Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Indonesia Intercountry Adoption Information
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Central Sulawesi and Papua
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Indonesia 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. Intercountry adoptions 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.
The Indonesian government stipulates that an adoptive child must be of the same religion as the adoptive parents. In the case of a child of unknown origin, it is believed that the Indonesian government will make a determination that the child’s religion will be deemed to be the same as the religious majority in the neighborhood or community where the child was discovered.
There have been a number of instances in which U.S. citizens have been advised by legal practitioners to enter into fostering or adoption arrangements which, even though endorsed by local Indonesian courts, do not meet the requirements of Indonesian adoption law. Adoptions that do not meet these requirements will not meet the requirements for the issuance of U.S. immigrant visas for the children. U.S. citizens intending to adopt a child in Indonesia should not attempt to circumvent proper processes.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Indonesia, 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 adopt a child from Indonesia:
If the prospective adoptive mother has borne children in the past, she must no longer be capable of bearing children.
Please note that single persons and same-sex couples are explicitly prohibited from adopting in Indonesia.
In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Indonesia has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:
Yayasan Sayap Ibu
Jalan Barito II No. 55
Caution: PAPs should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. 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 their child(ren)’s adoption.
The Ministry of Social Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Directorate of Child Social Service Development
Additionally, Yayasan Sayap Ibu is the only agency in Jakarta licensed by the Ministry of Social Affairs to facilitate inter-country adoptions. In areas of Indonesia where Yayasan Sayap Ibu is not represented, the first point of contact should be the Ministry of Social Affairs.
The process for adopting a child from Indonesia generally includes the following steps:
The recommended first step in adopting a child from Indonesia is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website.
The Ministry of Social Affairs (DEPSOS) has designated a limited number of Indonesian agencies through which all foreign adoptions must be channeled. In Jakarta, the designated agency is Yayasan Sayap Ibu.
Foreigners may also seek private legal assistance to facilitate the process of adoption and seek advice and information from certain orphanages.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
In order to adopt a child from Indonesia, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Indonesia and U.S. immigration law.
PAPs are strongly encouraged to consider contacting Yayasan Sayap Ibu if they are interested in adopting an Indonesian child from anywhere within Indonesia. PAPs can make an appointment with Yayasan Sayap Ibu (Jalan Barito II, No 55, Kebayaron Baru; Phone: 021 722 1763 / 726 6317) for a consultation on adoption. Both PAPs should attend the consultation. During the consultation, PAPs will meet with a social worker to discuss their motivation, qualifications, and eligibility to adopt.
If Yayasan Sayap Ibu determines that the PAPs are suitable to adopt, both PAPs will have to submit the following paperwork:
1. PAPs' health certificate from an Indonesian government hospital.
2. Health certificate from the Indonesian Government Mental Health Specialist describing the PAPs' mental health.
3. Statement from an Indonesian government hospital gynecologist regarding involuntary childlessness.
4. Copy of both PAPs' birth certificates, authenticated by the Indonesian Embassy in the country of issuance. If there is no Indonesian Embassy in the country of issuance, the PAPs must contact the Indonesian Embassy responsible for providing consular services to that country.
5. Copy of both PAPs' Passports and Residency Permits (KIMS / KITAS).
6. Copy of ID cards for the prospective adoptive child and his/her biological parent(s) and/or a copy of the family card of the child's biological parent(s) and/or proof of religious affiliation of the child's biological parent(s) and/or a court decision regarding the child's religion.
7. Certificate of Good Conduct for the PAPs from Indonesian National Police.
8. Copy of PAPs' marriage certificate, authenticated by the Indonesian Embassy in the country in which they were married, by the Embassy in Jakarta of the country in which they were married, and by the Embassy in Jakarta of their country of origin. (For example if U.S. citizens were married in Singapore, their marriage certificate will need to be authenticated by the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta as well as by the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore. They must also execute a sworn statement certifying their marriage certificate before a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta.)
9. Copy of birth certificates of PAPs' previous children authenticated by the Indonesian Embassy in the country of issuance.
10. Income statement from the PAPs' employers, notarized at the embassy of the PAPs' country or origin, and reviewed and recorded by the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Law and Human Rights, which has authority to accept or reject such income statements.
11. Family photos of the PAPs and photos of their home and surroundings.
12. Three photos (3x4cm) of each PAP.
13. Statement from the prospective adoptive child, in cases where the child is able to express his/her opinion as determined by DEPSOS.
14. Letter of permission from the prospective adoptive child's biological parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
15. Statement that the adoption is in the child's best interests and is for his/her protection.
16. Statement by the PAPs that they will report the development of the child to the Indonesian Embassy every year until the child is 18 years old.
17. Statement by the PAPs that they will contact the Indonesian Embassy when they move, both within a country or to another country. PAPs need to inform the appropriate Indonesian Embassy of any change of address.
18. Statement by the PAPs that they agree to be visited by a representative from the Indonesian Embassy to monitor and report on the child's development until the child is 18 years old.
19. Statement from the PAPs stating that all documents submitted in connection with the application to adopt are valid and factual.
20. Statement by the PAPS that they will raise the child as if s/he were their own child, with no discrimination, in accordance with the child's rights and needs.
21. Statement by the PAPs that they will notify their adopted child of his/her origins and biological parents based on the readiness of the child.
