From Which Countries Can United States Citizen Adopt?

By (project manager) and (embryologist).
Last Update: 03/22/2019

In the United States, most international adoptions (64,6%) are made through Convention country procedures (Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption). As a result, the procedures for adopting are carried out from central authority to central authority and it is not possible to initiate an individual process.

In this article, we will focus on the countries where the U.S. citizens adopt the most in 2017, on the necessary conditions, for example: is it possible to adopt when you are single or when you are homosexual?

It should be noted that conditions are changing very quickly and it is important to keep informed of the current situation in each country. For example, some countries are closing the doors of international adoption and others are changing the conditions of access…

China

Since January 3, 2019, the travel advisory for China is at level 2 due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.

China is a party of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

In 2017, 1905 children have been adopted by U.S. citizen with an average of 194-Days Wait and an average cost of $16,610. China is the first country where U.S. citizen adopt since 2009.

Who Can Adopt?

After USCIS found suitable and eligible to adopt the prospective adoptive parents (PAPs), seeking to adopt a child from China must meet the following requirements imposed by China:

Residency
at least one adopting parent must travel to China to finalize the adoption.
Age of the Adopting Parents
the minimum age is 30. The difference between the adoptive mother and the child should not be over 50 years for a married couple and over 45 years for a single female.
Marriage
adoption is allowed for single women and married couple (at least for 2 years or 5 years if previous divorce).
Income
China requires married PAPs to have a net worth of at least $80,000. The net worth of a single prospective adoptive parent must be $100,000.
Physical and Mental Health
PAPs must be physically and mentally fit (no HIV, no mental troubles, no Body Mass Index of 40 or more).
Other
PAPs must be high school graduates. A single prospective adoptive parent must not have more than two children under the age of 18 and the youngest child must be at least six years old.

Who Can Be Adopted?

Relinquishment
Birth parents may voluntarily relinquish their parental rights by presenting credible evidence to the provincial authorities and the Chinese Central Authority.
Abandonment
Children with no known birth parents must be placed from a Social Welfare Institute (SWI) licensed by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs. If the biological parents or other legal guardians do not claim the child after 60 days of the date of publication of the public notice, the child will be certified as abandoned.
Age of Adoptive Child
Chinese law permits the adoption of children up to and including age 13.
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.
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 usually shorter.

How to adopt?

These are the different steps you have to follow to adopt a child in China:

  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 (Form I-800A).
  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 (Form I-800) for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption.
  5. Adopt the Child in China.
  6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

After Adoption

China asks for Post-Placement Reporting and it is necessary to do it in order to contribute to China’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive parents.

Ethiopia

Since January 29, 2019, the travel advisory for Ethiopia is at level 2 due to sporadic civil unrest and communications disruptions. Some areas have increased risk.

Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Ethiopia and the United States. In 2017, 313 have been adopted in this country by U.S. citizen.

On January 9, 2018, the Ethiopian Parliament passed an amendment to the Revised Family Code law that removes all references to adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners; effective February 14, 2018.

Ethiopian officials informed the U.S. Embassy that only intercountry adoption cases filed with the Federal First Instance Court of Ethiopia prior to February 14, 2018 will be considered by the court.

Haiti

Since February 14, 2019, the travel advisory for Haiti is at level 4 to crime and civil unrest.

Haiti is a party of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

In 2017, 227 children have been adopted with an average of 463-Days wait and an average cost of $33,295.

Who Can Adopt?

Residency
Under Haitian law, prospective adoptive parents seeking to complete an intercountry adoption from Haiti need to be habitually resident in another country, such as the United States.
Age of the Adopting Parents
at least 30 years old (if married or living together); at least 35 years old (if single). Not over age 50 unless the prospective adoptive parents are adopting a relative. Difference of 14 years between the PAPs and the child(ren) they seek to adopt. When adopting relatives, at least nine years difference.
Marriage
Unmarried, married, or in common law relationships for at least five years. Adoptions by same-sex couples is not allowed.
Income
there is no income requirements for adoptions, but proof of employment and financial stability.
Other
Application to adopt again from Haiti until at least two years after a previous adoption. Any biological or adopted children from age eight who are already in the prospective adoptive parents’ home must give their opinion regarding an adoption from Haiti.

Who Can Be Adopted?

Relinquishment
Children may be relinquished for intercountry adoption by their birth parents or, if both birth parents are deceased, by the local Family Council
Abandonment
Children whose birth parents are unknown may be eligible for intercountry adoption, if a Tribunal of First Instance declares the child to have been abandoned.
Age of Adoptive Child
Haitian children must be younger than 16 years old to be adopted.
Sibling Adoptions
siblings must be placed with the same prospective adoptive parents.
Special Needs or Medical Conditions
children with special needs as children who suffer from behavior disorders or trauma, physical or mental disabilities, are age six or older, and/or members of a sibling group.
Waiting Period or Foster Care
none

How to adopt?

