the issuance of the passport until the age of 16. Any child over the age of 6 must also be present to be fingerprinted.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany. After the adoption (or custody for purposes of emigration and adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Consulate for a final review of the case, and if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, the final approval of the Form I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. 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 with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if you did not provide it during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please be sure to complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning 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 at least 24 hours. It is usually not possible to provide a visa on the same day as the immigrant visa interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt 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 by law 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 Germany
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa to travel abroad. Where required, visas are affixed to a traveler’s passport and allow him or her to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Germany, 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, 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 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 Germany, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Germany, 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).

After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
Once an adoption order has been granted, you are legally the child’s parent with the same rights and responsibilities as if they were born to you. Post-adoption reporting requirements will be determined by a German local authority.

We urge you to comply with Germany’s post-adoption/post-placement requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that Germany’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive 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 content.


If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Consulate in Frankfurt, 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-800 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. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany
Immigrant Visa Unit
Giessener Strasse 30
60435 Frankfurt Am Main
Tel: (069) 7535-0

Germany’s Adoption Authority
Bundesamt für Justiz
Bundeszentralstelle für Auslandsadoption
Adenauerallee 99-103
53113 Bonn
Tel: +49 22899 410-5414 or -5415
Fax: +49 22899 410-5402

Embassy of Germany
2300 M Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: (202) 298-4000

Germany also has consulates in: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747

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: June 13, 2023

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Berlin
U.S. Embassy Berlin
Clayallee 170
14191 Berlin
Federal Republic of Germany
+(49) (30) 8305-0
+(49) (30) 8305-0
+(49) (30) 8305-1215

Germany Map