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U.S. Department of State
95/10/01 International Adoptions
U.S. Department of State Publication 10300
American citizens are seeking to adopt children in ever increasing
numbers. With the reduction in adoptable children available for
adoption in the United States, more and more U.S. citizens have adopted
children from other countries. In 1994, more than 8,000 children came
to the United States from foreign countries, either adopted abroad by
U.S. citizens or as potential adoptees. This brochure provides both
information and guidance to U.S. citizens seeking information about
International adoption is essentially a private legal matter between an
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. The Office of Children's Issues in
the Bureau of Consular Affairs provides brochures describing the
adoption process in numerous countries. Adoption information is also
available on our automated fax system and Internet (See Appendix C). In
addition, we provide recorded information on international adoption for
several countries on a twenty-four hour basis through our recorded
telephone messages. That number is: 202-736-7000.
If you have any further questions, please call us at 202-647-2688. You
may also fax us at 202-647-2835, or write to us at:
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI, Room 4811
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520-4818
I. General Information
The Role of the State Department:
The State Department CAN:
- Provide information about international adoption in foreign countries
- Provide general information about U.S. visa requirements for
- Make inquiries of the U.S. consular section abroad regarding the
status of a specific adoption case and clarify documentation or other
- Ensure that U.S. citizens are not discriminated against by foreign
authorities or courts.
The State Department CANNOT:
- Locate a child or children available for adoption.
- 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.
Other Sources of Information:
The Office of Children's Issues frequently receives requests for general
information about international adoption. Questions range from how to
begin the adoption process to how to find an agency, or what countries
to consider. The public library and local telephone yellow pages (see
"Adoption Services") are good sources of general information, including
adoption agencies and attorneys who specialize in adoption, support
groups and books and magazines related to adoption (See Appendices A and
B). Additionally, a number of umbrella organizations provide extensive
general information which can be very helpful both before and after the
adoption. Several of these organizations publish articles and lists of
adoption agencies. For specific information about agencies operating in
your area, call your state social services agency or the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) office.
Adoption opportunities, regulations, and even the social climate may
change at any time, making it impossible to categorically state in which
countries adoptions will proceed smoothly. For example, social and
religious restrictions in Africa and the Middle East make adoption
difficult in those regions. However, the Department of State does
maintain statistics indicating the number of visas (IR-3 and IR-4) for
adoption issued yearly by country. The list in Appendix C gives the top
25 countries for fiscal year 1994. Since countries do change their
adoption regulations, it is necessary for you to thoroughly investigate
a country before initiating an adoption.
II. Guidelines on International Adoption
To complete an international adoption and bring a child to the United
States, prospective adoptive parent(s) must fulfill the requirements set
by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the
foreign country in which the child resides and sometimes the state of
residence of the adoptive parent(s). Although procedures and
documentary requirements may seem repetitive, obtaining several copies
of the same document is advisable to meet the documentary requirements.
The process may seem bureaucratic but it is designed to protect the
child, the adoptive parent(s) and the birth parent(s).
The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is the U.S. immigration
law regarding the issuance of visas to nationals of other countries,
including children adopted abroad or coming to the United States for
adoption. The basic statutory provision concerning adopted children is
in INA Section 101(b)(1)(E), which provides immigrant classification for
"a child adopted while under the age of sixteen years if the child has
been in the legal custody of, and has resided with, the adopting parent
or parents for at least two years." This so-called "two-year provision"
is for individuals who are temporarily residing abroad and wish to adopt
a child in accordance with the laws of the foreign state where they
reside. Most adoptive parents, however, are not able to spend two years
abroad living with the child. Therefore, they seek benefits under
another provision of the INA, Section 101(b)(1)(F), which grants
immigrant classification to orphans who have been adopted or will be
adopted by U.S. citizens. Under this section of the law, both the child
and the adoptive parents must satisfy a number of requirements
established by the INA and the related regulations, but the two-year
residency requirement is eliminated. As soon as it is demonstrated that
both the parents and the child qualify, the child can be issued a visa
to travel to the United States.
For specific information about INS requirements, see the U.S. Department
of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, brochure M-249Y, The
Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children. The INS also
has a toll-free information number, from which you can obtain form M-249
booklets and the telephone numbers of local INS offices in the United
States. The toll-free number is 1-800-755-0777.
Your adoption agency or attorney will require specific documents, as
will your state of residence. These requirements may appear daunting.
