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International Adoption

American citizens are seeking to adopt children in ever increasing numbers. With the reduction in children available for adoption in the United States, more and more U.S. citizens have adopted children from other countries. This year, thousands of children came to the United States from foreign countries, either adopted abroad by U.S. citizens or as potential adoptees. This part of the site provides both information and guidance to U.S. citizens seeking information about international adoptions.

International adoption is essentially a private legal matter between a private individual (or couple) who wishes to adopt, and a foreign court, which operates under that country''s laws and regulations. U.S. authorities cannot intervene on behalf of prospective parents with the courts in the country where the adoption takes place. However, the Department of State does provide extensive information about the adoption processes in various countries and the U.S. legal requirements to bring a child adopted abroad to the United States. In addition to this website, The Office of Children''s Issues in the Bureau of Consular Affairs provides brochures describing the adoption process in numerous countries. In addition, we provide recorded information on international adoption for several countries on a twenty-four hour basis through our recorded telephone messages at 1-888-407-4747.

What the State Department Can Do:

  • Provide information about international adoption in countries around the world
  • Provide general information about U.S. visa requirements for international adoption
  • Make inquiries of the U.S. consular section abroad regarding the status of a specific adoption case and clarify documentation or other requirements
  • Ensure that U.S. citizens are not discriminated against by foreign authorities or courts in accordance with local law on adoptions

    What the State Department Cannot Do:
  • Become directly involved in the adoption process in another country
  • Act as an attorney or represent adoptive parents in court
  • Order that an adoption take place or that a visa be issued

    If you have questions, please call us at 202-736-9130. You may also fax us at 202-736-9080.

    Click here to see the full text of the International Adoption booklet