Local Adoption Requirements for U.S. Citizens Abroad

Last Updated: April 29, 2010


The Department of State wishes to notify U.S. citizens living abroad in another Hague Adoption Convention country who plan to adopt a child residing in the United States or a third country, that the country where the adoptive parents live may require them to follow local adoption laws and procedures as the receiving country in a Convention adoption, in order for the child to enter that country legally.

Prospective adoptive parents should therefore consult the Central Authority of the receiving country prior to initiating an adoption. Contact information for Central Authorities can be found in the Country Information section of this website. Prospective adoptive parents may also contact the Office of Children’s Issues to seek assistance in accessing information from the receiving country to understand the applicable adoption and immigration requirements.

The receiving country may require that an adoption be processed as a Hague Convention intercountry adoption even in cases where the child and the prospective adoptive parents are U.S. citizens. Adoptive parents’ failure to comply with local adoption laws and procedures to which their adoption may be subject could result in the adopted child’s inadmissibility to enter the receiving country.