The chart, in Appendix C, serves as a checklist for many of the
documents that you will be expected to provide. In general, all
agencies, whether state or private, require proof of citizenship,
marriage (if a married couple), health, financial stability and
information about arrests or certification of a clean criminal record.
In addition, the home study (a report on the family prepared by a
licensed social worker or other person licensed to perform home studies)
normally is required by both the foreign government and the INS.
Additional documents may be requested by the local government of the
country from which you wish to adopt, your chosen adoption agency, or
Immigration and Naturalization Service Approval
Adoptive parent(s) and prospective adoptive parents must comply with
U.S. immigration procedures, initiated through the INS in the United
States. Simply locating a child in a foreign country and going to the
U.S. embassy to obtain a visa for the child will not meet these
requirements. An orphan cannot be brought to the United States without
a visa, which is based upon an INS approved petition (form I-600). To
facilitate the process, we suggest that you contact the INS office which
has jurisdiction over your place of residence in the United States for
information early in the pre-adoption process.
The Orphan Petition form has two parts: I-600 and I-600A. The I-600 is
used when a specific child has been identified by the adoptive parents.
The I-600 is filed with the appropriate office of the INS in the United
States. The INS adjudicates all aspects of the I-600 petition --
including the suitability of the adoptive parent(s), compliance with any
state pre-adoption requirements (if the child is to be adopted after
entry into the United States), and the qualifications of the child as an
orphan within the meaning of section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (See INS brochure M-249Y). The INS notifies the U.S.
embassy or consulate which processes visas for the country where the
child is located that the petition has been approved. At the same time,
the approved I-600 petition and supporting documents are sent to the
National Visa Center, where the petition is assigned a computer tracking
code and then mailed to the appropriate U.S. consular office abroad.
The I-600A form should be filed if the prospective adoptive parent(s)
have not yet identified a child or intend to go abroad to locate a child
for adoption. Like the I-600, this application is filed at the local
INS office in the United States with jurisdiction over the place of
residence of the adoptive parent(s). INS evaluates the suitability of
the prospective adoptive parent(s) as if the parent(s) had filed an I-
600 petition. When the application is approved, notification is sent to
the adoptive parents. Notification is also sent to the appropriate U.S.
consular officer or overseas INS office if one or both of the
prospective adoptive parent(s) will be traveling overseas and wish to
file the orphan petition abroad. The adoptive parents may then file the
I-600 petition with the local INS office in the United States or
overseas with the INS or U.S. consular office. Although only one parent
must be present to file the I-600 petition overseas, that parent must be
a U.S. citizen. In addition, if only one of the two parents travels,
the petition must nevertheless be properly executed (signed) by both
parents. This second signature cannot be done by power of attorney.
The petition also must be completely filled out before either parent
signs. Parents can, however, use express mail service to obtain the
The Foreign Adoption Process
Although adoption procedures vary from country to country, most
countries require that prior to any court action, a child placed for
adoption be legally recognized as an orphan or, in the case where a
parent is living, be legally and irrevocably released for adoption in a
manner provided for under local foreign law. In addition, the adoption
laws in most countries require the full adoption of the child in the
foreign court after the child has been declared an orphan or released by
the living parent to an appropriate foreign authority. Some countries
do allow simple adoption, which means that the adopting parent(s) are
granted guardianship of the child by the foreign court. This will permit
the child to leave the foreign country to be adopted in the country of
the adopting parent(s). A few countries do allow adoptive parents to
adopt through a third party without actually traveling to that country.
It is important to note that a foreign country's determination that the
child is an orphan does not guarantee that the child will be considered
an orphan under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, since the
foreign country may use different standards. Questions which involve
interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to a foreign
attorney operating in the country where the adoption will take place.
Some countries accept the properly authenticated home study of the
prospective adoptive parent(s) on face value, while other countries also
require a personal appearance by the adoptive parent(s) before the
foreign court. Sometimes, countries require a period of residence by
one or both adoptive parents. In these cases, prospective adoptive
parents may find it necessary to spend an extended period of time in the
foreign country awaiting the completion of the foreign adoption
documents. Additionally, several countries require a post-adoption
follow-up conducted by the adoption agency or the foreign country's
consul in the United States.
