Compare Adoption Countries

ADOPTION COUNTRIES AT A GLANCE

Bulgaria

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 4.76% 4.76%
  • Ages 3-4 17.69% 17.69%
  • Ages 5 – 12 48.98% 48.98%
  • Ages 13 – 17 27.89% 27.89%
  • 18 and Older 0.68% 0.68%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 1.0% 1.0%
  • Ages 3-4 31.34% 31.34%
  • Ages 5 – 12 46.27% 46.27%
  • Ages 13 – 17 21.39% 21.39%
  • 18 and Older 0% 0%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 7.57% 7.57%
  • Ages 3-4 29.19% 29.19%
  • Ages 5 – 12 46.49% 46.49%
  • Ages 13 – 17 16.22% 16.22%
  • 18 and Older 0.54% 0.54%

Bulgaria Adoption Requirements

Residency Reqs:  None.  However, prospective adoptive parents are expected to spend 5 days with their adoptive child before the orphanage director will release the child. 

Age Requirements:  Adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than their adoptive children. 

Marriage:  Under Bulgarian law, adoptive parents can be married couple or a single person.  

For more info on Bulgaria, please see our site here

Who Can be Adopted?

Children are listed on the registry for domestic adoption if they are officially relinquished or abandoned by the parents.  If no Bulgarian family adopts a child from the domestic registry within six months of listing, the child is entered into the registry for international adoptions, maintained by the Ministry of Justice.   

The Process

1.   Choose an Accredited ASP (adoption agency)
2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3.  Be Matched with a Child
4.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
5.  Adopt the Child in Bulgaria
6.  Bring your Child Home 

For more details on these steps, ask us a question here.  Or call us at 704 527 7673

Ukraine

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 4.65% 4.65%
  • Ages 3-4 4.65% 4.65%
  • Ages 5 – 12 31.16% 31.16%
  • Ages 13 – 17 50.23% 50.23%
  • 18 and Older 9.3% 9.3%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 6.98% 6.98%
  • Ages 3-4 5.65% 5.65%
  • Ages 5 – 12 28.57% 28.57%
  • Ages 13 – 17 47.51% 47.51%
  • 18 and Older 11.3% 11.3%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 6.27% 6.27%
  • Ages 3-4 6.60% 6.60%
  • Ages 5 – 12 32.67% 32.67%
  • Ages 13 – 17 51.82% 51.82%
  • 18 and Older 2.64% 2.64%

*DOS Notice * - July 6, 2018

Ukraine Update – Changes to Ukrainian Civil Code affect timeframes for adoptions

This Notice Supersedes the Message issued on January 30, 2018

As a reminder, on December 15, 2017, the new Civil Code of Ukraine went into effect, increasing the appeal period of all civil cases, including the appeals process for adoption decrees, from 10 days to 30 calendar days. After a Ukrainian civil court approves an adoption decree, the judgement will not go into effect until 30 calendar days have passed to allow for an appeal to be filed. After this period, adoptive parents may be given physical custody of the adopted child and may then apply for a new birth certificate and passport and finalize the adoption.

NOTE: Adoptive parents may have to wait an additional six to 12 weeks in Ukraine to obtain the child’s passport, birth certificate, and other required documents. This wait time is in addition to the 30-day waiting period following the final court hearing. Before you travel to finalize your child’s adoption in Ukraine, you should consider these new timelines in your travel plans.

For our blog update on this same issue, please click here

 

 

*Travel Advisory Warning* - Level 2 - DOS

January 10, 2018

Exercise increased caution in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to Crimea due to:

-foreign occupation and abuses by occupation authorities

-the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, especially the non-government controlled areas, due to armed conflict.

Crime targeting foreigners and property is common. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv. Politically targeted assassinations and bombings have also occurred.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits U.S. civil aviation from flying in the Ukrainian Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Regions. For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Ukraine:

  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Ukraine.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Crimea

There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea as part of Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of this part of Ukraine, which the international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize. There are continuing abuses against and arbitrary imprisonment of foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly abuses against individuals who are seen as challenging Russian authority on the peninsula.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Donetsk and Luhansk

Russia-led forces continue to control areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where the ongoing armed conflict has resulted in over 10,000 deaths. Individuals, including U.S. citizens, have been threatened, detained, or kidnapped for hours or days after being stopped at checkpoints controlled by Russia-led forces.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Donetsk or Luhansk since U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling to the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and to adjacent regions.

Ukraine Adoption Requirements

Minimum Residency: None

Age of Adopting Parents: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 21 years old to adopt from Ukraine. They must be at least 15 years older than the adopted child. There is no maximum age difference requirement. 

Marriage: Only married couples can adopt from Ukraine. Single individuals are only permitted to adopt from Ukraine if they are related to the adopted child.

Other requirements: Ukraine will not allow persons who have been declared completely or partially disabled (both mentally and physically) to adopt children from Ukraine. Also, anyone who has previously had parental rights or a previous adoption, guardianship, or foster care relationship terminated involuntarily will not be allowed to adopt from Ukraine.

