Exercise normal precautions in Timor-Leste.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Timor-Leste:
Timor-Leste 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).
Intercountry adoptions from Timor-Leste are rare; fewer than five adoptions by American citizen parents have taken place in the last decade.
Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the adoption authority of Timor-Leste. U.S. citizens interested in adopting children from Timor-Leste should contact the Ministry of Social Solidarity to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Timor-Leste, who would like to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country, should also contact Timor-Leste’s adoption authority. See contact information below.
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 Timor-Leste and the U.S. Embassy in Timor-Leste’s website for information on consular services.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Timor-Leste, 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.
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