Latvia: Parliament Passes Amendments That Will End Intercountry Adoptions to the United States

Last Updated: December 29, 2021

The U.S. Embassy in Riga has confirmed that the Latvian Parliament, Saeima, passed new amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Children's Rights, which will ultimately prohibit intercountry adoptions to the United States, effective July 1, 2022.  

The new amendments were signed into law on December 29, 2021.  Under the new law, intercountry adoptions from Latvia will only be permitted to countries that have ratified both the Hague Adoption Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and have a bilateral agreement with Latvia establishing a legal framework for adoption.  As a result of the changes, intercountry adoptions will not be allowed between Latvia and the United States, effective July 1, 2022.  

The Embassy will prioritize intercountry adoption cases from Latvia to the United States that are currently in process, as it is our understanding that all cases in which prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) have received referrals before June 30, 2022, will be able to continue under current processes. If PAPs have not received a referral by June 30, 2022, they will not be able to pursue an intercountry adoption from Latvia after July 1, 2022. The Office of Children’s Issues and the U.S. Embassy in Riga are working to identify all pending adoptions cases that are in process. If an adoption service provider (ASP) is aware of any pending petitions for an adoption from Latvia, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at immediately. 

Given the uncertainty of new cases, the Department recommends that ASPs not refer children to U.S. families at this time as it is unknown if the families will be able to complete the referral process before the law goes into effect or if the Latvian government will allow pending cases to proceed after the effective date.  

We will continue to engage with the Latvian government on these issues and will provide additional information to the public as it becomes available.  Please continue to monitor our website, for updated information.  If you currently have a pending adoption case with Latvia, we recommend that you contact your adoption service provider as soon as possible. For questions about this notice, please email the Office of Children’s Issues at