III. Immigrant Visas
When the foreign adoption (or guardianship process in those countries
which allow guardianship) is completed, the adoptive parent(s) can apply
for an immigrant visa
(IR-3 for a child adopted abroad or IR-4 for a child to be adopted in
the United States) at the appropriate U.S. consular office abroad. In
addition to the notification of the approved I-600 or I-600A petition
already sent to the U.S. embassy or consulate by INS, the consular
officer also requires specific documentation to conduct a visa interview
and to approve visa issuance. Some of these requirements are discussed
below. However, we strongly suggest that adoptive parents contact the
consular section conducting the visa interview prior to the actual
scheduling of the interview. Remember, a visa is not permission to
enter the United States. Final authority rests with the INS at the port
Meeting with the consular officer prior to the interview allows parents
to obtain a list of the visa requirements and necessary forms and
provides an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns. In
addition, if time permits, an early meeting may allow the consular
officer to see the child for whom the visa is necessary. "Visual
inspection" of the child is a requirement. It may be more convenient
for all parties involved for the prospective adoptive parents not to be
distracted with the child(ren) during the final visa interview. Some
consular sections schedule special times to handle orphan petitions,
facilitating the work flow and insuring availability of consular staff
and facilities for the adoptive parents and children.
Another visa requirement is the medical examination of the child by a
designated physician. The physician conducting the examination must be
approved by the U.S. embassy or consulate. The medical examination
focuses primarily on detecting certain serious contagious diseases or
disabilities that may be a basis for visa ineligibility. If the child
is found to have any of these illnesses or disabilities, the child may
still be issued a visa after the illness has been treated and is no
longer contagious, or after a waiver of the visa eligibility is approved
by the INS. If the physician or the consular official notes that the
child has a serious disease or disability, the parents will be notified
and asked if they wish to proceed with the child's immigration.
Prospective adoptive parents should not rely on this medical examination
to detect all possible disabilities or illnesses. You may wish to
arrange an additional private medical examination if they have concerns
about the child's health.
The fee for an immigrant visa is $200, which must be paid either in
local currency or U.S. dollars in cash, money order, cashier's check or
certified check. Neither personal checks nor credit cards are accepted.
The Visa Interview
The consular section will schedule the final visa interview once all the
required documents have been provided and the file is complete.
This documentation includes:
-- notification by the INS of the I-600 or I-600A approval
-- final adoption decree or proof of custody from the foreign government
-- the child's birth certificate
-- the child's passport (from the country of the child's nationality)
-- the completed and signed medical examination report
-- necessary photographs of the child
-- the visa application (Form OF 230)
-- completed I-600 petition (if it was not previously approved by INS)
Although the final visa interview appears to involve a single action
which may be completed quickly, the consular officer must perform
several different steps required by law and regulation. The officer
must review the I-600 petition, verify the child's status as an orphan,
establish that the prospective parent(s) have legal custody, survey the
child's medical condition and confirm that the child has the required
Questions concerning legal custody or proper documentation for the child
must be resolved in accordance with the law of the country of the
child's nationality or residence. Since requirements vary from country
to country, the consular section can be helpful in explaining
requirements in their local area. Nevertheless, the adoptive parent(s)
or the adoption agent is responsible for meeting these requirements. As
explained earlier, the child's ability to qualify for an immigrant visa
as an orphan is determined by U.S. law. An adoption by a court decree
or comparable order by a competent authority to a U.S. citizen does not
automatically qualify a child for an immigrant visa for entry into the
The Orphan Definition
The consular officer is particularly concerned with 1) the identity of
the child, 2) the child's status as an "orphan" as defined by the INA
and 3) that the release by the sole surviving parent, if necessary, is
"unconditional." The documentation must satisfy these requirements.
Information which casts doubt upon the child's eligibility as an orphan
requires return of the petition to the approving INS office for
reconsideration. If the adopting parent(s) submitted the I-600A to the
INS in the United States and the approval notice was forwarded to the
U.S. embassy or consulate, the consular officer must adjudicate the I-
600 Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative. The
consular officer has the authority, delegated by the INS, to adjudicate
the I-600, relying upon the approved I-600A as demonstration of the
suitability of the prospective adoptive parent(s) and their compliance
with any applicable state pre-adoption requirements.
