Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Syria

Syria
Syrian Arab Republic
Do not travel to Syria due to terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict.

Do not travel to Syria due to terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict.

No part of Syria is safe from violence. Kidnappings, the use of chemical warfare, shelling, and aerial bombardment have significantly raised the risk of death or serious injury. The destruction of infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, and power and water utilities has also increased hardships inside the country.

The U.S. Embassy in Damascus suspended its operations in February 2012. The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with Syria. The Czech Republic serves as the protecting power for U.S. citizens in Syria. The range of consular services that the Czech Republic provides to U.S. citizens is extremely limited, and the U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Syria. U.S. citizens in Syria who seek consular services should try to quickly and safely leave the country and contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in a neighboring country, if at all possible.

The U.S. government particularly warns private U.S. citizens against traveling to Syria to engage in armed conflict. U.S. citizens who undertake such activity face extreme personal risks, including kidnapping, injury, or death. The U.S. government does not support this activity, and our ability to provide consular assistance to individuals who are injured or kidnapped, or to the families of individuals who die in the conflict, is extremely limited.

Fighting on behalf of or providing other forms of support to designated terrorist organizations, including ISIS and al-Nusrah Front, can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism, which is a crime under U.S. law that can result in penalties including prison time and large fines.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Syria, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. Citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page

If you decide to travel to Syria:

  • Visit our website on Travel to High Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify who you would contact first, and how they should share the 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 Crime and Safety Report for Syria.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
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Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information

Syria 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 information the Department has on obtaining guardianship from Syria.  U.S. citizens interested in obtaining guardianship for Syrian orphans should contact the adoption authority of Amman, Jordan to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. 

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 for the child to return home when this becomes possible.  In such cases, the birth parent(s) rarely relinquish their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.  See contact information below.

The Department of State receives inquiries from U.S. citizens concerned about the plight of children in war zones and in countries afflicted by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  Our office shares this concern for children in conflict areas, and we understand that some U.S. citizens want to respond by offering to open their homes and adopt these children in need.

It can be extremely difficult in such circumstances to determine whether children who appear to be orphans truly are eligible for adoption and immigration under U.S. laws.  Children may be temporarily separated from their parents or other family members during a conflict or natural disaster, and their parents may be looking for them.  It is not uncommon in dangerous situations for parents to send their children out of the area, for safety reasons, or for families to become separated during an evacuation.  Even when it can be demonstrated that a child’s parents have died, children are often taken in to be cared for by other relatives.

During times of crisis, it can also be exceptionally difficult to fulfill the legal requirements for intercountry adoption of both the United States and the child's country of origin.  This is especially true when civil authority breaks down.  It can be very difficult to gather documents necessary to establish the child meets the requirements of U.S. immigration law, so prospective adoptive parents may wish to consult with an experienced immigration attorney and take extra caution when considering adopting or caring for a child under these circumstances.

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on traveling to Syria.  Visit U.S. Embassy Amman’s website for information on consular services at Amman-IV@state.gov or ACSAmman@state.gov.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Syria, 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.

Contact Information

JORDAN’S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Family and Childhood Section/Fostering Program
Jordan’s Adoption Authority:  Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
Family and Childhood Section/Fostering Program
P.O. Box 6720
Arjan 11118
Amman, Jordan
Tel:  5679327
Family Manager:  Ext. 399
Custody Section:  Ext. 334
Fax:  5679961
Family Directorate Fax:  5694291

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Amman
Abdoun, Al-Umawyeen St.
Amman – Jordan
Telephone
+(962) (6) 590-6000
Emergency
+(962) (6) 590-6500
Fax
+(962) (6) 592-0163
Syria Map