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider That Has Been Authorized by Haiti’s Central Authority to Operate in Haiti
  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-800A).
  3. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States (Form I-800) as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption
  4. Adopt the Child in Haiti
  5. Obtain a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home
Do not attempt to adopt of a child in Haiti before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.

After Adoption

Haiti requires that adoptive parents provide post-adoption reports for a period of eight years.

South Korea

South Korea is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

Republic of Korea’s law requires the use of an adoption agency for the intercountry adoption of all Korean orphans, and requires that such agencies are authorized by the Ministry for Health and Welfare.

In 2017, 276 children have been adopted in South Korea by U.S. citizen.

Who Can Adopt?

Residency
it is necessary for prospective adoptive parents to be present in Korea at the time of adoption.
Age of the Adopting Parents
between 25 and 44 years old.
Marriage
Married couples (for at least three years). Single individuals are not allowed to adopt.
Income
income higher than the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines and be financially able to support the adoptive child.
Other
must not have any conviction records

Who Can Be Adopted?

Eligibility for adoption
5 month wait period before a child is eligible for intercountry adoption to ensure domestic adoption is not possible. The child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. laws.
Age of Adoptive Child
the Form I-600 (Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative) must be filed when the child is under 16.

How to adopt?

  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 the Republic of Korea Authorities to Adopt, and to be Matched with a Child.
  4. Adopt the Child in the Republic of Korea.
  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.

After Adoption

The Government of the Republic of Korea requires at least four post-adoption reports during the year following completion of an intercountry adoption in Korea with a minimum of two home visits.

Other Countries

Here you can find the other countries where US Citizen have most adopted in 2017:

  • India with 221 children adopted
  • Colombia with 181 children adopted
  • Nigeria with 176 children adopted
  • The Philippines with 111 children adopted
  • Latvia with 71 children adopted
  • Poland with 65 children adopted

FAQs from users

Is it possible to adopt in Ethiopia?

By Zaira Salvador (embryologist).

Not at the moment. In 2017, the Ethiopian Parliament amended its family code and passed a law prohibiting intercountry adoption, immediately suspending the processing of adoptions in Ethiopia.

Is international adoption possible in Romania?

By Zaira Salvador (embryologist).

Yes, but only Romanian citizens living abroad can do so. In the case of marriages, at least one of them must be a Romanian citizen.

However, there are two exceptions in which citizens of other states may adopt in Romania:

  • The adopter or one of the spouses is a relative up to the fourth degree of kinship of the minor.
  • The adopter is the spouse of the child’s biological or adoptive parent.

In which countries can same-sex couples adopt?

By Zaira Salvador (embryologist).

Couples made up of two men or two women have much more difficulty adopting abroad than heterosexual couples or single people.

However, some of the countries that allow intercountry adoption for gay couples are the following: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico (in some states), South Africa, etc.

There are many more countries where gay adoption is allowed (Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Ireland, etc.), but this is hardly contemplated because the number of adoptable children is very small and domestic adoptions have priority.

Suggested for you

Usually, the procedures to carry out an adoption abroad are very similar regardless of the country of origin chosen by the adopters. If you want to know more about them, you can read the following post: International Adoption in the U.S. – How Does It Works?

On the other hand, if you are interested in adopting in United States, we recommend that you continue reading here: Domestic Adoption in U.S: – What Are the Requirements & Process.

Our editors have made great efforts to create this content for you. By sharing this post, you are helping us to keep ourselves motivated to work even harder.

References

About Intercountry Adoption on the website of US Department - Bureau of Consular Affairs

Statistics for Intercountry Adoption from the US Department - Bureau of Consular Affairs:[here]

Intercountry Adoption Process by the U.S. Government [here]

About the visa process by the U.S. Government.

Data about adoption in China from the website of US Department - Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Data about adoption in Ethiopia from the website of US Department - Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Data about adoption in Haiti from the website of US Department - Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Data about adoption in South Korea from the website of US Department - Bureau of Consular Affairs.

FAQs from users: 'Is it possible to adopt in Ethiopia?', 'Is international adoption possible in Romania? ' y 'In which countries can same-sex couples adopt?'.

Read more

Authors and contributors

 Natalia Álvarez
Natalia Álvarez
Project Manager
Graduated in Business Administration from the University of Alicante. She has more than 9 years of experience in the field of assisted reproduction and was the creator and director of the first assisted reproduction fair in Spain. She is the director of Wearesurrogacy and is an expert in the sector of surrogacy because during all these years has had the opportunity to know hundreds of real cases of couples who have carried out treatments for surrogacy and the best professionals, international clinics. More information about Natalia Álvarez
 Zaira Salvador
Zaira Salvador
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). Embryologist specializing in Assisted Procreation, with a Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). More information about Zaira Salvador
License: 3185-CV

Find the latest news on assisted reproduction in our channels.