22. A letter issued by the PAPs' embassy, stating that the PAPs' country of residence has found the PAPs eligible and suitable to adopt intercountry. The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta provides this letter when USCIS has approved the PAPs' Form I-600A.
23. A sworn statement provided by PAPs and notarized at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta that provides the PAPs' address and length of residency in Indonesia and separate statements of domicile from the local Indonesian authorities (RT, RW and Kelurahan).
24. Letters from close relatives (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles) of the PAPs supporting their intention to adopt an Indonesian child.
25. Social report about the child written by a social worker from the child care agency.
26. Letter of relinquishment from the child's biological mother or legal guardian to a hospital, local police, or a local community. The letter terminates the mother's or legal guardian's parental rights to the child.
27. Handover letter of the child from the social welfare organization to a child care agency (orphanage).
28. Social report about the PAPs written by a social worker from the DEPSOS.
NOTE: All statements must be written on Indonesian stamped duty paper (special paper which is used in Indonesia for legal documents or statements).
When all required paperwork is complete, PAPs can submit the application for adoption to Yayasan Sayap Ibu, which will then forward it to DEPSOS. DEPSOS usually grants permission for the child to be released into the PAPs’ foster care.
To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also 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.
Be Matched with a Child
If you are found eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority or other authorized entity in Indonesia will provide you with a referral. Each family must decide for itself whether it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.
The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Indonesia’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.
Once the PAPs submit their adoption application to Yayasan Sayap Ibu, officers of Yayasan Sayap Ibu and DEPSOS will conduct a home visit. If the PAPs are determined to be eligible to adopt, PAPs will sign a six-month foster care agreement so that the child can be taken to the PAPs’ residence in Indonesia. (Note: The child must be a least three months old before he/she can be taken home.) The entire process, from the time the PAPs submit their documents until they can take the child home, generally takes around six to nine months.
During the six-month foster care period, another home visit may be conducted. Monitoring by an Indonesian social worker appointed by DEPSOS is also a part of this fostering process.
At the end of the six-month foster care period, the final home visit will be conducted, after which an inter-departmental committee meeting will be held. Members of the Inter-Departmental Committee are: DEPSOS, Department of Justice, Department of Health, Department of Home Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Religious Affairs, Police Headquarters, Office of the Attorney General, and Office of the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare. The Inter-Departmental Committee (known as Tim PIPA) is a forum for cross-agency coordination that advises DEPSOS on granting adoption permits to foreign nationals in a comprehensive and integrated manner. All necessary documents must be submitted to Tim PIPA and if all conditions have been satisified, approval to proceed to court is obtained. Please note that this Tim PIPA only meets twice per year.
Note: If the child is at an orphanage other than Yayasan Sayap Ibu, the child must be transferred to Yayasan Sayap Ibu and must spend a minimum of two weeks at Yayasan Sayap Ibu before becoming available for intercountry adoption. In these cases, we suggest that PAPs transfer the prospective adoptive child to Yayasan Sayap Ibu as soon as possible.
Adopt or Gain Legal Custody of Child in Indonesia
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Indonesia includes the following:
The court hearing will officially establish the PAPs as the child's adoptive parents. Approximately three weeks after the court has approved the adoption, the PAPs will receive the official adoption decree.
There are several required documents that prospective adoptive parents must complete before directing their application through Yayasan Sayap Ibu or another designated social organization to DEPSOS.In order to obtain a valid adoption decree, all intercountry adoptions must be vetted and authorized by Tim PIPA. The final court decision must refer to the approval decision made by this committee.
All documents must be translated into Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) by an official sworn translator. PAPs may obtain the list of sworn translators from the U.S. Embassy Jakarta’s website. Yayasan Sayap Ibu can assist with translation if necessary.
Note: Additional documents may be requested.
After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Indonesia, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.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.
Once your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:
If you have finalized the adoption in Indonesia, you will first need to apply for a new local birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.
Yayasan Sayap Ibu will assist PAPs in obtaining the birth certificate for their adopted child.
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Indonesia.
With the adoption decree in hand, the parents can apply for the child's Indonesian passport. The child will not be able to depart Indonesia or be issued a U.S. visa until he/she has a passport.
Requirements for an Indonesian passport include:
The process of getting an Indonesian passport can take up to two weeks.
Once in possession of the child's Indonesian passport, the embassy can begin processing the child's immigrant visa.
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 Jakarta. 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 in Jakarta’s website:
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission 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 if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.
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.
Getting or renewing a U.S. 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 Indonesia
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 Indonesia, 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. Please visit travel.state.gov for the latest information, including travel alerts and travel warnings. This information can also be obtained on your mobile device by downloading the Smart Traveler App for your iPhone or Android smartphone.
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 Indonesia, 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).
If PAPs return to their country of residence with their newly adopted child, they must:
We strongly urge you to comply with Indonesia’s 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 positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive 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.
Here are some places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
U.S. Consulate Surabaya
Jalan Dr. Sutomo No. 33
Consulate Agency Bali
Jl. Hayam Wuruk 188
Please note that U.S. Embassy Jakarta is the only U.S. government office in Indonesia that processes immigrant visas.
Indonesia’s Adoption Authority
The Ministry of Social Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Directorate of Child Social Service Development
Jalan Salemba Raya No. 28
Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
Embassy of Indonesia
2020 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
*Indonesia also has consulates in: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
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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