U.S. law distinguishes between children adopted overseas and children
coming to the United States for adoption. Children fully adopted
overseas receive IR-3 visas. To qualify for an IR-3, the child must
have been seen by both parents prior to or during the adoption
proceedings and the parents must meet all pre-adoption requirements of
their state. Other orphan children, who are eligible for immigration,
receive IR-4 visas and must be re-adopted after they enter the United
States, in accordance with applicable state laws. Thus, before an IR-4
visa can be issued, the consular officer must be sure that pre-adoption
requirements by the child's future state of residence have been met.
The Medical Examination
While the physician conducts the medical examination, the consular
officer must complete the I-604 Report on Overseas Orphan
Investigation. This report consists of a review of the facts and
documents to verify that the child qualifies as an orphan. In addition,
the consular officer ensures that the adoptive parents are aware of any
medical problems which the medical examination may have uncovered. When
this report is completed, the consular officer can finally approve the
I-600 petition in those cases where the I-600 has not already been
approved by INS. (Note: the I-600 petition can be filed overseas if at
least one of the U.S. citizen adoptive parents is physically present and
if INS has already approved an I-600A application). See page 5 of this
brochure for more information concerning the medical examination.
Cases Referred to INS
In the majority of cases, the consular officer confirms the
documentation and proceeds with the final visa processing. Usually, the
final immigrant visa can be issued within 24 hours, although some
consular sections have special visa issuance times. Occasionally, the
I-604 Report does not confirm that the child is an orphan as defined by
the INA. If this issue remains in question, the consular officer will
provide the adoptive parents or their agent with an opportunity to
submit additional information. If the outstanding questions can be
answered, the case can be completed. If an issue cannot be resolved,
however, the consular officer cannot approve the petition and must refer
the petition to the appropriate INS office for adjudication.
When a petition has been referred to INS, questions about the status of
the case must be addressed to the appropriate office of that agency.
Since different INS offices can have jurisdiction, it is important to
understand to which INS office the petition has been referred. If INS
approves or reaffirms the petition, the consular officer can resume
processing the case. If the petition is referred to INS because it was
determined to be a case "not clearly approvable" by the U.S. embassy or
consulate, several scenarios may occur:
1 ) INS can review the documentation, approve the petition, and advise
the consular officer to issue the visa.
2 ) INS can review the documents and request that the consular officer
conduct a field investigation to insure that no fraud or illegal
activity was involved. The embassy or consulate reports its findings to
the INS for a final decision.
3 ) INS can deny the petition.
If INS denies the petition, the adoptive parents can appeal the denial
to the INS Associate Commissioner for Examinations, Administrative
Appeals Office for a legal ruling. Alternatively, adoptive parents can
discuss other options with the INS office having jurisdiction over their
+ In rare and exceptional circumstances, children deemed ineligible for
admission to the United States may qualify for "humanitarian parole" and
IV. Prevention of Adoption Fraud
International adoptions have become a lucrative business because of the
huge demand for adoptable children. The combination of people motivated
by undue personal gain and parents desperate to adopt a child under any
circumstances, creates the potential for fraudulent adoptions. Take
care to avoid these adoption scams.
You can avoid the heartache of losing a potentially adoptable child by
using only reputable agencies, attorneys, and facilitators. If the
answers to your questions appear to be contradictory, vague, or
unrealistic, be wary. The consular section in the U.S. embassy or
consulate in the country of planned adoption can provide accurate
information concerning local legal practices. If you have problems with
agencies or intermediaries in the United States you should report these
concerns immediately to the appropriate state authorities, i.e., your
state social services office, District Attorney, Better Business Bureau,
or state Attorney General's office. The INS should be notified of these
concerns as well.
The lack of state regulatory requirements for international adoption
agencies in some states has permitted some individuals, inexperienced in
the area of foreign adoptions, to set up businesses. Exorbitant fees
have been extorted from some prospective adoptive parents. Two common
abuses are 1) knowingly offering a supposedly healthy child for adoption
who is later found to be seriously ill, and 2) obtaining prepayment
for adoption of a nonexistent or ineligible child. In some countries,
it is advisable to have the child examined by a physician before
completing adoption procedures. This examination is not to be confused
with the routine medical examination required after completion of the
adoption for visa purposes. Some states have moved to revoke licenses
or prosecute the individuals connected with these fraudulent activities
after receiving complaints. However, it should be noted that most
adoption practitioners in the United States are legitimate professionals
with experience in domestic and international adoptions.
In the international area, the Department of State consistently takes a
strong stand against fraudulent adoption procedures. This policy flows
from our general obligation to respect host country laws, to discourage
any illegal activities and to avoid the possibility that a country may
prohibit international adoptions entirely. The Department of State has
unfailingly expressed its support for measures taken by foreign states
to reduce adoption abuses.