 

Who Can be Adopted?

In order for a child to be eligible for intercountry adoption in Ukraine, the child must have first been found eligible for domestic adoption and listed on the local register for 14 months. If no suitable family has been found in Ukaine after 14 months of being listed on the local register, and if the child is over the age of five, the child’s name is added to the intercountry adoption register.

Ukrainian law requires that orphans be at least five years old before they are eligible for intercountry adoption, with certain exemptions for children with special needs, relative adoptions, and sibling adoptions.

Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

Furthermore in Ukraine, several charitable organizations run hosting programs in which children who reside in orphanages or children’s homes travel to the United States for short-term stays with host families. Hosting families should be aware that while many of the children who are selected for these programs are eligible for intercountry adoption, many of them are not eligible. Children who entered the United States with a non-immigrant visa cannot generally qualify as an orphan under U.S. immigration law and Ukrainian law prohibits the adoption of Ukrainian children outside of Ukraine. Failure to return the hosted child to Ukraine by the end date annotated on the visa may place all hosting programs at risk of suspension by Ukrainian and/or U.S. authorities.

The Process

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider To Act as Your Primary Provider

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-600A)

3. Apply to Ukraine’s Authorities to Adopt, and to be Matched with a Child

4. Adopt the Child in Ukraine

5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan (Form I-600)

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

 

Latvia

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 0% 0%
  • Ages 3-4 2.82% 2.82%
  • Ages 5 – 12 50.7% 50.7%
  • Ages 13 – 17 42.25% 42.25%
  • 18 and Older 4.23% 4.23%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 1.25% 1.25%
  • Ages 3-4 3.75% 3.75%
  • Ages 5 – 12 60% 60%
  • Ages 13 – 17 32.5% 32.5%
  • 18 and Older 2.5% 2.5%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 0.59% 0.59%
  • Ages 3-4 5.88% 5.88%
  • Ages 5 – 12 58.82% 58.82%
  • Ages 13 – 17 32.94% 32.94%
  • 18 and Older 1.76% 1.76%

**Latvia Notice** - Dec 8, 2017

On November 24, the Ministry of Welfare’s Department of Children and Family Policy, Latvia’s Central Authority for adoption, proposed legislation relating to hosting programs, and is in the process of drafting legislation related to intercountry adoption in Latvia to be proposed at a later date. U.S. Embassy Riga is in contact with the Latvian government to better understand how the bills may affect both hosting programs and intercountry adoptions.

The proposed bill on hosting programs is an amendment to the Children’s Rights Protection Law, and if approved, is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2018. The Ministry noted concerns that some hosting agencies may not be following the Latvian Children’s Rights Inspectorate’s guidelines regarding the recommended minimum age for hosted children. The proposed bill seeks to raise the age of eligibility for hosting programs to children who reside in institutions and are over the age of 12.

The proposed bill focused on intercountry adoption is in the drafting phase and the Ministry has not yet provided a timeline of when they plan to submit it to Parliament for review. However, the Ministry explained that the bill seeks to limit intercountry adoption to children in two groups: children living in institutions, and children living in foster care that have a serious medical condition.

Latvian Adoption Requirements

Residency:  Latvian adoption law requires that a parent-child relationship be established between the party seeking to adopt and the child before the final court decision can be made, by the town or city court having jurisdiction over the child.  This is done by sharing a household in Latvia for period of time determined by each orphan court on a case-by-case basis.  Adoptive parents are advised that orphan courts may require them to take care of the adoptive children and share a household in Latvia for a certain amount of time, not to exceed six months, before it can finalize the adoption

Age of Adopting Parents:  Latvia requires that the adoptive parent be at least 25 years old and at least 18 years older than the adoptive child.

Marriage:  There is no marriage requirement: married couples, as well as single individuals, are eligible to adopt.  Please note that Latvian law does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Income:  Latvia does not have any specific income requirements for intercountry adoptions.

Other:  To determine if a parent-child relationship exists and whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest, Latvian orphan courts have the authority to require that adoptive parents take care of the adoptive child(ren) and share a household in Latvia for a set amount of time, not to exceed six months.  Once the orphan court rules in favor of an approved adoption, subsequent trips for adoption approval by court and immigrant visa processing range from two weeks to two months.

 

Who Can be Adopted?

Age of Adoptive Child:  Latvia will approve applications for intercountry adoption only if the prospective adoptive parents file to adopt a sibling group of three or more children below the age of 18; a single child over age 9; a child(ren) below the age of 18 with severe health problems;

Child(ren) below the age of 18 listed in the web site of Latvia’s Central Authority as released for intercountry adoption because he or she has not been adopted by Latvians;

Or any adoptable child regardless of child’s age or health condition if at least one of potential adoptive parents is a Latvian citizen or holds Latvian non-citizen resident (alien) status. 

