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U.S. Department of State
95/10/01 International Adoptions



                        INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS 
 
U.S. Department of State Publication 10300 
October 1995 
 
INTRODUCTION 
 
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. 
 
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 
international adoption. 
 
-  Make inquiries of the U.S. consular section abroad regarding the 
status of a specific adoption case and clarify documentation or other 
requirements. 
 
-  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 
attorney. 
 
 
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 
other signature. 
 
 
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 
of entry. 
 
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 
travel documentation. 
 
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 
United States. 
 
 
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 
case.* + 
 
+  In rare and exceptional circumstances, children deemed ineligible for 
admission to the United States may qualify for "humanitarian parole" and 
gain entry. 
 
 
 
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 
parents. 
 
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 
residence. 
 
 
 
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. 
 
 
 
Appendix A 
 
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 
Tel: 301-231-6512.   
 
*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 
Tel: 612-535-4829 
1-800-372-3300 
 
Committee for Single Adoptive Parents, Inc. 
P.O. Box 15084 
Chevy Chase, MD 20825 
Tel: 202-966-6367 
 
FACE (Families Adopting Children Everywhere) 
Face Inc. 
P.O. Box 28058 
Baltimore, MD 21239  
Tel: 410-488-2656 (Help-line) 
 
International Concerns Committee for Children 
911 Cypress Drive 
Boulder, CO 80303  
Tel: 303-494-8333 
 
Joint Council on International Children's Services 
P.O. Box 5636 
Washington, D.C. 20016 
Tel: 202-687-2202 
 
*North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)  
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106 
St. Paul, MN 55114 
Tel: 612-644-3036   
Fax: 612-644-9848 
 
*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 
Tel: 202-328-1200 
 
 
 
Appendix B 
 
Magazines and Books 
 
Magazines 
 
Adoptive Families (formerly OURS magazine) 
1-800-372-3300 
Complimentary copy available by calling  the above number 
 
ODS News 
Open Door Society of Massachusetts 
1-800-93A-DOPT 
 
Single Parents With Adopted Kids 
4108 Washington Rd. #101 
Kenosha, WI 53144 
 
 
Books 
 
General Information 
 
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 
Corporation:  1991. 
 
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:  
1978. 
 
Kadushin, Alfred.  Adopting Older Children.  Columbia University Press:  
1970. 
 
Mansfield, Gianforte and Waldmann.  Don't Touch My Heart -- Healing the 
Pain of an Unattached Child.  Pinon Press:  1994. 
 
 
Children's Literature 
 
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.:  
1988. 
 
 
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.:  
1993. 
 
Register, Cheri.  Are Those Kids Yours?:  American Families with 
Children Adopted from Other Countries.  Free Press:  1990. 
 
 
 
Appendix C 
 
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 
this service. 
 
 
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 
stop bit) 
 
 
Internet 
 
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-
Department-Travel-Advisories 
 
(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-
addressed envelope. 
 
 
Albania                     Jordan 
Argentina                   Korea 
Austria                     Latvia 
Belarus                     Lithuania 
Bolivia                     Marshall Islands 
Brazil                      Mexico 
Bulgaria                    Moldova 
Chile                       Morocco 
China                       Nepal 
Columbia                    Nicaragua 
Costa Rica                  Pakistan 
Czech Republic              Panama 
Dominican Republic          Paraguay 
Ecuador                     Peru 
El Salvador                 Philippines 
Estonia                     Poland 
Georgia                     Romania 
Germany                     Russia 
Greece                      Slovakia 
Guatemala                   Sri-Lanka 
Guyana                      Taiwan 
Haiti                       Thailand 
Honduras                    Ukraine 
Hong Kong                   Uruguay 
Hungary                     Uzbekistan 
India                       Venezuela 
Ireland                     Vietnam 
Israel                      Yugoslavia 
Japan 
 
 
 
Section III:  TWENTY-FIVE SOURCE COUNTRIES 
 
Countries of Nationality Ranked by Number of U. S. Adoption Visas 
Issued* 
Korea               1795 
Russia              1530 
China                787 
Paraguay             483 
Guatemala            433 
India                412 
Colombia             351 
Philippines          314 
Vietnam              220 
Romania              199 
Ukraine              164 
Brazil               149 
Bulgaria              97 
Lithuania             95 
Poland                94 
Mexico                85 
Chile                 79 
Honduras              77 
Haiti                 61 
Ethiopia              54 
Ecuador               48 
Thailand              47 
Uzbekistan            44 
El Salvador           38 
Kazakstan             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                      ___ 
 
Authentication: 
 
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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