V. Validity of Foreign Adoptions in the United States
In most cases, the formal adoption of a child in a foreign court is
legally acceptable in the United States. However, in the United States,
a state court is not required to automatically recognize a foreign
adoption decree. This does not suggest that the United States does not
respect foreign procedures or recognize the authority of the foreign
country in relation to the child. The status of the involved child can
always be subject to challenge in state court unless an adoption decree
is entered in a state in the United States. Many adoption practitioners
recommend that the child adopted abroad be re-adopted in a court of
his/her state of residence in the United States as a precautionary
measure. Following a re-adoption in the state court, parents can
request that a state birth certificate be issued. This should be
recognized in all other U.S. states.
In some instances, re-adoption of the child in the United States is
required. This often occurs if the adoptive parent(s) did not see the
child prior to or during the full adoption proceedings abroad. In the
case of a married couple, both parents must see the child before the
U.S. visa can be issued if the child is to be considered "adopted
abroad." Otherwise, the parent(s) must meet the pre-adoption
requirements of their state of residence in order for the child to
qualify for a U.S. visa to come to the U.S. for adoption under the
appropriate state laws. This is true even if a full final adoption
decree has been issued in the foreign country. Adoptive parent(s)
should determine in advance the requirements of their own particular
state of residence. This information is available through the state
social services agency or your adoption practitioner.
VI. Naturalization of an Adopted Child
Who can apply?
Specific steps in the naturalization process must be taken for a child
to become a U.S. citizen. U.S. laws make it possible for a child
adopted abroad to be quickly naturalized as a U.S. citizen. On March 1,
1995, Section 322 of the INA was amended to make the application process
for an alien child's citizenship certificate easier for adoptive
How to Apply for Naturalization
The administrative process requires that the adoptive parent(s) file INS
Form N-643, Application for Certificate of Citizenship on behalf of an
Adopted Child, with the INS before the child is 18 years of age. The
child does not become a U.S. citizen until Form N-643 is approved and
the Certificate of Citizenship is issued. The application is filed at
the INS office having jurisdiction over the applicant's place of
VII. Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where do I obtain information on adopting abroad ?
A: The Office of Children's Issues maintains a file of country-
specific adoption brochures. In addition, adoption agencies, parent
support groups, adoption magazines and newsletters can provide a wealth
of information. Talking with families who have adopted children and
specialists in adoption issues can be a helpful measure to prepare for
the issues involved with an international adoption.
Q: How can I check the credentials of an adoption provider?
A: There are several ways to investigate the credentials of an adoption
provider before engaging its services. It is helpful to talk with other
families or individuals in your adoptive support group who have had
prior experience with the agency, attorney or individual you are
planning to select. The Better Business Bureau may be able to advise
you if there has been a negative report about a business but would not
necessarily have information concerning individuals claiming to be
adoption experts. The adoption section of the state social services
office and the state Attorney General's office can usually be of
assistance. Finally, ask for references and check them thoroughly.
Q: How should I prepare to travel abroad?
A: What you should take when traveling abroad will depend on the
country (climate and season), the length of your stay, and the
particulars of the child you will adopt (age, health, etc.). In
countries with limited resources, it is advisable to bring supplies from
the United States. In most countries disposable diapers and disposable
bottles are unavailable or very expensive. A good travel agent should
be able to provide information about the availability of products and
services in a country. Alternatively, you might request information
from the foreign embassy or consulate of the country to which you plan
to travel. The foreign country's holidays can also affect court dates,
office workdays, and the country's embassy or consulate can also provide
you with this information.
Q: Is it safe to travel to . . . ?
A: The U.S. Department of State, Office of American Citizens Services
and Crisis Management (ACS) issues Public Announcements and Travel
Warnings for particular countries and Consular Information Sheets for
all countries. (See Appendix C). For assistance from ACS, call 202-
647-5225. You may also wish to register with the U.S. embassy or
consulate in the foreign country where you plan to adopt.
Q: How should I approach the adoption process abroad?
A: Adoption can be an emotionally stressful process, particularly while
facing the additional challenges of adjusting to another culture.