The Process

1.   Choose an Accredited ASP that has been authorized by Latvia’s Central Authority to operate there
2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3.  Apply to Latvia’s authorities to adopt
4.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
5.  Adopt the Child in Latvia
6.  Bring your Child Home 

For more details on these steps, ask us a question here.  Or call us at 704 527 7673

Poland

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 6.15% 6.15%
  • Ages 3-4 15.38% 15.38%
  • Ages 5 – 12 73.85% 73.85%
  • Ages 13 – 17 4.62% 4.62%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 6.12% 6.12%
  • Ages 3-4 19.39% 19.39%
  • Ages 5 – 12 69.39% 69.39%
  • Ages 13 – 17 5.10% 5.10%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 13.33% 13.33%
  • Ages 3-4 28.33% 28.33%
  • Ages 5 – 12 56.67% 56.67%
  • Ages 13 – 17 1.67% 1.67%

Poland Adoption Requirements

Residency: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents.

Age Requirements: Under Polish law, there are no formal, legal restrictions on the age of prospective adoptive parents. In practice, however, prospective adoptive parents may be up to 40 years older than the child.

Marriage Requirements: Both married and single prospective adoptive parents are permitted to adopt a child in Poland. 

Income:  Poland does not have any specific income requirements for intercountry adoptions.

Other Requirements: Although Roman Catholicism is Poland’s official religion, non-Catholic prospective adoptive parents are permitted to adopt a child in Poland. However, one of the three adoption centers in Poland deals only with Catholic families.

(We work with Poland. For more details on these steps, ask us a question here.  Or call us at 704 527 7673.  Or see our Poland info page here. )

Who Can be Adopted?

Relinquishment: A single mother may relinquish her parental rights in the family court no earlier than six weeks after giving birth. The court will make the final decision about the termination of parental rights.

Abandonment: The majority of Polish children eligible for intercountry adoption have been separated from their biological parents, by the court’s decision to terminate their parental rights and to place the children in the foster care.

Age of Adoptive Child: Polish law allows for children younger than age 18 to be adopted. Children older than 13 must give their consent for adoption. (Note: Under U.S. immigration laws, children adopted through the Convention process must be under the age of 16 at the time a petition is filed on their behalf, unless they are the older sibling under age 18 of a child also adopted by the same prospective adoptive parents.)

Sibling Adoptions: It is usually more difficult to find a suitable family domestically to adopt siblings; therefore, these children are often eligible for intercountry adoption. Sibling groups, which can range from two to six children, are generally not separated. An adopting parent would be immediately notified and have priority to adopt if a sibling of a child already adopted becomes eligible for adoptions.

Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Young and healthy children are most often placed with Polish families. Children with medical conditions or special needs are more likely to be placed for intercountry adoption, even if they are very young.

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Prospective parents adopting children in Poland are not granted temporary care under Polish law. Children remain in state care or foster care until the adoption is finalized. While there is no standard or mandatory waiting period between matching and the bonding period, parents typically wait about six months until the first hearing before a judge. Afterward, the mandatory bonding period lasts between two and four weeks and the standard appeals period following the judge’s approval of the adoption is three weeks. In addition, the civil documents necessary for the child to travel may take between two and three weeks.

(We work with Poland. For more details on these steps, ask us a question here.  Or call us at 704 527 7673.  Or see our Poland info page here. )

 

The Process

1.   Choose an Accredited ASP (adoption agency)
2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3.  Be Matched with a Child by authorities in Poland
4.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
5.  Adopt the Child in Poland
6.  Bring your Child Home 

For more details on these steps, ask us a question here.  Or call us at 704 527 7673.  Or see our Poland info page here

Nigeria

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 18.18% 18.18%
  • Ages 3-4 27.27% 27.27%
  • Ages 5 – 12 27.84% 27.84%
  • Ages 13 – 17 22.16% 22.16%
  • 18 and Older 4.55% 4.55%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 19.01% 19.01%
  • Ages 3-4 30.58% 30.58%
  • Ages 5 – 12 33.06% 33.06%
  • Ages 13 – 17 13.22% 13.22%
  • 18 and Older 4.13% 4.13%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 24.03% 24.03%
  • Ages 3-4 22.73% 22.73%
  • Ages 5 – 12 29.22% 29.22%
  • Ages 13 – 17 21.43% 21.43%
  • 18 and Older 2.6% 2.6%

Nigeria Adoption Requirements

Minimum Residency: There is no specific minimum residence requirement to be eligible to adopt in Nigeria. However, prospective adoptive parents maybe required to stay in Nigeria for a minimum of a few months to two years to bond with the child before petitioning a court to adopt. Each state determines the length of time for the required bonding period.          

Age of Adopting Parents: In Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers, prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age and 21 years older than the child. For married couples, at least one parent must meet the age requirements

Marriage: Both single individuals and married couples may adopt. Note that a single person will not be allowed to adopt a child of the opposite sex except in extraordinary circumstances. In most states, married couples must adopt jointly. If married, both members of the couple must be Nigerian citizens (with the exception of Lagos and Ogun states). In a case where only one member of a married couple adopts the child, only the adoptive parent’s name should be listed on the Nigerian birth certificate and the other parent’s name should be left blank. 

