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Intercountry Adoptions

Adopting children from all over the world has steadily increased in the past decade. Approximately 20,000 inter-country adoptions are taking place per year. In addition, there are more than 200,000 foreign-adopted children already living in the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proud to play a key role in the inter-country adoption process.

Because there are two separate inter-country adoption processes, U.S. citizens who are interested in adopting a child from another country should first decide on a specific country from which to adopt. The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force in the United States on April 1, 2008, which created a new process for immigrating adoptive children who reside in other countries which are party to The Hague Adoption Convention. Similar to the existing Orphan process, which remains in effect for non-Hague countries, The Hague Adoption Convention process includes measures to determine the suitability of prospective adoptive parents, such as background and criminal checks, as well as a home study.

Once a prospective adoptive parent's eligibility and suitability to adopt has been established, both the Orphan process and The Hague Adoption Convention process have specific procedures to determine whether the child is eligible for immigration to the United States. To view a list of countries that participate in The Hague Adoption Convention, please refer to the Related Links section of this page.