Unfortunately, bureaucracies do not always operate efficiently or
quickly. Gathering information on the culture of the country prior to
travel and even setting aside time for sightseeing can reduce stress and
make the experience more positive. It will also provide invaluable
information and experiences to relate to your child in later years. If
you become ill, the U.S. embassy or consulate can provide you with a
list of local attorneys and hospitals to assist if necessary.
Q: How should I obtain multiple copies of foreign documents?
A: Before you depart the country with your child you should be sure to
obtain several duplicate certified/authenticated copies of your child's
foreign birth certificate, adoption decree and any other relevant
documents. Often these documents are necessary at home and it can be
difficult to obtain copies from the foreign government later.
Q: How can I obtain information concerning attorneys, interpreters or
translators in a foreign country?
A: U.S. embassies and consulates maintain lists of English-speaking
foreign attorneys and have information about interpreters and
translators and can refer you to other sources. Copies of lists of
attorneys are also available from the U.S. Department of State's Office
of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management.
General Adoption Information
The information provided below is designed to provide a sampling of the
many organizations involved in adoption. The agencies listed are not
placement agencies. The Department of State does not endorse or
recommend any particular organization.
National Adoption Organizations and Parent Support Groups
*National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC)
Suite 410, 11426 Rockville Pike
Rockville MD, 20852
*This organization was established by Congress to provide the general
public with easily accessible information on all aspects of adoption.
NAIC publishes a variety of fact sheets on adoption issues, directories
of adoption-related services, and a catalog of audiovisual materials on
adoptions. NAIC does not place children for adoption or provide
counseling. It does, however, make referrals for such services.
Adoptive Families of America
3333 Highway 100 North
Minneapolis, MN 55422
Committee for Single Adoptive Parents, Inc.
P.O. Box 15084
Chevy Chase, MD 20825
FACE (Families Adopting Children Everywhere)
P.O. Box 28058
Baltimore, MD 21239
Tel: 410-488-2656 (Help-line)
International Concerns Committee for Children
911 Cypress Drive
Boulder, CO 80303
Joint Council on International Children's Services
P.O. Box 5636
Washington, D.C. 20016
*North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
*This organization can provide a list of parent support groups in a
specific region of the United States.
National Council for Adoption
1930 17th Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20009
Magazines and Books
Adoptive Families (formerly OURS magazine)
Complimentary copy available by calling the above number
Open Door Society of Massachusetts
Single Parents With Adopted Kids
4108 Washington Rd. #101
Kenosha, WI 53144
Adamec, Christine and Pierce, William L. The Encyclopedia of Adoption.
Facts on File, Inc.: June 1991.
Adamec, Christine. There Are Babies To Adopt. Windsor Publishing
Alexander-Roberts, Colleen. The Essential Adoption Handbook. Taylor
Publishing Co.: 1993.
Erichsen, Heino and Nelson-Erichsen, Jean. How To Adopt
Internationally: A Guide for Agency-Directed & Independent Adoption.
Los Ninos International Adoption & Information Center: 1993.
Gilman, Lois. The Adoption Resource Book: All the Things You Need to
Know & Ought to Know about Creating an Adoptive Family. Harper Collins
Publishers, Inc.: 1987.
Independent Adoption Manual. Advocate Press: June 1993.
Knoll, Jean and Murphy, Mary-Kate. International Adoption: Sensitive
Advice for Prospective Parents. Chicago Review Press: 1994.
Wirth, Eileen and Worden, Joan. How to Adopt a Child from Another
Country. Abingdon Press: 1993.
Adoption of Older Children
Jewett, Claudia. Adopting the Older Child. Harvard Common Press:
Kadushin, Alfred. Adopting Older Children. Columbia University Press:
Mansfield, Gianforte and Waldmann. Don't Touch My Heart -- Healing the
Pain of an Unattached Child. Pinon Press: 1994.
Bloom, Suzanne. A Family for Jamie: An Adoption Story. Crown Books
for Young Readers: 1991.
Krementz, Jill. How It Feels to Be Adopted. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.:
Cultural and Racial Differences
Erichsen, Heino R. and Nelson, Erichsen, Jean. Butterflies in the
Wind: Spanish-Indian Children with White Parents. Los Ninos
International Adoption & Information Center: 1992.
Single Parent Adoption
Marindin, Hope, ed. Handbook for Single Adoptive Parents. Committee
for Single Adoptive Parents: 1992.
Parenting and Adjustment
Bartels-Rabb, Lisa and Van Gulden, Holly. Real Parents, Real Children:
Parenting The Adopted Child. Crossroad Publishing Co.: 1993.