Minimum Income: Nigeria does not have any income requirements for intercountry adoptions.

Who Can be Adopted?

Eligibility for adoption: In states in Nigeria that recognize adoption and have enacted a statute under which adoptive parents can acquire parental rights, a final adoption must take place prior to the child immigrating to the United States. In States that do not recognize adoption legally, prospective adoption parents will need to acquire a legal guardianship for purposes of immigration and adoption or an interim adoption order and then finalize the adoption in the United States.

The Process

1.   Choose an Accredited ASP (adoption agency)
2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3.  Be Matched with a Child by Nigerian Authorities
4.  Adopt the Child in Nigeria (or obtain legal custody for the purpose of emigration)

5.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
6.  Bring your Child Home 

**Warning** Reconsider Travel - LEVEL 3 - DOS

Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, and piracy.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape, is common throughout the country.

Terrorists continue plotting possible attacks in Nigeria. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, and other places where crowds gather in and around the Federal Capital Territory and other urban areas. The northern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, and Yobe – and especially Borno – have experienced numerous acts of terrorism. 

Avoid travel to the Gulf of Guinea due to the threat of piracy.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens beyond Abuja and Lagos and their immediate surrounding areas, as U.S. government employees may be subject to constraints as security conditions warrant.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Nigeria:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Nigeria.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Ghana

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 4.76% 4.76%
  • Ages 3-4 14.29% 14.29%
  • Ages 5 – 12 38.10% 38.10%
  • Ages 13 – 17 28.57% 28.57%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 13.79% 13.79%
  • Ages 3-4 17.24% 17.24%
  • Ages 5 – 12 31.03% 31.03%
  • Ages 13 – 17 27.59% 27.59%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 10.59% 10.59%
  • Ages 3-4 2.35% 2.35%
  • Ages 5 – 12 52.94% 52.94%
  • Ages 13 – 17 30.59% 30.59%

Who Can be Adopted?

For a child to be eligible for adoption, he or she must meet at least one of the below criteria:

  • There is no known family for the child,
  • No family is available or capable of taking care of the child,
  • The child’s family is unwilling to take care of the child, or
  • The courts have terminated parental rights for reasons of abuse or neglect.

In cases where the family of the child is unknown, reasonable efforts must be made to locate the family for a period of at least three months.  If the family remains unknown after three months, the Department of Social Development may determine that the child is eligible for adoption.

In cases where the family is unwilling or incapable of caring for the child, birth parents must relinquish their parental rights under the Ghanaian legal system (see below).

  • Relinquishment:  The Department of Social Development determines the validity of a relinquishment.  The relinquishment of parental rights means the birth parent(s) decide they do not want to or cannot take care of the child and have decided to let the Department of Social Development find other parent(s).  Whatever the reason, they are taken through a series of counseling sessions to ensure they understand the implications of the decision.  If the birth parents decide to continue with the relinquishment, they must execute an affidavit providing consent for their decision to have the child adopted.  In some cases a pregnant mother will notify the Department of Social Development of an unwanted pregnancy and ask to give the child up for adoption after delivery.  The birth mother has the right to change her mind after she gives birth, but if she decides to relinquish the child, she is also required to give formal consent before a notary public. 

Note:  In Ghana, birth parents who relinquish or abandon their child(ren) may change their mind at any point in the adoption process prior to the final adoption order, and in such cases it is possible that the Department of Social Development and the Ghanaian court will reverse their adoptability finding and/or adoptive placement decisions.

The Process

1.   Choose an Accredited ASP (adoption agency)
2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3.  Apply to Ghana’s Authority to Adopt and be Matched
4.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States

5. Adopt the child in Ghana
6.  Bring your Child Home 

**Ghana Notice - March 3, 2017** - DOS

March 3, 2017 – Department of State shares the following:

On January 1, 2017, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Ghana. After reviewing Ghana’s Amended Children’s Act of 2016, and confirming the establishment of Ghana’s Central Authority, the United States has determined that it will now be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for adoptions from Ghana. Consular officers will verify on a case-by-case basis that an intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with the Convention, as well as with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations.  

The Department of State cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that there may be delays in the adoption process while Ghana works to implement its new adoption laws, regulations, and procedures. Prospective adoptive parents initiating an intercountry adoption on or after January 1, 2017, should work closely with their U.S. accredited adoption service provider (ASP) to ensure they complete all necessary steps under Ghana’s adoption process in accordance with Ghanaian and U.S. laws.   

If you started the intercountry adoption process before January 1, 2017, by filing a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, or a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, with USCIS, or if you obtained a final adoption of a child habitually resident in Ghana before January 1, 2017, you may be able to continue using the non-Hague process (known as the Orphan process) to process your intercountry adoption in Ghana. We refer to such cases as “transition cases.”  If your case is not eligible to proceed as a transition case, you will need to use the Hague process. For more information, please visit the USCIS website.

