Latvia: Latvian Government’s New Regulations Regarding Intercountry Adoption

Last Updated: November 9, 2018

The U.S. Embassy in Riga has confirmed that the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers promulgated new regulations on intercountry adoption on October 30, 2018, with an effective date of November 8, 2018. The new regulations will limit intercountry adoption to children in three groups: 1) children living in institutions, for whom an adoptive family in Latvia cannot be found; 2) stepchildren of prospective adoptive parents; and 3) children from foster care, if the adoptive child is related to the prospective adoptive parents. The new regulations will also impose stricter requirements on accredited adoption service providers (ASPs) and require more extensive pre-adoption training programs, including classroom and practical training hours.  ASPs will have six months from the effective date of the new regulations to create new training programs.   If an ASP fails to comply, the Latvian government may, in its discretion, revoke the ASP’s authorization to operate in Latvia.

In the meantime, the Office of Children’s Issues is asking the Latvian Central Adoption Authority whether adoption cases in which a U.S. citizen has an active application with the Latvian Central Adoption Authority prior to the effective date of the new regulations may continue under the previous regulations.  Once we receive this information, we will post an updated notice on, and will update the country information page for Latvia. 

Prospective adoptive parents who are currently in the process of adopting from Latvia should work closely with their ASP.  Those who have additional questions about the new regulations may wish to speak with their ASP or email the Office of Children’s Issues at

Please continue to monitor for updated information on intercountry adoption in Latvia. For questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at