Adoptions from the U.S.

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) governs adoptions from the United States to other Convention countries - in addition to adoptions to the United States. Adoptions from the United States are often referred to as outgoing cases.

An outgoing Convention adoption case occurs when:

  • There is an adoption of a child habitually resident in the United States by someone habitually resident in a Convention country; and
  • In connection with the adoption, the child has moved (or will move) from the United States to the Convention country.

In outgoing cases, the final adoption decree may be issued in the United States, or custody for the purpose of adoption in the other Convention country may be granted. Both final adoption cases and custody for the purpose of adoption cases can be Convention adoption cases.

Only accredited, approved, supervised, or exempt providers can provide an adoption service in an outgoing Convention case..  

Prospective adoptive parents adopting through foster care may work directly with the public domestic authority within the state from which they wish to adopt. If the public domestic authority is not willing or able to provide all six adoption services (22 CFR 96.2), however, the prospective adoptive parent may also need to work with an accredited adoption service provider.

Efforts to Find a Domestic Placement

Reasonable efforts must be made to actively recruit and make a diligent search for prospective adoptive parents in the United States before an outgoing adoption of a child can be approved. Exceptions can be made to this rule if birth parents have identified the prospective adoptive parent(s), but only if an adoption service provider or its agents have not assisted the birth parents in identifying the prospective adoptive parent(s).

Only outgoing adoptions to Convention countries are covered by the Convention and its implementing regulations. However, new reporting requirements (in 22 CFR Part 99) apply to outgoing cases to both Convention and non-Convention countries.

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Last Updated: May 20, 2020