Note about transition cases: Ghana’s Central Authority has indicated that the Births and Deaths Registry in Accra may not provide a new birth certificate with a child’s adopted name unless the case has a “clearance letter” from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, indicating the Ministry’s assent to a particular adoption. While this letter is currently not a requirement under U.S. adoption procedures for Form I-600 approval or issuance of an immigrant visa, adoptive families and ASPs may wish to consider contacting the Ministry prior to beginning the adoption process to obtain the most updated information about the specific steps in the intercountry adoption process in Ghana.

Please note that all intercountry adoptions between Ghana and the United States that do not meet the requirements to proceed as transition cases must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. laws relating to Hague adoptions. Do not finalize an adoption or obtain legal custody of a child in Ghana in a Convention case, before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter.” See the “Hague Adoption Process ” section for more information.

Questions about the transition process, Form I-600A, Form I-600 and/or Form I-800A and Form I-800 filings should be directed to USCIS.

We are in the process of updating our Country Information Sheet for Ghana.  Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at adoption@state.gov. You may also reach us at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.

Uganda

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 12.73% 12.73%
  • Ages 3-4 25.45% 25.45%
  • Ages 5 – 12 56.36% 56.36%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 14.44% 14.44%
  • Ages 3-4 26.74% 26.74%
  • Ages 5 – 12 54.55% 54.55%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 15.84% 15.84%
  • Ages 3-4 32.18% 32.18%
  • Ages 5 – 12 48.02% 48.02%

** Uganda Notice ** - DOS

Uganda Adoption Information – provided by Dept. of State.

The Uganda country specific information page is currently being updated. In the meantime, we wanted to provide an update on the Children’s Act Amendments.

On June 2, 2016, amendments to Uganda’s Children Act went into effect.  The full text of the amendments can be found on the Ministry of Women, Gender, Labour, and Social Development’s website. Part of the text from the State Department’s June 2 notice about the amendments is pasted below for your reference:

On May 20, 2016, the Ugandan president signed into law amendments to the Children Act that include changes to guardianship and adoption laws in Uganda. Among the many changes, the amendments limit applications for legal guardianships to citizens of Uganda who have lived in Uganda for at least three continuous months. The amendments state that intercountry adoption “shall be considered as the last option” available to children in need of permanency. They also shorten the required pre-adoption residency and fostering period for foreign prospective adoptive parents from three years to one, and state that those requirements may be waived in “exceptional circumstances.”

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala continues to seek further information from the Government of Uganda on the amendments’ practical impact. The government of Uganda is in the process of drafting implementing regulations. Until their issuance, the potential for uncertainty and delays in case processing exist, and prospective adoptive parents should proceed cautiously at this time, and seek guidance from an accredited adoption service provider and/or attorney regarding law or procedure. 

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala will continue to process all intercountry adoption cases in accordance with relevant U.S. and Ugandan laws. If you have questions about your guardianship or adoption case after consulting with your adoption service provider, please write to adoption@state.gov.

Philippines

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 1.8% 1.8%
  • Ages 3-4 18.29% 18.29%
  • Ages 5 – 12 45.05% 45.05%
  • Ages 13 – 17 29.73% 29.73%
  • 18 and Older 4.5% 4.5%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 2.56% 2.56%
  • Ages 3-4 12.82% 12.82%
  • Ages 5 – 12 49.36% 49.36%
  • Ages 13 – 17 33.33% 33.33%
  • 18 and Older 1.92% 1.92%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 6% 6%
  • Ages 3-4 17.33% 17.33%
  • Ages 5 – 12 46% 46%
  • Ages 13 – 17 27.33% 27.33%
  • 18 and Older 3.33% 3.33%

Philippines Adoption Requirements

Age of Adopting Parents: Based on the Inter-Country Adoption Law of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 8043), the prospective adoptive parent must be at least 27 years of age and at least 16 years older than the child at the time of application, unless the adoptive parent is the biological parent of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent. 

Marriage: If prospective adoptive parents are married, they must have been married for at least three years. They must file jointly for adoption. Applicants who have lived together in a common law relationship for several years must have been married for at least one year, although ICAB will take into account the stability of the relationship prior to the marriage. Single applicants are eligible to adopt children between six and 15 years old in the Waiting Child Program. For prospective adoptive parents with a history of divorce, ICAB will consider prospective adoptive parents who have a history of two or fewer divorces and assess the stability of the current marriage to evaluate the suitability of a placement. 

Income: Prospective adoptive parents must have a minimum annual income of $40,000 USD.

Other: Prospective adoptive parents must not have ever been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Obesity is an unacceptable medical condition for prospective adoptive parents. ICAB previously defined obesity as a BMI of 35 or above. A more recent addition to the list of unacceptable health conditions is “metabolic syndrome,” which is defined as a medical disorder that, when occurring together with a high BMI, increases a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A prospective adoptive parent’s BMI is still taken into consideration along with other health and lifestyle factors.