Brodzinsky, David; Schechter, Marshall; and Henig, Robin. Being
Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self. Doubleday & Company, Inc.:
Register, Cheri. Are Those Kids Yours?: American Families with
Children Adopted from Other Countries. Free Press: 1990.
Additional Information on Adoptions and Foreign Travel
Section 1: Government Information
Automated Fax Service
A number of Office of Children's Issues adoption flyers are available
by automated fax for anyone with a fax machine equipped with a telephone
handset. The telephone number for all information through the Autofax
is 202-647-3000. Callers should follow the prompts to select the
information that they wish to receive. All Travel Warnings, Public
Announcements and Consular Information Sheets are also available through
Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB)
If you have a personal computer, modem and communications software, you
can access the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board or CABB. The service
will also provide information about foreign adoptions and foreign travel
and is free of charge.
Modem Number: 202-647-9225
Modem Speed: Will accommodate 300, 1200, 2400, 9600 or 14400 bps
Terminal Communications Program: Set to N-8-1 (No parity, 8 bits, 1
General information on international adoption and specific information
on adoption in a number of foreign countries and on foreign travel is
also available via Internet. The Internet address for The Office of
Children's Issues is dosfan.lib.uic.edu. You can access consular
travel information on the Internet in the following ways:
1) At the URL- http://www.stolaf.edu/network/travel-advisories.html
2) Via Gopher- gopher.stolaf.edu, Internet Resources/US-State-
(A separate Web site for the Bureau of Consular Affairs is being
developed and will offer adoption flyers in the near future.)
Mail In Requests
All of the flyers available on the automated fax service are also
available in printed form. The order form, section two of Appendix, can
be used to obtain these flyers. Simply circle the flyer(s) that you
wish and send the order form to The Office of Children's Issues, Bureau
of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C. 20520-
4818. Please enclose a large stamped, self-addressed envelope. For
printed copies of Travel Warnings, Public Announcements, Consular
Information Sheets and other general travel-related information, send a
8 1/2 X 11 inch stamped, self-addressed envelope to the Office of
American Citizens Services and Crisis Management, Room 4811A, U.S.
Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818.
Section II: Country-Specific Adoption Information Flyers
To order by mail, simply circle the flyer(s) that you wish and send the
order form with your name and address to The Office of Children's
Issues, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington
D.C. 20520-4818. Please enclose an 8 1/2 X 11 inch stamped, self-
Bolivia Marshall Islands
Costa Rica Pakistan
Czech Republic Panama
Dominican Republic Paraguay
El Salvador Philippines
Hong Kong Uruguay
Section III: TWENTY-FIVE SOURCE COUNTRIES
Countries of Nationality Ranked by Number of U. S. Adoption Visas
El Salvador 38
*Statistics compiled from U.S. Department of State Report of Immediate
Relative Visas Issued, period from October 1993 to September 1994
(Fiscal Year 1994).
Section IV: Document Checklist
Some or all of the following items may be required by the adoption
agency, attorney, U.S. embassy, INS or the state.
Birth Certificate ___
Child Abuse Clearance ___
Divorce/Death Certificate ___
Financial Statement ___
Foreign Adoption/Custody Decree ___
Foreign Birth Certificate for the Child ___
Foreign Passport for the Child ___
Home Study ___
Letters of Recommendation ___
"Orphan" Status Document ___
Photographs of the Family ___
Photographs of the Child ___
Physician's Report ___
Physician's Report of the Child ___
Police Certificate ___
Power of Attorney ___
Verification of Employment ___
1040- Front Two Pages ___
Some countries require legalization of documents. This process is
called authentication. Generally, U.S. civil records, such as birth,
death, and marriage certificates must bear the seal of the issuing
office, state capitol, then by the U.S. Department of State
Authentications Office. The U.S. Department of State Authentications
Office is located at 2400 M Street, N.W., Room 101, Washington, D.C.
20520, tel: 202-647-5002. Walk-in service is available 8 a.m. to 12
noon, Monday-Friday, except holidays. The Department charges $4.00 per
document for this service, payable in the form of a check drawn on a
U.S. bank or money order made payable to the Department of State.
The information in this publication is in the public domain and may be
reproduced without permission. When this material is reproduced, the
Department of State would appreciate receiving a copy at: CA/P/PA, Room
6831, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818.
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