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Intercountry Adoption News

Adoption Notice: Council on Accreditation to Withdraw as Accrediting Entity

November 14, 2017

The Council on Accreditation (COA) has confirmed that it will cease serving as a designated accrediting entity in December 2018, unless COA and the Department reach an alternative mutually acceptable date.

COA’s work in support of children, their birth families, and prospective adoptive families under the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Adoption Convention), the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), and the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA) began in 2006. Since that time, COA has served as the primary accrediting entity with jurisdiction encompassing the entire United States. The Department appreciates COA’s work and its many years of accrediting and approving U.S. adoption service providers.  

This decision will not affect the continuation of intercountry adoption in the United States. COA will continue to execute its responsibilities as an accrediting entity while the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc. (IAAME), recently designated as an accrediting entity, prepares to assume its duties and responsibilities. Information about IAAME and its designation as an accrediting entity is found on the Department’s website. The Department will arrange an opportunity for adoption service providers and other stakeholders to hear from IAAME in the near future.

The Department is committed to a smooth transition for adoption service providers and prospective adoptive families. Discussions regarding the transition are in process, and the Department will share updates with the adoption community as plans are finalized. Questions about this announcement may be submitted to the Department at Adoption@state.gov.