Who Can be Adopted?

Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Children in the Waiting Child Program must be older than 73 months or meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be in need of major surgery or have a major illness;
  • Have developmental delays;
  • Have a handicap;
  • Be part of a sibling group of older children; or
  • Have been sexually or physically abused.

The Process

1.   Choose an Accredited ASP (adoption agency)
2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3.  Be Matched with a Child by authorities in Philippines
4.  Adopt the Child in the Philippines 

5.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
6.  Bring your Child Home 

**Warning** - LEVEL 2 - DOS

Warning issued by Department of State: 

Exercise increased caution in the Philippines due to crimeterrorism, civil unrest, and a measles outbreak.  Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.    

Do not travel to:

  • The Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crimeterrorismandcivil unrest.
  • Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Other areas of Mindanao due to crimeterrorismand civil unrest.

Terrorist and armed groups continue plotting possible kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks in the Philippines.  Terrorist and armed groups may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.  The Philippine government has declared a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao.”

There is an outbreak of measles in the Philippines.  Philippine authorities have reported deaths in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Davao.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has additional information on the outbreak at:  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/measles-philippines.    

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to the Philippines:

The Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea

Terrorist and armed groups kidnap U.S. citizens on land and at sea for ransom.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to those areas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Marawi City in Mindanao

The Philippine government has declared martial law throughout the Mindanao region.  Civilians are at risk of death or injury due to conflict between remnants of terrorist groups and Philippine security forces in Marawi.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mindanao as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Mindanao

The Philippine government has declared martial law throughout the Mindanao region.  The Philippine government also maintains a state of emergency and greater police presence in the Cotabato City area, and in the Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces.

Terrorist and armed groups continue to conduct kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks targeting U.S. citizens, foreigners, civilians, local government institutions, and security forces.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mindanao as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

China

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 16.8% 16.8%
  • Ages 3-4 41% 41%
  • Ages 5 – 12 34.75% 34.75%
  • Ages 13 – 17 7.45% 7.45%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 19.01% 19.01%
  • Ages 3-4 30.58% 30.58%
  • Ages 5 – 12 33.06% 33.06%
  • Ages 13 – 17 13.22% 13.22%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 36.83% 36.83%
  • Ages 3-4 32.33% 32.33%
  • Ages 5 – 12 26.42% 26.42%
  • Ages 13 – 17 4.29% 4.29%

**Notice About China** Feb 27, 2018 - DOS

From Department of State: 

Last Updated: February 27, 2018

China: Office of Children’s Issues January 25 Delegation Meeting with CCCWA

On January 25, the Office of Children’s Issues (CI) met with a delegation from the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) in Washington, D.C. to discuss a range of topics related to intercountry adoption, including the January 2017 NGO law enacted in China and its impact on adoptions, changes to humanitarian donation collections, adoption waivers, and other issues. Below is a brief summary of information related to these topics.

NGO Law: On January 1, 2017, China’s Ministry of Public Security enacted the Law on Domestic Activities of Overseas NGOs. The primary goal of the new law is to regulate all foreign NGO activities, not intercountry adoption activities. Although the law was not targeted at intercountry adoption activities, it has directly impacted adoption processes. The new law resulted in the suspension of the One-to-One Partnership program, the hosting program, and the Journey of Hope program. During a CI visit to China in May 2017, CCCWA indicated they expected new regulations to be enacted about these issues in 2017. However, those regulations have still not been developed, and an estimated timeframe for them is currently unavailable.

ASP Activities Under the New Law: The Chinese government allowed a one year transition period after the law was passed, which concluded as of December 31, 2017. At that time, activities under the previous One-to-One Partnership program were required to conclude permanently. ASPs are now required to register with the Chinese government by submitting credentials for approval to the Ministry of Public Security. In addition, ASPs must register with the relevant Ministry that oversees the actions of the NGO. In the case of international adoptions, which is overseen by CCCWA and the Ministry of Civil Affairs, we understand that Civil Affairs is still in the process of creating registration regulations. No completion date has been provided. Therefore, according to CCCWA, currently, no U.S. ASPs are registered under the NGO law to conduct intercountry adoption work under a One-to-One partnership arrangement, although two ASPs are approved for other child welfare or charitable work not related to adoption.

CCCWA informed the Department that, because of the lack of NGO authorization specifically for intercountry adoption partnerships, at this time no U.S. ASP may have direct contact with orphanages. If an ASP needs information about a specific child, the ASP must contact CCCWA, which will make appropriate inquiries with the orphanage. CCCWA acknowledged ASP representatives may still be needed in the provinces to assist adoptive families to register cases or with travel, but those representatives should not have direct contact with the orphanage or its employees.

CI expressed concern that this process could result in significant delays in child-specific information being transferred from the orphanage to CCCWA, and subsequently to ASPs. CCCWA acknowledged that delays may occur and expressed their commitment to working with orphanages to continue to improve the system. We discussed a plan to keep each other informed about progress on this issue and that we would meet again in a few months to address issues that arise. To that end, CI would be interested in hearing from ASPs about their experiences with the transfer of child-specific information.

