Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Maldives Intercountry Adoption Information
Exercise increased caution in Maldives due to terrorism and civil unrest.
Terrorist groups may conduct attacks with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Attacks may occur on remote islands which could lengthen the response time of authorities.
A country-wide state of emergency is in effect. Security forces have been deployed in Malé to prevent public gatherings and anti-government demonstrations. Protests have also been reported in Maafushi where political prisoners are being held.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Maldives:
The Republic of the Maldives (Maldives) 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).
Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of Maldives.
Maldivian law and Islamic Shari’a law, upon which Maldivian family law is largely based, does not allow the adoption of Maldivian children in Maldives. Maldivian law recognizes only long term guardianship as an alternative to adoption, and this arrangement is only available to Maldivian nationals. According to Maldivian law, prospective adoptive parents who are non-Muslim may not be appointed guardians of Muslim children. Prospective adoptive parents should refer to our information sheet on Adoption of Children from Countries in which Islamic Shari'a Law is observed for more information.
The Maldivian government is currently considering significant revisions to its laws governing the guardianship of minors. U.S. citizens interested in adopting children from Maldives should continue to monitor our website, www.adoption.state.gov, for updated information on adoption in Maldives as it becomes available.
U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Maldives who wish to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should contact Maldives adoption authority, the Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights (see contact information below).
Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information sheets for more information on travelling to Maldives and the U.S. Embassy Sri Lanka & Maldives website for information on consular services.
Caution: Prospective adoptive parents 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.
Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Maldives and the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s website for information on consular services.
MALDIVE'S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Maldives, 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.
The Republic of the Maldives Adoption Authority
Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights
Huravee Building, 1st Floor
Embassy of Sri Lanka in the United States
Embassy of Sri Lanka
2148 Wyoming Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 483-4026/ 28
Fax: (202) 232-7181
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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