Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Micronesia Intercountry Adoption Information
Exercise normal precautions in Micronesia.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Micronesia:
The Federated States of Micronesia, is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the 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).
PLEASE NOTE: Under the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), FSM citizens have the right to live, work, study and assume residence in the United States with no visa requirement. However, this does not apply to adopted children from the FSM, who must obtain a U.S. immigrant visa in order to travel to reside permanently with their adoptive families in the United States.
IMPORTANT CHANGE FROM PAST VISA PRACTICE WITH REGARD TO ADOPTED CHILDREN of the FSM: In the past, some children adopted by U.S. citizens were permitted to travel to the United States to reside there permanently without obtaining U.S. immigrant visas. This is no longer possible. Adopted children from the FSM must obtain immigrant visas if they intend to take up residence in the United States.
This in no way impacts the right of FSM citizens to continue "legitimate residence" in the United States. Nor does it affect the right of FSM parents to take their own children to the United States for this purpose. This issue concerns only those children of the FSM traveling to the United States with their U.S. citizen adoptive or prospective adoptive parents.
Enforcement of the requirement that adopted children from the FSM obtain U.S. immigrant visas is in the children's best interests. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents will now have to petition USCIS for permission to adopt a child from abroad, and as part of this process undergo an exhaustive background investigation that includes criminal record checks and a home study to determine their suitability to adopt. Furthermore, enforcement of the immigrant visa requirement will ensure that only children who are legitimately adoptable orphans will receive immigrant visas.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Micronesia, 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 the Federated States of Micronesia:
In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, FSM does not have specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption.
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, with the intention of returning for the child when they are able to do so. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.
There is no central (federal) FSM government office responsible for adoptions. Each state (Yap, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk) has its own court system in which adoptions take place, and prospective adoptive parents should contact the appropriate court regarding a possible adoption in that jurisdiction.
The process for adopting a child from FSM generally includes the following steps:
The recommended first step in adopting a child from FSM 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.
Note: There are no adoption agencies in the FSM; however, the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia has a list of lawyers who have identified themselves as willing to assist U.S. citizen clients. Send an email request to: USEmbassy@Mail.FM
In order to adopt a child from the FSM you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of FSM and U.S. immigration law. You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt with the FSM.
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.
If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the individual state court will provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not 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 FSMrequirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in the FSM generally includes the following:
Note:Additional documents may be requested.
After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in the FSM, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition of orphan under U.S. law. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.
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:
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.
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.
U.S. Citizens do not need a visa to travel to the FSM. For more information on traveling to the FSM, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.
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.
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 the FSM, 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).
There are no specific requirements for adoptive parents following adoption in FSM.
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. Embassy in the Federated States of Micronesia
U.S. Embassy Kolonia
P.O. Box 1286
Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel: (691) 320-2187
Fax: (691) 320-2186
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
( The U.S. Embassy in Kolonia, Micronesia, does not process immigrant visa cases for adopted children. All such cases are handled at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the Philippines. See the contact information below.)
U.S. Embassy Manila
APO AP 96515-1000
Telephone: +63-2-528-6300, ext 2324
FSM Adoption Authority: Local Courts
The Honorable Cyprian Manmaw
Chief Justice, Yap Supreme Court
P.O. Box 435
Colonia, Yap FM 96943
The Honorable Camillo Noket
Chuuk Supreme Court
P.O. Box J
Weno, Chuuk FM 96942
The Honorable Aliksa B. Aliksa
Chief Justice, Kosrae Supreme Court
P.O. Box 610 Tofol, Kosrae FM 96944
The Honorable Judah C. Johnny
Chief Justice, Pohnpei Supreme Court
P.O. Box 1449
Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941
Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia
1725 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20036Tel:
The FSM also has consulates in: Guam and Hawaii
Consulate of the Federated States of Micronesia
International Trade Center
590 South Marine Drive
Tamuning, Guam 96911
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Consulate of the Federated States of Micronesia
3049 Ualena St, Suite 908
Honolulu HI 96819
Email address: email@example.com
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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