Foreign Supervised Provider Agreements: Based on the information above, under China’s new guidelines prohibiting contact between ASPs, their representatives and orphanages, supervised provider agreements should not be necessary between U.S. ASPs and orphanages. In the event an orphanage is working directly with ASPs (or their representatives) despite this guidance, a foreign supervised provider agreement is required and CCCWA has asked to be informed of the activities and the agreement. In accordance with U.S. intercountry adoption accreditation regulations, ASPs must obtain agreements with other local representatives that perform adoption services.

Note: This information is meant as general guidance that does not preclude an accrediting entity making a finding that an ASP should supervise an orphanage if the ASP’s (or its representatives’) activities fall outside of the normal process in that country.

Please also note that countries may change rules and lift some restrictions that would affect the role of U.S. adoption service providers with respect to the orphanages. In determining whether an orphanage should be treated as a foreign supervised provider, the Department recommends that the accrediting entity consider this general information and also refer to the Department’s guidance for evaluators on foreign supervised providers and other guidance the Department has previously provided regarding foreign supervised providers.

Orphanage Donations: On December 7, 2017, at the request of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, CCCWA issued a public notice on orphanage donations by adoptive parents. The notice explained that adoptive parents may offer a voluntary donation to the child welfare institution after the adoption registration is finalized. It has been clarified that the amount and method of submitting a voluntary donation should be left to the adoptive parents, and donations should not be made until after the adoption is registered in the province. Per the notice, CCCWA may take action against any ASP in which it believes the agency, or its representatives, have pressured families to make donations. In response to inquiries about what to do if an orphanage pressures a family to make a donation, adoptive parents and/or the ASP should report this to the local Department of Civil Affairs in the province.

CI has received requests for clarification and inquiries made of adoptive parents at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou in relation to orphanage donations. Since 2016, families have expressed concerns about being asked to carry large sums of cash to China for donations, instead of being able to transfer funds electronically. In light of this, CI, Mission China staff and CCCWA discussed had a conversation about wire transfer capabilities in May 2017. It was unclear at that time which provinces were requiring cash transfers vs. electronic transfer, and thus consular officers began asking parents about their experience in order to gather information for further conversations with CCCWA about wire transfer capabilities. In our recent meeting, we shared with CCCWA our continued concern about safety risks for adoptive parents carrying large amounts of cash to be donated. CCCWA is exploring how donations can be made via electronic wire transfer to avoid PAPs having to carry large amounts of cash.

CCCWA waiver process: CI inquired about reported changes in the waiver process. In the past, CCCWA has considered waiving some of CCCWA’s requirements to allow certain PAPs adopting children who were about to age out to be considered eligible to adopt if they met all other legal requirements. However, CCCWA confirmed that effective January 2018, CCCWA has determined that it will no longer approve any waivers for prospective adoptive parents who do not meet China’s eligibility criteria for adopting.  

Post-placement reporting: CCCWA requested continued compliance with China’s post-adoption reporting requirements in a timely manner. This will continue to contribute to China’s history of positive experiences with U.S. adoptive parents.

China’s requirements are as follows:

  • For adoption cases completed after January 1, 2015 with a “Notice of Coming to China for Adoption,” the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption requires Prospective Adoptive Parents to submit post placement reports six months, one year, two years, three years, four years, and five years after the adoption registration.
  • The first three reports must be prepared by the social workers who prepared the home study. The last three reports may be written by the families themselves.

Families who adopted through an ASP that can no longer assist with post-adoption reporting need to submit reports through a new ASP. If you would like to choose a different agency, you may wish to review the information published by the Council on Accreditation (COA) at https://coanet.org/accreditation/hague-accreditation-and-approval/guide-to-finding-an-adoption-service-provider/ for information about case transfers or accreditation/approval requirements. Families may also communicate directly to CCCWA, their contact information is:

China’s Adoption Authority
The China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption
16 Wang Jia Yuan Lane
Dongcheng District
Beijing, China 100027
Tel: 010-655-48998
Email: cccwa@cccwa.cn
Internet: https://cccwaen.mca.gov.cn

ASPs who cease to provide adoption services or who are no longer working in China need to execute a case transfer plan for the families who still have outstanding post-adoption responsibilities.

CI greatly appreciates its close relationship with CCCWA and looks forward to continuing collaboration during this time of change in China’s adoption program. We remain committed to working with China to minimize the collateral impacts the legal changes in China are having on the intercountry adoption process. 

