Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > For Adoption Professionals > Country Information for Adoption Service Providers’ (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 Notify the Office of Children’s Issues at ASPadoption@state.gov if information on this website is out of date or inaccurate.
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.
To support the viability of intercountry adoption as an option for permanency for children in Convention countries, the Office of Children’s Issues sought information from the foreign Central Authorities regarding legal requirements for the authorization of adoption service providers (ASP), pursuant to Article 12 of the Hague Adoption Convention. This information will be updated as the Office of Children's Issues becomes aware of changes in foreign procedures.
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:
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 on state laws on maintaining child abuse and neglect records.
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.
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.
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:
To support and complement ASP efforts, the Office of Children’s Issues will engage directly with adoptive parents about missing PARs when:
ASPs who wish to request Department assistance should send the following information by email to ASPadoption@state.gov:
Our next steps will generally be: