Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > United Arab Emirates Intercountry Adoption Information
Do not travel to the United Arab Emirates due to COVID-19.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel health Notice for United Arab Emirates due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in the United Arab Emirates.
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 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 country information page.
If you decide to travel to the UAE:
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
Adoptions from the United Arab Emirates are possible, but extremely rare. Please consult a local attorney or adoption agency familiar with laws and regulations regarding intercountry adoption in the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, 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 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.
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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