Adopting Under the Hague Convention
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) entered into force with respect to the United States on April 1, 2008. The Convention strengthens protections for children, birthparents, and prospective adoptive parent(s), and establishes internationally agreed upon rules and procedures for adoptions between countries that have a treaty relationship under the Convention (Convention countries). It ultimately provides a framework for member countries to work together to ensure that children are provided with permanent, loving homes, that adoptions take place in the best interests of a child, and that the abduction, sale, or traffic in children is prevented. For additional information on adopting under the Hague Convention, please visit the U.S. State Department website.
As Brazil is also a Hague Convention country, this means that Americans wishing to adopt Brazilian children will now use the Hague Adoption Convention process. As of April 1, 2008, U.S. citizens wishing to adopt in a Convention country must begin this process by filing with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a Form I-800A "Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country." Prospective adoptive parents should consult the USCIS website to download forms and filing instructions here.
Important notes about adopting under the Hague Convention:
- Only U.S. citizens can adopt under the Hague Convention. Legal permanent residents (LPRs) are not eligible.
- Please do not accept any adoption placement before USCIS has approved your Form I-800A as this is not allowed under the Convention.
- You must also refrain from any contact with the parent(s), legal custodian(s), or other individual or entity responsible for the care of a child who may be eligible for intercountry adoption until the contact is permissible under Article 29 of the Convention.
Please also visit the Intercountry Adoption website of the Office of Children's Issues for more information.
U.S. Hague Convention Adoption and Visa Process
U.S. Citizens planning to adopt from a Convention country must follow a specific set of steps to adopt and then obtain immigration benefits for their child. It is important to follow these steps in the correct sequence to avoid potential road blocks to bringing the child to the United States.
Generally, the Convention adoption process involves six key steps. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet U.S. legal requirements for Convention adoptions.
- Choose a U.S. accredited adoption service provider;
- Apply to USCIS to be found suitable and eligible to adopt a child from a Convention country;
- Be matched with a child by authorities in the child’s country of origin;
- Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. provisional approval to proceed with the adoption;
- Adopt the child in the child’s country of origin; and
- Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for the child and bring your child home.
You will find additional information on the steps to follow in the CA website.
Information for Adoption Service Providers (ASPs)
The first step in The Hague adoption process is to find an approved or accredited U.S. based Adoption Service Provider for Hague Convention Adoption cases that are licensed in your U.S. state of residence.
Currently there are three U.S. ASPs authorized to work in Brazil:
1. HAND IN HAND INTERNACIONAL ADOPTIONS
Point of Contact: CAMILLA TURQUIA GOMES
Address: Rua Julia Nunes n° 145, Luxemburgo
Belo Horizonte/MG – CEP: 30.380-400
Phone: +55 (31) 3293-8614 / +55 (31) 9617-6464
2. LIFELINE CHILDREN´S SERVICE
Point of Contact: MARCOS JAYR CARDOSO MIL-HOMENS
Address: Avenida Pe. Antônio J. Santos, n° 142 conjunto 6, Brooklin
São Paulo/SP – CEP: 04563-001
Phone: +55 (11) 5531-6514 / +55 (11) 9653-1920
3. LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICE OF MINNESOTA
Point of Contact: LUIZ ALBERTO CRISPIN
Address: Avenida Luz da Vida, n° 1340, Cipó, Embu Guaçu
São Paulo/SP – CEP: 06930-000
Phone: +55 (11) 97107-1000
4. ATWA - ACROSS THE WORLD ADOPTION
Point of Contact: RAQUEL QUEIROZ DE SOUZA
Address: Rua Chile, 124/302 – Sion
Belo Horizonte/MG - CEP 30.310-670
Phone: +55 (31) 84199293
Where to File an Adoption Petition
The second step is to submit a Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, to USCIS. Please visit this link to download filing instructions and forms.
The document below also explains some of the changes under the Hague Convention and gives a general overview of the adoption process:
- Hague Adoption Information
- Advantages of the Hague Convention
- Contact Information for U.S. Authorities
During the third step, the Country of Origin must determine if the child is adoptable according to Convention guidelines and meets the definition of Convention adoptee (Form I-800).
Note: If a prospective adoptive parent wants to convert an existing case to a Convention case, the entire application and petition process must be started anew. Convention cases have different processing requirements, and an I-600A or I-600 (orphan petition) cannot be converted into the I-800A and I-800 form(s) that are required for a Convention case.
Please click here to access the list of documents for the adoption interview and visa (IH3).
Important Information for All Parents wishing to Adopt in Brazil
We continue to work very closely with the Brazilian government to establish how the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention, which entered into force for the U.S. in 2008, will affect future adoptions in Brazil. At the moment, parents should expect a lengthy process because there is currently no U.S. Hague-accredited adoption service provider working in Brazil.
In late 2009, the Brazilian government passed new adoption-related legislation which changed several aspects of the adoption process in Brazil. The Government of Brazil is still in the process of analyzing applications of prospective U.S. Adoption Service Providers. When selected the ASPs will granted permission to operate in Brazil. It may take several months before American adoption service providers are in place. Prospective adoptive parents should also be aware that children available for international adoption in Brazil are generally over 5 years of age, sibling pairs, or have special needs.