How do I adopt a child from a foreign country?

Publication Date: July 18, 2013


In intercountry adoption, (i.e., adopting a child from a foreign country), prospective adoptive parents are required to follow the laws in their state, the laws of the child’s country of origin, the policies and regulations of the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and, when appropriate, Hague regulations. In the United States, you must be a U.S. citizen 25 years of age or older to adopt from another country. If you are married, at least one spouse must be a U.S. citizen.

The U.S. Department of State and the USCIS are the two government agencies responsible for overseeing intercountry adoptions. The U.S. Department of State website provides relevant resources on intercountry adoption and country-specific information.

Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, offers additional resources on intercountry adoption and the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. One resource is the web section Adopting Children From Another Country.

Information Gateway also offers a list of state-licensed private agencies with intercountry adoption programs through a search of the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory.

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