China Adoption Requirements

  • Physical/Mental Health: PAPS must be physically and mentally fit, with none of the following conditions:
    • HIV, AIDS, or an infectious disease that is actively contagious;
    • Mental disability;
    • Blind in both eyes, or blind in either eye or having impaired vision that is uncorrected by a corrective device.
    • Hearing loss in both ears or loss of language function (those adopting children with hearing or language function loss are exempted from this requirement);
    • Non-function or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incomplete limbs, paralysis or deformation;
    • Severe facial deformation;
    • Severe diseases that require long-term treatment and that may affect life expectancy, including malignant tumors, lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis;
    • Major organ transplant within ten years, China may consider an exemption to this restriction for couples in which one spouse had a transplant within 10 years but has recovered to a normal daily life;
    • Schizophrenia;
    • Severe mental disorders, including depression, mania, or anxiety neurosis (China may exempt this restriction for couples with proof of effective treatment); and
    • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more.
  •  
  • Other: A single prospective adoptive parent must not have more than two children in her household under the age of 18 and the youngest child must be at least six years old. The Chinese Central Authority will consider the occupation and lifestyle of prospective adoptive parents to determine whether the PAPs will be available and able to take care of the child that they seek to refer. PAPs must have a history of honorable behavior and good moral character, and must not have a criminal record, including without evidence of:
    • Domestic violence, sexual abuse, abandonment, or abuse of children; even if not arrested or convicted;
    • Recreational drug use and those with substance abuse histories; including opium, morphine (unless medically administered), marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, etc. Note that PAPs will be required to provide information regarding prescription medications to the Chinese central authority so that it may evaluate eligibility of the PAPs on a case-by-case basis.
    • Alcohol abuse, unless the individual can show she/he has been sober for at least ten years.

Who Can be Adopted?

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Recent experience indicates it can take approximately 9 years for PAPs to receive a referral of a healthy infant from China’s central authority. Cases involving children without disabilities or older children are generally much shorter.

Medical Conditions Other Needs: China places children with disabilities and older children from its special focus (SF) and non-special focus (non-SF) children according to their degree of special needs and health conditions. See the “Apply to China’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child” section for further detail on the procedures involved with adopting a child with disabilities or an older child.

Age of Adoptive Child: Chinese law permits the adoption of children up to and including age 13. An adoption involving the child of a blood relative of the same generation up to the third degree of kinship is exempted from the age limit. 

The Process

1.  Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider that has been authorized by China’s Central Authority to Operate in China.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt 

3. Apply to China’s Authorities to Adopt and Be Matched with a Child

4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee 

5. Adopt the Child in China

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

**Warning** - LEVEL 2 - DOS

From Department of State

Exercise increased caution in China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws and special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.

Chinese authorities have the broad ability to prohibit travelers from leaving China (also known as ‘exit bans’); exit bans have been imposed to compel U.S. citizens to resolve business disputes, force settlement of court orders, or facilitate government investigations. Individuals not involved in legal proceedings or suspected of wrongdoing have also be subjected to lengthy exit bans in order to compel their family members or colleagues to cooperate with Chinese courts or investigators.

U.S. citizens visiting or residing in China have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained for reasons related to “state security.” Security personnel have detained and/or deported U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government.

China may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Chinese nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying U.S. assistance to detained dual nationals, and preventing their departure from China. If a dual U.S.-Chinese national enters China on a Chinese government travel document, such as, but not limited to, a Chinese passport or a national ID card, U.S. consular officers will not be allowed to visit the individual or assist in interactions with the Chinese government should the individual be arrested, detained, or involved in criminal or civil investigation.

If you plan to enter North Korea from China, read the North Korea Travel Advisory.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to China:

  • Enter China on your U.S. passport with a valid Chinese visa.
  • If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the U.S. Embassy on TwitterWeChat, and Weibo.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for China.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Kyrgyzstan

Total Adoptions for 2017

  • Ages 1-2 6.25% 6.25%
  • Ages 3 – 4 12.5% 12.5%
  • Ages 5 – 9 75% 75%

Total Adoptions for 2016

  • Ages 1-2 9.09% 9.09%
  • Ages 3 – 4 27.27% 27.27%
  • Ages 5 – 9 59.09% 59.09%

Total Adoptions for 2015

  • Ages 1-2 11.54% 11.54%
  • Ages 3 – 4 19.23% 19.23%
  • Ages 5 – 9 61.54% 61.54%

Kazakhstan

Total Adoptions for 2017

Total Adoptions for 2016

Total Adoptions for 2015

Lithuania

Total Adoptions for 2017

Total Adoptions for 2016

Total Adoptions for 2015

Armenia

Total Adoptions for 2017

Total Adoptions for 2016

Total Adoptions for 2015

Serbia

Total Adoptions for 2017

Total Adoptions for 2016

Total Adoptions for 2015

Ethiopia – Closed for adoption

Jan 11, 2018 - Closed for Adoption

From the Staff at Saint Mary International Adoptions:

We put this page together to educate people about different countries and their different adoption requirements.   We hope these statistics and facts will be useful for those evaluating their options. 

For us, it is refreshing to be able to use numbers, statistics and facts to differentiate between countries.

This information was NOT produced by Saint Mary International Adoptions.  It was taken from what we believe to be the most reputable source capable of providing such statistics – our very own Department of State’s website here.

 

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