Country Information for ASPs

The following available legal and procedural information may be useful to intercountry adoption professionals providing adoption services in intercountry cases.

Please also review the relevant Intercountry Adoption Country Information page that focuses on the intercountry adoption process and the relevant International Travel Information page that provides general travel, health, safety, and visa information for specific countries.

Disclaimer: The Department of State does not assume responsibility or liability for external links, and inclusion is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. The information below is not comprehensive and is only intended to provide a general overview of various resources to supplement rather than to be a substitute for adoption service providers’ (ASPs) efforts to guide prospective adoptive parents through the intercountry adoption process.  The information will be updated as new information becomes available. ASPs should confirm with appropriate entities in the relevant foreign country that the information is accurate as of the date it will be used and may wish to consult with an attorney in the relevant country to ensure comprehensive awareness of all laws that may impact an intercountry adoption case. Notify the Office of Children’s Issues at ASPadoption@state.gov if information on this website is out of date or inaccurate.

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HAGUE CONFERENCE ON PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW

The Hague Conference on Private International Law is a multinational, intergovernmental organization that develops and administers multilateral legal instruments addressing private international legal issues of global concern.  The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Adoption Convention) has more than 100 signatory countries, including the United States, for which the treaty entered into force on April 1, 2008.  The Hague Conference’s website includes an Adoption Section that offers important resources to government officials and adoption professionals.

  • Status Table – Provides information about Parties to the Adoption Convention, including the date of entry into force, designation of authorities, and reservations and declarations.

  • Authorities – Provides information, including contact details, for Central and competent authorities and accredited bodies.

  • Country Profiles – Provides information about how each Party has implemented the Convention, including details about relevant legislation, the role of authorities and bodies, monitoring of accredited bodies, eligibility criteria, and other legal and procedural matters.
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FOREIGN AUTHORIZATION

This section is under development. 

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RESOURCES FOR THE PREVENTION OF ILLICIT PRACTICES

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FOREIGN PROVIDER AGREEMENTS

The Foreign Providers page of the For Adoption Professionals section of the State Department website provides background information on Foreign Supervised Provider Agreements, including an FAQ and country-specific guidance. 

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ADOPTION LAWS

The Department of State does not track or maintain a repository of U.S. state or foreign laws regarding intercountry adoption. Information may be available through the following resources:

U.S. State Laws

Child Welfare Information Gateway, maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Foreign Laws

  • Foreign Supervised Providers and/or attorneys in the country of origin

  • Hague Conference, Country ProfilesIncludes information about foreign laws for some Convention countries

  • Foreign Central and Competent Authorities – contact information is available in the Hague Conference’s Authorities section and/or the relevant Intercountry Adoption Country Information page on the Department of State’s website
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HABITUAL RESIDENCE DETERMINATIONS

This section is under development. 

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CHILD ABUSE REGISTRY REQUIREMENTS

U.S. Child Abuse Clearances

The Office of Children’s Issues does not have a role in any aspect of U.S. child abuse clearance requests, which are processed by relevant states pursuant to state law.  The AdoptUSKids webpage includes  background information about centralized child abuse registries in the United States.  The Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Welfare Information Gateway may have additional information. Points of contact by state can be found in the PDF document, State Child Abuse Registries, on the right-hand side of the Central Registries page.

Foreign Child Abuse Clearances

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has jurisdiction over determining the suitability and eligibility of prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) who wish to adopt and immigrate a foreign-born child through the intercountry adoption process.  USCIS regulations at 8 CFR 204 govern the home study process and require prospective adoptive parents to obtain a child abuse clearance from any country in which they lived during the preceding five years.

To assist PAPs and ASPs with this requirement, USCIS maintains a chart with information about countries in which child abuse registries are unavailable.  Countries included in the chart have reported they do have a child abuse registry that is searchable by the public, including by PAPs or their ASP.  For any country that is not included in the chart, the PAPs’ home study must include the appropriate child abuse clearance from that country in order to complete their home study and obtain approval of their I-600A/I-800A petition. 

ASPs should contact the USCIS National Benefits Center with any questions about child abuse clearance requirements or to report potential inaccuracies in the chart.

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POST-PLACEMENT AND POST-ADOPTION REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Information about foreign requirements for post-placement and post-adoption reporting can be found on the relevant Intercountry Adoption Country Information page and on the Post-Adoption Reporting Overview summary page.

Missing Reports

Submission of timely and accurate post-adoption reports (PARs) is a key factor in supporting the viability of intercountry adoption to the United States. Under U.S. regulations, ASPs are responsible for including the country of origin’s PAR requirements in the contract with the prospective adoptive parents and for making good faith efforts to encourage them to provide such reports to the child’s country of origin (22 CFR 96.51(c)).  The Office of Children’s Issues recognizes that despite such efforts, ASPs face many challenges in facilitating adoptive parent compliance with PAR requirements once an adoption has been finalized.

When appropriate and beneficial, the Department encourages countries of origin to implement or revise PAR requirements that may lead to improved compliance among U.S. adoptive families, such as:  

  • Reducing the administrative burden on adoptive parents by:
    • Limiting the total number of reports required;
    • Limiting the time period over which reports are to be submitted;
    • Allowing submission of reports by email; and/or
    • Removing translation, notarization, and apostille requirements.
       
  • Reducing the financial burden on adoptive parents by limiting the number of reports that must be prepared by a social worker.

  • Clarifying who will have access to the report and how the adoptive parents’ and the child’s privacy will be protected (e.g. will reports be shared with birthparents or posted on the Internet?).

  • Establishing clear procedures for submitting and acknowledging receipt of reports.

To support and complement ASP efforts, the Office of Children’s Issues will engage directly with adoptive parents about missing PARs when:

  1. The ASP is no longer in operation, and no other accredited agency has assumed the case; or
  2. The ASP has demonstrated sustained and sufficient but unsuccessful efforts to engage the family on this issue; or
  3. The country of origin specifically requests the Department contact adoptive families and the Department agrees this is an appropriate course of action.

ASPs who wish to request Department assistance should send the following information by email to ASPadoption@state.gov:

  • Country and date(s) of adoption for each family.

  • Status of PARs (e.g. how many are missing and when were they due?)

  • Details regarding efforts to encourage the family to comply, including dates, format (e.g. phone call, email, letter) – please be as specific as possible.

  • Outcome of those efforts (e.g. did they simply not respond or did they indicate a reason for not complying?)

  • Point of contact within your agency for the family to contact about missing PARs.

  • Explanation of how post-adoption reporting was discussed in the pre-adoption period.

  • A copy of the family’s adoption contract that includes PAR requirements.

  • Possible reasons for non-compliance.

Our next steps will generally be:

  • Review information provided to determine whether it is appropriate for the Department to engage with the parents.

  • May decline to be involved if it appears the ASP could have success through further efforts.

  • May agree to write to parents if ASP efforts were sustained but unsuccessful.

  • Refer parents to the ASP for guidance and support for PAR submission.
Last Updated: June 16, 2021