Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > United Arab Emirates Intercountry Adoption Information
Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.
Exercise increased caution in the United Arab Emirates due to the threat of missile or drone attacks and terrorism.
Country Summary: The possibility of attacks affecting U.S. citizens and interests in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula remains an ongoing, serious concern. Militant groups operating in Yemen have stated an intent to attack neighboring countries, including the UAE, using missiles and drones. Missile and drone attacks in early 2022 targeted populated areas and civilian infrastructure.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including the United Arab Emirates, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
While residents and visitors generally find a safe and secure environment in the UAE, the country continues to face the threat of terrorism. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, and local government facilities.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to the United Arab Emirates.
If you decide to travel to the United Arab Emirates:
While adoption of children within the UAE by expatriate parents is extremely difficult and rare, the UAE recognizes children adopted from other countries by adoptive expatriate parents inside the UAE as their legal children for purposes of UAE residency and law.
The United Arab Emirates is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the requirement that adoption service providers be accredited or approved, and therefore meet the accreditation standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also applies in non-Convention (“orphan”) cases under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider act as the primary provider in every Convention or non-Convention intercountry adoption case, and that adoption service providers providing any adoption services, as defined at 22 CFR Part 96.2, on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. See additional guidance for limited situations when a primary provider may not be required. 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 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website on the impact of the UAA on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the home study requirements listed at 8 CFR 204.311, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.
Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).
Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi’s website for information on consular services.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from United Arab Emirates, 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.
UAE’S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
There is no central adoption authority in the United Arab Emirates. Organizations that help to facilitate the immigration to the UAE of adopted children are the local UAE diplomatic mission in the child’s birth country and the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship
U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Embassies District, Plot 38
Sector 259-02, Street No. 4
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E
Tel: +(971) (2) 414-2200 (Regular) | +(971) (0) 2-414-2200 (Emergency)
Fax: +(971) (2) 414-2241
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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